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This Is the Army [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

George Murphy , Joan Leslie , Michael Curtiz    Parental Guidance   DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 1.55
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: George Murphy, Joan Leslie, George Tobias, Alan Hale, Charles Butterworth
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Writers: Casey Robinson, Claude Binyon, Irving Berlin, Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Platinum Disc
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Oct 2000
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LDCR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,180 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
On the 4th of July in 1942, "This Is the Army" opened on Broadway with book, lyrics and music by Irving Berlin, who persuaded the War Department to let him have 300 service men to do the musical and raise $10 million for Army Relief. The 1943 movie version, directed by Michael Curtiz ("Casablanca") for Warner Brothers, starred a pair of future California politicians, (Senator) George Murphy and (Governor) Ronald Reagan, as the father and son of Jerry and Johnny Jones.
Reagan had just entered the military and was assigned to making "This Is the Army" and then military training films. Scenarists Casey Robinson and Claude Binjoy came up with a story lined that worked in material from Berlin's 1917 soldier show "Yip, Yip, Yiphank." Set during World War I, Murphy plays a Broadway song and dance man who is drafted and put in charge of an army show. After the final performance the cast marches off to war, where Jerry Jones receives a leg wound. Then we jump to the start of World War II, Jerry is now a Broadway producer and son Johnny is his assistant.
History repeats itself, this time with Johnny enlisting and taking time to marry his sweetheart, Eileen Dibble (Joan Leslie), before marching off. The film offers Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" and the treat of Irving Berlin himself singing "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning." This show also includes "This is the Army, Mr. Jones," which is probably the only other song contemporary audiences might still recognize, if you are old enough. Certainly "This Is the Army" is dated, but if you remember the time and place it does its duty well as a patriotic film exactly as it was supposed to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling quality 19 April 2008
Format:DVD
Just bought this 'special collectors edition' from platinum, truly awful quality, virtually unwatchable and awful sound. Guess I'll have to carry on looking for a copy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM, TERRIBLE PRINT. 25 Aug 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As I write this review, there are 3 other reviews displayed on Amazon, only one of which mentions the poor quality print, so I feel I must redress the balance & agree with the one who complained the film is virtually unwatchable. I would give the picture quality 5 out of 10 & the sound quality 1 out of 10 (even with the volume full up on my DVD player, it was barely audible!) Shame, as it's a great movie, with superb Irving Berlin songs & a unique, rousing period atmosphere.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A celebrated US wartime morale booster from 1943 23 April 2005
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
As a dazzling WWII morale booster of a film dripping with patriotism and featuring then-Lt. Ronald Reagan (the very epitome of American greatness), an Irving Berlin score (Berlin also personally performs the song Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning), and a rousing rendition of God Bless America by Kate Smith, it's hard for me to give this movie less than five stars - yet I can only go so far as four stars. There are two main reasons: first, there is the big song and dance featuring performers in black face (although such a production is understandable for the time), but second - and most importantly - there is just an insufferable number of men in drag scattered among far too many production numbers. In war time, seeing a bunch of soldiers parading around on stage in women's clothing does not exactly inspire me with a great deal of confidence in our boys' chances "over there." I know it was all for a good cause, namely the war relief effort, but there are just far too many cross-dressing shenanigans for my liking. The film certainly does have its moments, however, really getting my patriotic blood flowing on several occasions.
Ronald Reagan is not really the star of this film, although he does have a major role. The most prominent player is George Murphy in the role of Jerry Jones, a singer/dancer who was drafted into World War I, put on a rousing show to inspire the troops before suffering a leg injury in combat, and then, some twenty-five years later, produced another morale-boosting show for the new generation of soldiers heading off to war. The first part of the film is all about Yip! Yip! Yaphank!
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  64 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great entertainment 25 Nov 2004
By Alejandra Vernon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Held together by a flimsy plot, this is 2 hours of sheer enjoyment, with a variety of entertainment, from show-stopping tap dance numbers, comedy skits, an acrobatic number, and even magic tricks, and the film also includes of course, two actors that were to become political figures, our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, and U.S. Senator from California (1965-71) George Murphy.

Reagan looks fantastic in this film where he plays stage manager Johnny Jones. His presence and stature, lean and broad-shouldered, is amazing, as is his warmth and charm. This, as well as "Kings Row", are my two favorite Reagan films that I've seen so far. Lt. Reagan only made his military pay for this film ($ 250.00 a month) while Murphy earned $ 28,000.00...and Irving Berlin, whose terrific score earned him an Oscar, donated his proceeds to the Army Emergency Relief Fund.

Expertly directed by Michel Curtiz, Irving Berlin's music is a delight (we get to hear him sing "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning"), and the choreography by LeRoy Prinz and Robert Sidney is outstanding.

The film, which has the feel of a revue, starts out with Berlin's WWI show, "Yip ! Yip ! Yaphank", and segues into the WWII section, with the next generation performing the show (Reagan plays Murphy's son). Based on the Broadway show that toured the nation and the world as a morale booster for the military, "This is the Army" is an unpretentious and jolly gem, and though some of the numbers are "politically incorrect" for this day and age, those same numbers are also the best in the show, like "Mandy", which is done in blackface, "That's What the Well-Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear" (brilliantly danced by an man who is uncredited, and also featuring boxing champ Joe Louis), and a choice sequence, the humorous "Stage Door Canteen", with the burliest of the men in drag, and marvelous impersonations of actors, the best being "Herbert Marshall" speaking on the qualities of a hamburger.

The songs include:

"For Your Country and My Country" Gertrude Nielsen & Chorus

"My Sweetie", George Murphy & Chorus

"Poor Little Me, I'm on KP", George Tobias & Chorus

"We're on Our Way to France", George Murphy & Chorus

"God Bless America", Kate Smith

"What Does He Look Like", Frances Langford

"This is the Army Mr. Jones", Sidney Robin, William Roerich, Henry Jones & Chorus

"I'm Getting Tired so I can Sleep", James Burell & Chorus

"Mandy", Ralph Magelssen & Chorus

"Ladies of the Chorus", Alan Hale & Chorus

"That's What the Well-Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear"

"How About a Cheer for the Navy", Chorus

"Hostesses of the Stage Door Canteen", Chorus

"I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen", Earl Oxford

"American Eagles/With My Head in the Clouds", Robert Shanley & Chorus

"Oh How I Hate to get Up in the Morning", Irving Berlin, George Murphy, George Tobias, Charles Butterworth & Chorus

"This Time We Will All Make Certain", Robert Shanley & Chorus.

Though far from being great, this film has qualities that deserve the highest merit; for the superb tap dancing and the energetic talent of the performers and for the unabashed patriotism Hollywood has long forgotten, this is 5 star family viewing.

(DVD buyers beware...there are several editions available, with some having a "bootleg" quality, though still mighty enjoyable for the price)
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irving Berlin sends Ronald Reagan off to fight World War II 4 July 2001
By Lawrance M. Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
On the 4th of July in 1942, "This Is the Army" opened on Broadway with book, lyrics and music by Irving Berlin, who persuaded the War Department to let him have 300 service men to do the show and thereby raise $10 million for Army Relief. The 1943 movie version, directed by Michael Curtiz for Warner Brothers, starred a pair of future California politicians, (Senator) George Murphy and (Governor) Ronald Reagan, as the father and son of Jerry and Johnny Jones (think of it as the "Predator" of its generation). Reagan had just entered the military and was assigned to making "This Is the Army" before moving on to military training films.

Scenarists Casey Robinson and Claude Binjoy came up with a story lined that worked in material from Berlin's legendary 1917 soldier show "Yip, Yip, Yiphank." Set during World War I, Murphy plays a Broadway song and dance man who is drafted and put in charge of an army show. Murphy sings and dances to "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "My Sweetie" and "We're On Our Way to France." After the final performance the cast marches off to war, where Jerry Jones receives a leg wound. Then we jump to the start of World War II, Jerry is now a Broadway producer and son Johnny is his assistant. History repeats itself, this time with Johnny enlisting and taking time to marry his sweetheart, Eileen Dibble (Joan Leslie), before marching off to the swelling strains of "This Time We Will All Make Certain."

The film offers Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" and Berlin himself singing "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning." This show also includes "This is the Army, Mr. Jones," which is probably the only other song contemporary audiences might still recognize, if you are old enough. Certainly "This Is the Army" is dated, but if you remember the time and place it does its duty well as a patriotic film, although the difference between sending the troops out to fight that war and the one currently being waged is rather dramatic. The film won the Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture for "Ray Heindorf."
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good musical and big name stars--but forget that flimsy plot 12 Feb 2008
By Matthew G. Sherwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This Is The Army is a star studded musical with so many song and dance numbers it's amazing they squeezed in a plot! Indeed, the plot is perhaps the flimsiest of any musical plot I've ever seen. Dancer Jerry Jones (George Murphy) stages a show to boost morale after he's recruited into World War I; and after he's injured in the war he works as a theatrical producer. Jerry's song, Johnny Jones (Ronald Reagan), follows in his father's footsteps with his own involvement in World War II helping to stage shows to raise money for the war campaign during World War II.

The only other theme in the plot is Johnny Jones's refusal to marry his girlfriend until after the war ends. Will she wait for him or leave him? Watch the movie and find out!

But the real value of this movie is yet to come. The plot is merely an excuse for a parade of musical numbers that are extremely entertaining. In addition to George Murphy dancing and Ronald Reagan acting, we get a cameo by Frances Langford as she sings "What Does He Look Like." Kate Smith sings her signature song "God Bless America" with two rarely heard opening verses; and Joe Louis shows off his boxing strength during a song and dance number. Irving Berlin himself even performs; he sings "Oh How I Hate to get Up in the Morning" with George Murphy and other very talented people onstage.

The sets are not very well made although the set for the air corps musical number from the World War II show stunned me with its props. In addition, there have been a number of comments regarding how uncomfortable some people felt seeing too many numbers with men in women's clothing. The men really only wore the clothing in three or four numbers at most; and I think at the time it was all meant in good fun. When I read what one or two reviewers wrote I half expected to see men wearing women's clothing all the way through the picture! That was not the case. There is, however, an embarrassing blackface number that reflects the insensitivity of the times toward African-Americans. Ouch!

I agree with the reviewer who writes that the quality of this print is awful. The print is scratched, poorly pasted together and at times a few seconds seem to have been either cut out of the film or simply lost. They need to restore this print fast; and the sound quality wasn't the best, either. Sigh.

Overall, This Is The Army provides a rather simple, forgettable plot as an excuse to display a marvelous assortment of excellent, strong musical numbers. I highly recommend this film for lovers of classic movie musicals; and fans of the stars in this film will enjoy this also.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "This Is The Army" Homefront Edition - watch with this in mind 14 Feb 2009
By Eric Huffstutler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
There has been complaints that the newly restored "Irving Berlin's: This Is The Army" currently only available in the Warner Homefront Collection, isn't up to their usual quality. First, a little background is in order...

This is Warner's very first use of the 3-strip Technicolor process for a musical. Color stock was hard to get and discouraged during WWII. The film was made solely for the purpose of raising funds for the war effort and in 1950, the studio gave the film over to Army Emergency Relief then it fell into public domain in the 1970s. Original negative elements are most likely lost forever.

In 1991 the cable movie network AMC along with UCLA Film and Television Archive did a restoration of the film but the results ended up not so well with flickering and color shifts. All other copies available were so faded that they had a sepia tone color to them and it was one of these that Warner obviously worked from. The "saturation" of colors upon close inspection on a 1080p television shows that the film was "colorized" and there are times with details where you have glow and odd color edge enhancements due to register shifts giving a 3-D effect (without the glasses) on some background objects and people. Take a look at the mass of soldiers in one skit.. all of the faces are exactly identical in color and look like they cut and pasted 300 copies onto the frame. The only skit that looked fairly natural was the Harlem number where the African Americans skin tones were varied because they didn't have to colorize the sepia for their faces and uniforms like with the pinkish white actor faces. Grass, shrubs, clothing, even eye colors and hair all look "solid" and pop out unnaturally at times from the overlay of color and of course metal tones were off.

All said, this is the best this film will look unless they find the original 3 strip negative elements and being such a specialized movie doubt it will be revisited. Warner should have made this known up front of the movie but the only disclaimers were the P.C. ones but did give us more extras on this disc than the others as an apology of sorts. Watch this movie with an open mind that it looks colorized and then enjoy.

Eric S. Huffstutler
Richmond, VA
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb package of famous war time Americana 30 Dec 2008
By Douglas M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"This is the Army" is the film version of the famous war time stage musical, a model of propaganda using a cast from the armed forces, the music of Irving Berlin, that tower of American music, and raising over $9 million for Army Emergency Relief. This was the highest grossing box office film of 1942. The film lovingly creates the full stage play couched in a serviceable story about 2 generations of an American family and their efforts to entertain the masses while serving their country. George Murphy, an underrated song and dance man, stars and the film is directed by Michael Curtiz with the same skill he brought to "Yankee Doodle Dandy". The film is crammed with a wide variety of entertaining acts, possibly highlighted by Kate Smith singing "God Bless America". The print here is the full road show version with lengthy overture and exit music.

This is a Warner's DVD production so there are a lot of good extras to enjoy. First of all, the print is restored although the technicolour shows "bleeding" in some spots and lacks the sparkle of the equivalent 20th Century Fox musicals of the period. Drew Casper provides a detailed fascinating commentary and has shelved his breathless, repetitive delivery for a more sober approach. It is a big improvement. Casper is joined by the film's female lead, charming Joan Leslie who has vivid memories to share. A very good documentary is included. "Warners at War" provides excellent detail about how Warner Brothers, in typical fashion, led the studios in the war effort. Best of all, the documentary is narrated by Stephen Spielberg with a proper script. This is a vast improvement over similar documentaries which have interspersed film clips with a familiar and generally dull club of historians who often repeat themselves. Hooray!

Warner's Night at the Movies is included with newsreel, cartoon etc. The best bit here is a short film of the United States Army Band with a particularly moving version of "Over There" playing over film clips of departing soldiers. This is powerful and emotional propaganda. The original trailer is included as well as the trailer for "Edge of Darkness", Warner's effort to provide a show of support to the Norwegian resistance.

This DVD can be purchased as part of the Warner's Homefront Collection, of which it is the highlight. Don't miss it.
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