When Willie Comes Marching Home

When Willie Comes marching home

When Willie Comes Marching Home is a 1950 World War II comedy film directed by John Ford and starring Dan Dailey and Corinne Calvet. The film begins in Punxsutawney, West Virginia.  Dan Dailey (William ‘Bill’ Kluggs) plays a brave guy who is the first in town to volunteer to go to war when WWII breaks out in America. The whole town sees him off. Willie tries to become a pilot but washes out. Although he proves to be so efficient at aerial gunnery that, he is made an instructor and assigned to a base near his hometown. While other boys go off to war, Kluggs becomes the local laughingstock. However, when a bomber pilot falls ill, Kluggs replaces him on a secret mission that will become his once-in-a-lifetime chance at a heroic destiny. Dailey is here at the top of his comic form. Mr. Dailey plays through this picture in a way that will make him everyone’s friend. Colleen Townsend and William Demarest are also good as his parents .Though it’s certainly a minor entry in the Ford oeuvre, it shows off his underestimated capacity for humor and warmth. During a fertile period of great westerns, John Ford also focused on war films, from a distance with dramatic comedy of manners.  It is this sub-genre in USA called “Small-Town Comedy. It mocks the stupid desire for heroism as assertiveness and social and family recognition in a small town.

 

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