23 and 1/2 Hours Leave (March 21, 1937)
Released on March 21, 1937: The trouble started when Sergeant Gray bet that he would eat a breakfast of patty cakes with the General within one month.
Directed by John G. Blystone
Written by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Henry McCarty, Harry Ruskin and Samuel J. Warshawsky.
The Actors: James Ellison (Sergeant Robert Gray), Terry Walker (Peggy Markley), Morgan Hill (Tommy), Arthur Lake (Sergeant Turner), Paul Harvey (General Markley), Wally Maher (Sergeant Beans Banning), Andy Andrews (Sergeant Jake Solomon), Murray Alper (Sergeant Schultz), Pat Gleason (Sergeant Squibb), John Kelly (Sergeant Tubbs), Russell Hicks (Captain Barker), Ward Bond (Top Sergeant Burke), Frank Darien (elevator operator), Sam Flint (Chief of Police), Bud Geary (gate sentry), Harrison Greene (J. Brown), George Magrill (waiter, soldier), Jim Mason (army cook), Ivan Miller (Captain Burns), Frank O'Connor (policeman), Jack Pennick (Sergeant Johnson), Harry Tenbrook (stockage Sergeant)
When War was Fun
I was too young to remember anything about the 1950's Korean 'conflict,' but was a draft age teen during the Vietnam War. I remember that for the first time in history television had matured enough to bring home graphic pictures of death and destruction from that war. Those television videos changed the image of war forever in the minds of Americans. No longer would war be a thing of pride and honor without knowing about the tragedy and horror that goes hand in hand with war. War movies also got more graphic and honest, with Saving Private Ryan as the ultimate look so far at the reality of war. But back in 1937 the movies still brought us only the camaraderie and fun moments of the soldiers who left farms and villages to join Uncle Sam. When this movie was filmed England was already at war with Germany in WWII, but in America we still wanted to stay out of the conflict. So this movie takes a look at a bunch of American boys in 1917 getting ready to sail to Europe in WWI. But don't worry about the horrors of war . . . this one is more like a raucous summer camp than men getting ready to fight and die. Our intrepid hero is a loud mouth cocky son-of-a-gun who always seems to come out on top - until his girlfriend back home sends him a telegram announcing that she just married another fellow back home. But he keeps a stiff upper lip and bets all of the boys in his barracks that within a month he will have breakfast with the General, and even eat patty cakes with him. Remember the old 'patty cake, patty cake, bakers men' rhyme? If you do, you must be an old fart like me. As a youngster I learned to do the hand motions as I recited the rhyme with my bigger sister Carol. It was silly, and I never really knew or thought about what patty cakes actually were. Now that I've watched this romantic comedy I know all about them.
Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with lots of warm melted butter on it and enjoy a pre-WWII movie about some boys about to go off to fight in WWI, but before they leave they become best friends as they tussle with Uncle Sam and Army ways . . . and a couple of foreign spies . . . and the grumpy General . . . and his lovely young daughter.
Terry Walker and James Ellison
Andy Andrews and James Ellison
Arthur Lake as Sergeant Turner
Frank Darien as the elevator operator who discovers Sergeant Gray fighting the spies
Harry Tenbrook is the stockade Sergeant who is about to put James Ellison in the stockade for being out of uniform
James Ellison and John Kelly
James Ellison as Sergeant Gray gets yelled at for sleeping in.
Paul Harvey, as the General, yells at James Ellison for spooking his horse and causing the General to fall
James Ellison in his skivvies is about to discover the spies in the photography studio
James Ellison meets Terry Walker and instantly falls in love
John Kelly and Arthur Lake in the mess hall
Morgan Hill gives Paul Harvey the notice about spies being among them.
James Ellison, Terry Walker and Morgan Hill have a breakfast of patty cakes with Paul Harvey.
Paul Harvey, as General Markley, is yelling at James Ellison again.
Sam Flint as the town Chief of Police
Terry Walker and Morgan Hill look out the window at the new convertible that she just bought without her father's permission.
Wally Maher and James Ellison look at the photo of Ellison's girlfriend from back home.
Wally Maher and James Ellison as Ellison decides that he will ask his girlfriend from back home to get married before he ships off for the war.
Ward Bond as Top Sergeant Burke