Tanks a Million (September 12, 1941)
Released on September 12, 1941: Dodo Doubleday, with his photographic memory, goes from private to sergeant in one easy mis-step, much to the chagrin of career Sergeant Ames.
Directed by Fred Guiol
Written by Edward E. Seabrook, Paul Girard Smith and Warren Wilson
The Actors: William Tracy (Sergeant Dorian 'Dodo' Doubleday), James Gleason (Colonel 'Spitfire' Barkley), Noah Beery Jr. (Charlie Cobb), Joe Sawyer (Sergeant William Ames), Elyse-Knox (Jeannie), Douglas Fowley (Captain Rossmead), Knox Manning (radio interviewer Cardigan), Frank Faylen (Private Skivic), Dick Wessel (Private Monkman), Frank Melton (Private Cleary), Harold Goodwin (Lieutenant Caldwell), William Gould (Major Greer), Norman Kerry (Major), Roy Crane (recruit Hartfield), Eddie Hall (soldier), Bert Moorhouse (radio station announcer), Edmund Mortimer (radio station representative), David Newell (Lieutenant Jennings), Dub Taylor (hillbilly recruit Malloy)
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From Private to Colonel in One Easy Mis-step
William Tracy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 1, 1917, and his passion was always acting. After attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City he got his first part as a military school cadet in the Broadway production of 'Brother Rat' in 1937 at the age of 19. Although he had small parts in some famous movies like The Shop Around The Corner in 1940, his big break was a year later, in this 1941 pre-war comedy as Dodo Doubleday.
This Hal Roach comedy was nominated for an academy award, and spawned 7 more Dodo Doubleday army comedies with him against Sergeant Ames, played by Joe Sawyer including Hay Foot in 1942, which you can watch here. After WWII ended and the American appetite for military movies waned, he continued to act in movies and television shows but he never enjoyed the popularity that he had with his Dodo Doubleday movies.
In this first episode Dodo Doubleday, who has a perfect photographic memory, joins the army and after reading the military handbook knows more than anyone else at Camp Carver. After impressing the brass with his knowledge, he is immediately promoted to a top Sergeant, much to the chagrin of career soldier Sergeant Ames, played by Joe Sawyer.
While Dodo goes about his business as a new Sergeant, Joe Sawyer's character does everything his can to undermine Dodo at every step. Of course, it always backfires on Sergeant Ames and geeky Dodo somehow comes out on top, with Sergeant Ames getting into trouble instead. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and enjoy the motion picture that introduced Sergeant Dodo Doubleday to the world.
Bert Moorhouse and William Tracy
Douglas Fowley as Captain Rossmead
Douglas Fowley and Joe Sawyer
Elyse Knox and Noah Beery Jr.
James Gleason and William Tracy
Joe Sawyer and Douglas Fowley
Joe Sawyer and William Tracy
Noah Beery Jr. and Frank Faylen
Noah Beery Jr.
William Tracy and Knox Manning
William Tracy and William Gould
William Tracy and Elyse Knox