Hay Foot (January 2, 1942)
Released January 2, 1942: A madcap Army comedy with Sergeant 'Dodo' Doubleday in trouble again.
Directed by Fred Guiol
Written by Eugene Conrad and Edward E. Seabrook.
The Actors: William Tracy (Sergeant 'Dodo' Doubleday), Joe Sawyer (Sergeant Ames), James Gleason (Colonel J.A. Barkley), Noah Beery Jr. (Sergeant Charlie Cobb), Elyse Knox (Betty Barkley), Douglas Fowley (Captain Rossmead), Harold Goodwin (Lieutenant Caldwell), Joe Cunningham (Mr. Hutton), Frank Faylen (Major), Eddie Hall (Corporal Gilpin), Etta McDaniel (Barkley's cook), Dick Wessel (mailman).
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Time for a madcap Army movie from the WWII era. 'Hay Foot' is a 1940's slang term for an 'unsophisticated,' blundering farm boy trying to mix in with sophisticated city folk. 'Dodo' Doubleday is a farm boy in the army, and he is the center of the action at this army camp. Because of his photographic memory the Colonel promotes him to Sergeant the first week he is in camp and makes him his personal assistant. Two hot-shot Sergeants, Ames and Cobb, are the best marksmen in the army, and they resent Dodo Doubleday's quick rise to become the Colonel's assistant. One day Ames is trying to teach the men about a pistol and how it works, Doubleday is not paying attention, but rather reading a book. When Doubleday is called out for it, he remarks that Ames is not explaining it properly, and proceeds to stand up and recite the virtues of the gun from memory, gettijng everything perfectly, and making Ames look like a fool. Later on the shooting range, when Doubleday tries to fire the pistol, he is scared to death, and shuts his eyes tightly, screws his face into a twisted contortion and fires wildly into the air. An officer passing by recommends that for Doubleday to conquor his fears, he should fire of a quick series of rounds. As Doubleday shuts his eyes and fires wildly, men scatter to avoid being hit, and a little pooch dog runs quickly and sits in front of the target, knowing somehow that it is the only safe spot to be.
Later that day, as the Colonel and his daughter are on a picnic, and the Colonel is trying to catch a fish, Doubleday takes a target into the woods to try to learn to fire his pistol in private. Unfortunately he sets his target up in some bushes just the other side of the Colonel and his daughter, so that if he shoots anywhere near the target, it will pass through the bushes and hit either the Colonel or his daughter. Meanwhile, on the other side of the bushes, the Colonel is complaining that because of a 'fish hawk' flying overhead, all of the fish are hiding and not swimming near his hook, making it impossible to catch any fish. So now we are set up for the gag, and Dodo Doubleday shuts his eyes, squinces his face and fires wildly into the air . . . hitting the 'fish hawk' dead in the eye, dropping him to the ground. The Colonel sees the hawk drop and discovers that Doubleday shot him, and believes that he shot the hawk on purpose, hitting him right in the eye. Then a few minutes later, there is a big fish on the Colonel's fishing line, and he has trouble reeling him in. In the confusion of trying to reel in the big catch Doubleday races to the shore, falling down and firing his gun as he falls . . . of course hitting the fish dead in the eye, dropping it to the shore. The Colonel is now convinced that Doubleday is the best shot in the world, and suggests a contest with Cobb and Ames, betting part of his pay.
The madcap adventure continues with more misunderstandings between Doubleday, the Colonel, his daughter, and the two hot-shots of the camp, and somehow the geeky Doubleday comes out on top, despite his foolish ways. You won't need a really big bowl of popcorn for watching this one, you'll be laughing enough to keep you from eating too much, and be careful that you don't try to drink your soda while you are laughing or you'll need to clean up the mess yourself!