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Irving Berlin's This is the Army (August 14, 1943)

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Kate Smith in This Is The Army

>Released August 14, 1943: The Star-Studded song and dance tribute to the soldiers of WWII by Irving Berlin, featuring the first public singing of 'God Bless America,' by Kate Smith.

Directed by Michael Curtiz.

The Actors: George Murphy (Jerry Jones), Joan Leslie (Eileen Dibble), George Tobias (Maxie Twardofsky), Alan Hale (Sergeant McGee), Irving Berlin (himself), Charles Butterworth (Eddie Dibble), Dolores Costello (Mrs. Davidson),Una Merkel (Rose Dibble), Stanley Ridges (Major John B. Davidson), Rosemary DeCamp (Ethel Jones), Ruth Donnelly (Mrs. O'Brien), Dorothy Peterson (Mrs. Nelson), Frances Langford (herself), Gertrude Niesen (World War One Vocalist), Kate Smith (herself), Ronald Reagan (Johhny Jones), Joe Louis (himself), Alan Anderson (assistant stage manager), Ezra Stone (Sergeant Stone), Tom D'Andrea (Tommy), James Burrell ('I'm Getting Tired' lead singer), Ross Elliott (officer in the magician skit), Alan Manson (the straight man in the hunting skit), John Prinze Mendes (magician), Julie Oshins (Private Twardofsky), Earl Oxford ('I Left My Heart' lead singer), Robert Shanley (Ted Nelson), Philip Truex (acting Sergeant of the New Guard), James MacColl (Alfred Lunt, soldier), Herbert Anderson (Danny Davidson), Ralph Magelssen ('Mandy' lead singer), Tilestone Perry (Lynn Fontanne, soldier), John Cook Jr. (soldier), Larry Weeks (K.P. potato Juggler), The Allon Trio (themselves), Murray Alper (soldier), Warner Anderson (Kate Smith's announcer), Irving Bacon (waiter), Leah Baird (old-timer's wife), Louis Bednarcik (Allon Trio acrobat), Dick Bernie (hunting skit), Carlyle Blackwell Jr. (soldier), Jackie Brown (Mike Nelson), Marion Brown (the large Harlem dancer), Angelo Buono (Allon Trio acrobat), Jimmy Butler (soldier), Frank Coghlan Jr. (soldier at camp), Jimmy Conlin (stage doorman), Richard Crane (Sergeant on the field march), Belmonte Cristiani (soldier), James Cross (lead singer and dancer in 'Harlem'), John Daheim (soldier), Dan Dailey (soldier in 'This is the Army'), Gayle DeCamp (soldier), Alex Dexter (soldier), John Draper (soldier), Gino Erbisti (Allon Trio acrobat), Richard Farnsworth (soldier), Martin Faust (soldier), Sergeant Fisher (Blake Nelson), Bess Flowers (woman in audience), Ross Ford (soldier), Art Foster (soldier), Ilka Gruning (Mrs. Twardofsky), Eddie Hall (sailor), Hank Henry (ladies of the chorus plumber, and the cigar smoker in the canteen), Richard Irving (Mandy, in the yellow dress), John James (soldier), Jerry Jarrett (soldier), Payne B. Johnson (boy), Henry Jones (Mr. Brown, recruit), Fred Kelly (Mandy's Beau), Bill Kennedy (news commentator), J.P. Mandes (soldier), Gary Merrill (backstage M.P. on the right), Pinkie Mitchell (Corporal Mitchell on the telephone pole), Victor Moore (father of soldier), Patsie Moran (Marie Twardofsky), Gene Nelson (soldier), Allen Pomeroy (soldier), Richard Reeves (Victor Moore's son's dance partner), Sydney Robin (Mr. Jones, recruit), William Roerick (Mr. Green, recruit), Hayden Rorke (soldier / stage manager), Milton Rorke (orchestra conducter in the pit), Robert Sidney (Sergeant Sydney in the tank), Arthur Space (soldier), Arthur Steiner (soldier), Ernest Truex (father of soldier), Pierre Watkin (stanger in the audience), Doodles Weaver (soldier), Bert Whitley (soldier), William Wycoff (the dancer in drag in 'Harlem'), Jack Young (Franklin D. Roosevelt).


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The Forth of July is Independence Day in the United States, and we honor freedom, and the price of freedom each year with fireworks and celebration.

Irving Berlin wrote the song, "God Bless America" in 1918, during the First World War, but it didn't become a hit and an American Classic until he revised it in 1943, and Kate Smith sang it for the first time in public in this movie. I cannot say strongly enough, if you have not watched Kate Smith sing this song about 23 minutes into this movie, you have not experienced what the author of the song intended. And near the end of this one, you can see historic footage of the great Irving Berlin himself singing on stage.

This movie includes stars and real soldiers, and both, like soldier Ronald Reagan, soldier/champion boxer Joe Louis and others. It starts with Jerry Jones and his buddies in WWI, and quickly moves to present day 1943 and WWII, with his son Johnny Jones, who is reluctant to marry his childhood sweetheart before going off to war. The rest of the movie is a recruiting vehicle composed of patriotic song and dance and dialogue that will swell the heart of any American. This is one that I watch every year, and will watch every year, in remembrance of everyone that gave little and all for the freedom that we still enjoy in America.