At War With the Army (December 31, 1950)
Released on December 31, 1950: (running time 1 hour and 31 minutes) Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis turn the Army on it's head with their slapstick comedy.
Produced by Fred F. Finklehoff
Directed by Hal Walker
Written by Fred F. Finklehoffe from a play by James B. Allardice
The Actors: Dean Martin (1st Sergeant Vic Puccinelli), Jerry Lewis (PFC. Alvin Korwin), Mike Kellin (Sergeant McVey), Polly Bergen (Helen Palmer), Jean Ruth (Millie), Jimmie Dundee (Eddie), Dick Stabile (Private Pokey, bandleader), Tommy Farrell (Cpl. Clark), Frank Hyers (Cpl. Shaughnessy), Danny Dayton (Supply Sergeant Miller), William Mendrek (Captain Ernest Caldwell), Kenneth Forbes (Leutenant Davenport), Paul Livermore (Private Jack Edwards), Ty Perry (Leutenant Terray), Angela Greene (Mrs. Deborah Caldwell), Douglas Evans (Colonel Davis), Stephen Roberts (the doctor), Al Negbo (orderly), Dewey Robinson (bartender), Lee Bennett (soldier), Joe Gray (soldier)
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The Navy Gets the Gravy, but the Army Gets the Beans!
Nightclub crooner Dean Martin teamed up with slapstick comedian Jerry Lewis in 1946 and performed together for the first time at a nightclub in Atlantic City. By 1950 they were hosting the Colgate Comedy Hour on television every third week, and their immediate nationwide success spawned this independently made motion picture.
World War Two had been over for five years, and it was time to remember the war with comedy. Lewis and Martin are soldiers at an army base in the U.S. that hasn’t been assigned to go overseas yet. There is a bit of a plot involving a pregnant girlfriend, but the heart of the film is the slapstick humor between Martin and Lewis, with a couple of Dean Martin songs tossed in.
There are three women in the cast, and, in my humble opinion, the best female actor got the smallest, most insignificant role. Polly Bergen was twenty years old when she appeared in this movie, and was already a singing star with bands, records and on the radio. She got a lucrative movie contract, and this was her first real role, but character actors with names you never heard of got much better parts. The director must have liked what he saw, because Polly Bergen got the best close-up shots in the movie during her very short performance. After a few more movies with similar bit parts, a frustrated Polly Bergen left motion pictures and became famous on the little screen with the Polly Bergen Television Show. She also starred on Broadway and continued her singing career.
In 1956, ten years to the day of their first appearance together, Dean Martin walked away from the successful duo act, and although there are many people with different ideas about why the two men stopped appearing together, no one knows for sure but the spirit of Dean Martin, and he isn’t talking. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Al Negbo and Douglas Evans
Angela Greene, Ty Perry, William Mendrek
Dean Martin and Polly Bergen
Dewey Robinson and Mike Kellin
Douglas Evans and Danny Dayton
Jean Ruth and Dean Martin
Mike Kellin and Tommy Farrell
Paul Livermore and Dean Martin
Paul Livermore and Jean Ruth
Paul Livermore and Polly Bergen
Polly Bergen and Dean Martin
Tommy Farrell and Dean Martin
Ty Perry and William Mendrek
William Mendrek and Dean Martin