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Saturday, October 17, 2015

At War With The Army (1951)

Set in a Kentucky army base during WWII, a sergeant (Dean Martin) is frustrated with his desk job when what he really wants is to go overseas. Meanwhile, his friend (Jerry Lewis) who is a private wants leave to see his newly born baby boy. After playing supporting roles in two MY FRIEND IRMA movies, this was the first movie that Martin and Lewis carried on their own. It's based on a play by James B. Allardice with several of the show's original cast repeating their stage performances. The play's theatrical origins are obvious as the majority of the film is set in an Army Captain's office with actors entering and exiting and doors opening and slamming galore. There are a couple of scenes that "open up" the play as when Lewis in blonde drag goes to a bar and does a Dietrich impersonation. That scene along with a farcical mix-up of mistaken identities at the film's end are the highpoints. The rest of the film is pretty much a drag (no pun intended) and indeed, this might be the comedy team's worst film. Some dull songs are inserted for Martin and Lewis to sing and the film's low point is probably their Bing Crosby/Barry Fitzgerald schtick. Directed by Hal Walker. With Polly Bergen (wasted but at least she gets to sing), Mike Kellin, William Mendrek and Tommy Farrell.

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