A surprisingly light WW2 film, in which John Payne - a bit too old for the role - chases radiant O'Hara's skirt between training exercises under tough-but-honorable sergeant Scott. The flag-waving is kept to the end when Pearl Harbor is attacked, and the picture finishes off with a big singing of the film's military theme song. A genuine piece of wartime ephemera, with a quick (and jarring) cutaway during the film's parade finale, where an Asian-American supporter is seen holding a "Me Chinese" sign!
The main credits boast full military co-operation, and veteran Humberstone superbly fills the entire frame with intricate marching geometry: huge waves of intersecting soldiers are covered from still and tracking camera shots, giving the film a great gloss of authenticity, and impressing viewers spoiled with masses of present-day CGI creations.
20th Century Fox's DVD is a clean transfer of a lovely print, with solid blacks and grays. The pseudo-stereo sound mix eliminates the minor muddiness of the original mono mix, but an annoying drainpipe quality mars brief efforts at quasi-surround; the original mix (included on the disc) is far preferable to the over-processed remix.
The disc's extras are slim, with Fox adding an array of vintage and more recent film and DVD trailers for the War Classics series. Of the group, only "Between Heaven and Hell" and "D-Day the 6th of June" are anamorphic.
© 2002 Mark R. Hasan