Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958)
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Director Leo McCarey was clearly past his prime when he made this screen version of Max Shulman's comic novel Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys; still, the film was a success, no small thanks to the star power of real-life husband and wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The scene is Putnam's Landing, Connecticut, where commuter Harry Bannerman (Paul Newman) is driven crazy by his wife Grace's (Joanne Woodward) insistence upon joining every civic committee known to man. When the government chooses Putnam's Landing as the location for their new missile base, Grace immediately joins a committee to halt this project-which causes no end of trouble for Air Force reservist Harry, who is expected to be the government's liason man for the new base. Adding to the dilemma is local vamp Angela Hoffa (Joan Collins), whose efforts to get her lunchhooks into Harry lead to a dizzying series of recriminations and misunderstandings. Satirical barbs are aimed at military stupidity (as personified by thick-eared Captain Hoxie, played by Jack Carson), small-town hypocrisy, and the teenaged "beat" craze. Among the supporting players are Dwayne Hickman and Tuesday Weld, cast respectively as Marlon Brando wannabe Grady Metcalf and nubile high-schooler Comfort Goodpasture (!); within a year of this film, Hickman and Weld would be reunited on the TV series Dobie Gillis, likewise based on a Max Shulman novel. Also appearing are reliable comedy foil Gale Gordon and an uncredited Murvyn Vye as Angela Hoffa's neglectful husband. Considered fairly racy in 1958, Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys seems slightly childish and draggy today; one wonders how it would have fared had Leo McCarey been at the height of his powers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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as Harry Bannerman
as Grace Oglethorpe Ban...
as Angela Hoffa
as Capt. Hoxie
as Grady Metcalf
as Comfort Goodpasture
as Col. Thorwald
as Isaac Goodpasture
as Danny Bannerman
as George Melvin
as Manning Thaw
as Milton Evans
as Waldo Pike
as Betty O'Shiel
as Zack Crummitt
as Oscar Hoffa
as Betty O'Shiel
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Critic Reviews for Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!
Some of the gags are elaborate and as carefully timed as a dance sequence.
Satire on activist suburbanites is so weak, it only seems funny because it has nothing to say.
Paul Newman's first comedy is a disappointing small-town film, directed by Leo McCarey at the end of his career, lacking energy and wit.
Newman's first comedy should have been his last. Gratuitous and dubious sexuality makes this a poor bet for youngsters.
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