Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

It took nerve for writer/director Preston Sturges to lampoon the whole concept of hero worship in the middle of World War II, but once more Sturges' oddball sense of taste and propriety paid off at the box office in Hail the Conquering Hero. Eddie Bracken plays the son of a World War I Marine hero who is the first in his small town to sign up for military service. When Bracken is discharged from the Marines for hay fever, he hasn't the nerve to go home and tell his mother and the rest of the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Preston Sturges
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 10, 2011
MCA Universal Home Video


as Woodrow Truesmith

as Mayor Noble

as Forrest Noble

as Corporal

as Mrs. Truesmith

as Political Boss

as Political Boss

as Mrs. Noble

as Libby's Aunt

as Judge Dennis

as Rev. Upperman

as Doc Bissell

as Committee Chairman

as Progressive Bandlead...

as Mr. Schultz

as Regular Bandleader

as American Legion Band...

as Marine Colonel

as Western Union Man

as Town Painter

as Town Councilman

as Town Councilman

as Town Councilman

as Town Councilman

as Manager of Cafe

as Bartender

as Marine Colonel's Wif...

as Mamie's Mother

as Colonel's Daughter

as Telephone Operator

as Conductor

as Town Councilman
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Hail the Conquering Hero

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

The deft hand of Preston Sturges molded this film, further proof that he is one of the industry's best writer-directors.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
Top Critic

Wonderful satire on small-town jingoism, all the more remarkable in that it was made during World War II.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This riotously funny motion picture, this superlative small-town comedy, is also one of the wisest ever to burst from a big-time studio.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A scathing delight.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It is a bewilderingly skillful picture, and the skill is used no more brilliantly to tell the story than to cover up the story's weaknesses and those of its author, Preston Sturges.

Full Review… | September 14, 2012
The Nation

Hail the Conquering Hero is widely praised as one of Preston Sturges' best films, but I found it tedious and mawkish - the 1944 equivalent of a dopey sitcom.

Full Review… | November 15, 2010
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Audience Reviews for Hail the Conquering Hero

eddie bracken plays a washed out marine who returns home to a hero's welcome thanks to some service buddies who don't want to disappoint his mother. and then things get complicated. great performances, wonderful writing, classic sturges

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Frantic comedy that in lesser hands would be ridiculous but Sturges moves it along at such a lively clip that it comes across as silly and charming. An ace cast all perform marvelously but Demarest stands out as marine with a solution, no matter how farfetched, for every problem.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Only the second Sturges film I've seen, following The Lady Eve, which I slightly prefer. The movie about a coming back from war guilt ridden "hero" who lied all the way to being nominated for mayor, has a few laughs, but isn't anything special. It's from 1944, and is unfortunately outdated with his beautiful America attitude. It was nothing more than Ok.

Daniel Dolgin
Daniel Dolgin

Super Reviewer

Hail the Conquering Hero Quotes

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