A Medal for Benny (1945)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Medal for Benny Photos

Movie Info

John Steinbeck cowrote this sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-wrenching study of small-town hypocrisy. Shiftless Benny (who is never seen) has been tossed out of his Southern California town by the "proper" citizens. Drafted into the army, Benny is killed in action--and now that he's a hero, his old home town gears up for a Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony. Suddenly the same upright townsfolk who'd previously scorned Benny and his impoverished father (J. Carroll Naish) bend over backward to prove how much they "loved" the boy. Only Dorothy Lamour, playing Benny's former sweetheart, sees through the sham, though she's honor bound to celebrate Benny's heroism. A Medal for Benny bestows top billing upon Lamour, but the film's true star is J. Carroll Naish as Benny's volatile Italian papa--a performance which won Naish an Academy Award nomination.
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


J. Carroll Naish
as Charley Martin
Dorothy Lamour
as Lolita Sierra
Arturo de Córdova
as Joe Morales
Mikhail Rasumny
as Raphael Catalina
Fernando Alvarado
as Chito Sierra
Charles Dingle
as Zach Mibbe
Frank McHugh
as Edgar Lovekin
Rosita Moreno
as Toodles Castro
Grant Mitchell
as Mayor of Pantera
Nestor Paiva
as Frank Alviso
Eva Puig
as Mrs. Catalina
Pepito Pérez
as Pamfilo Chaves
Minerva Urecal
as Mrs. Chavez
Frank Reicher
as Father Bly
Robert E. Homans
as Chief of Police
Edward Fielding
as Governor
Max Wagner
as Jake
Oliver Blake
as Pepster
Victor Potel
as Pepster
Harry Hayden
as Pepster
Jack Gardner
as Cameraman/Red
Eddy Chandler
as Bank Guard
Tom Fadden
as Eddie Krinch
Alice Fleming
as Dowager
Chico Sandoval
as Paisano
Maxine Fife
as Telephone operator
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Critic Reviews for A Medal for Benny

All Critics (1)

By today's standards, this small-town melodrama about hypocrisy, based on John Steinbeck's writing, is sentimental, but it made an impression when originally made.

Full Review… | June 16, 2011

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