Hollywood Canteen

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Movie Info

The West Coast's answer to Broadway's Stage Door Canteen, the Hollywood Canteen was created as a GI morale-booster by film stars Bette Davis and John Garfield. The Canteen was established so that Our Boys on leave in Tinseltown could have a good time with good food and good dancing -- and, as a bonus, rub shoulders with their favorite movie personalities, who functioned as waiters, chefs, busboys and dancing partners. Since the 1944 all-star flick Hollywood Canteen was produced by Warner Bros., it was only to be expected that the celebrities seen herein would consist mostly of Warner Bros. contract players. The frail plot concerns a soldier on medical leave (played by Robert Hutton) who falls in love with lovely leading lady Joan Leslie (played by Joan Leslie) while visiting the Canteen. Bette Davis and John Garfield are on hand to emcee the Canteen's variety acts, and to act as cupids for the Hutton/Leslie romance. The "supporting cast" includes the likes of The Andrews Sisters, Jack Benny, Joe E. Brown, Eddie Cantor, Sidney Greenstreet, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, Ida Lupino, Dennis Morgan, Roy Rogers, S.Z. Sakall, Barbara Stanwyck, and the Jimmy Dorsey and Carmen Cavallaro musical aggregations. Virtually everyone involved donated their salaries to the Canteen fund--even Jack Benny. As with most of these patriotic wartime star rallies, the results are a mixed bag: the best sequences include Benny's violin "duel" with Joseph Szigeti and Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers introducing Cole Porter's Don't Fence Me In. Hollywood Canteen won three Oscar nominations, more for its good intentions than its inherent excellence. Still, don't pass up the opportunity when this "movie star salad" shows up on cable TV.

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Joan Leslie
as Herself
Bette Davis
as Herself
Julie Bishop
as Herself
Dane Clark
as Sergeant
Jonathan Hale
as Mr. Brodel
Barbara Brown
as Mrs. Brodel
James Flavin
as Marine Sergeant
Eddie Marr
as Dance Director
Ray Teal
as Captain
Rudy Friml
as Orchestra Leader
George Turner
as Tough Marine
Jack Benny
as Himself
Joe E. Brown
as Himself
Eddie Cantor
as Himself
Jack Carson
as Himself
Faye Emerson
as Herself
Alan Hale
as Himself
Paul Henreid
as Himself
Andrea King
as Herself
Peter Lorre
as Himself
Ida Lupino
as Herself
John Ridgely
as Himself
Roy Rogers
as Himself
S.Z. Sakall
as Himself
Alexis Smith
as Herself
Donald Woods
as Himself
Jane Wyman
as Herself
Virginia Patton
as Themselves
Lynne Shayne
as Themselves
Johnny Mitchell
as Themselves
Colleen Townsend
as Herself - Junior Hostess
Angela Greene
as Herself - Junior Hostess
Marianne O'Brien
as Herself - Junior Hostess
Dorothy Malone
as Herself - Junior Hostess
Bill Kennedy
as Himself - Busboy
Mary Gordon
as Herself
Betty Brodel
as Herself, Joan Leslie's Sister
Jimmy Dorsey
as Himself
Richard Erdman
as Soldier on Deck
Mark Stevens
as Soldier on Deck
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Critic Reviews for Hollywood Canteen

All Critics (1)

  • The countless musical performances and celebrity cameos keep everything moving wonderfully, but it's the underlying tale that leaves us smiling wide.

    Dec 4, 2008 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hollywood Canteen

  • Mar 09, 2008
    meaningless as storytelling but a great chance to see almost every star on the warners lot in the 40's.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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