So Proudly We Hail!

So Proudly We Hail! is a 1943 film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Mark Sandrich, and starring Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard (who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance), George Reeves and Veronica Lake.

The film follows a group of military nurses sent to the Philippines during the early days of World War II. The movie was based on a book written by nurse Juanita Hipps a WWII nurse who served in Bataan and Corregidor during the time when McArthur withdrew to Australia which ultimately led to the surrender of US and Philippine troops to Japan. Those prisoners of war were subjected to the infamous Bataan Death March. The movie was based on LTC Hipps' true story "I Served On Bataan."


The story covers many day to day events, and contrasts the brutality of war against the sometimes futile efforts of the nurses to provide medical aid and comfort. There are several striking moments in the movie, including a shocking "self-sacrifice" by a female character to save her fellow nurses. Each of the nurses has a past or present love story with a soldier, with the longest term and most interesting romance the one between the characters played by Colbert and Reeves. The flashback narration gives a sense of historical import and resonance. The sequence where the nurses and injured soldiers are stranded on a massive naval base, pinned down by aircraft fire, is one of the more claustrophobic scenes in wartime cinema.

Moviegoers of the time found great timeliness in the movie, since MacArthur and the battles for Bataan, and Corregidor were familiar to every American. Although the love-story plot line is the primary thrust of the film, the difficulties and emotional toll of war are strongly shown.

Main cast and characters

Claudette Colbert as Lt. Janet 'Davy' Davidson
Paulette Goddard as Lt. Joan O'Doul
Veronica Lake as Lt. Olivia D'Arcy

Other cast members

George Reeves as Lt. John Summers
Cora Witherspoon as Mrs Burns-Norvell
Barbara Britton as Lt. Rosemary Larson
Walter Abel as Chaplain
Sonny Tufts as Kansas
Mary Servoss as Capt. 'Ma' McGregor
Ted Hecht as Dr. Jose Bardia
John Litel as Dr. Harrison
Dr. Hugh Ho Chang as Ling Chee
Mary Treen as Lt. Sadie Schwartz
Kitty Kelly as Lt. Ethel Armstrong
Helen Lynd as Lt. Elsie Bollenbacher
Lorna Gray as Lt. Tony Dacolli


External links

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