AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Hollywood Canteen
Director: Delmer Daves (Dir)
Release Date:   31 Dec 1944
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 15 Dec 1944
Production Date:   5 Jun--31 Aug 1944
Duration (in mins):   124 or 126
Duration (in feet):   11,155
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Cast:   Andrews Sisters    
    Jack Benny    
    Joe E. Brown    
    Eddie Cantor    
    Kitty Carlisle    
    Jack Carson    
    Dane Clark (Sergeant Nolan)  
    Joan Crawford    
    Helmut Dantine    
    Bette Davis    
    Faye Emerson    
    Victor Francen    
    John Garfield    
    Sydney Greenstreet    
    Alan Hale    
    Paul Henreid    
    Robert Hutton (Corporal Slim Green)  
    Andrea King    
    Joan Leslie    
    Peter Lorre    
    Ida Lupino    
    Irene Manning    
    Nora Martin    
    Joan McCracken    
    Dolores Moran    
    Dennis Morgan    
    Janis Paige (Studio guide)  
    Eleanor Parker    
    William Prince    
    Joyce Reynolds    
    John Ridgely    
    Roy Rogers    
    S. Z. Sakall    
    Zachary Scott    
    Alexis Smith    
    Barbara Stanwyck    
    Craig Stevens    
    Joseph Szigeti    
    Donald Woods    
    Jane Wyman    
    Jimmy Dorsey   and His Band
    Carmen Cavallaro   and Orchestra
    Golden Gate Quartet    
    Rosario and Antonio    
    Sons of the Pioneers    
    Betty Brodel (Joan Leslie's sister)  
    Barbara Brown (Joan Leslie's mother)  
    Jonathan Hale (Joan Leslie's father)  
    Eddie Marr (LeRoy Prinz)  
    Julie Bishop    
    Theodore Von Eltz    
    Chef Milani    
    Robert Shayne    
    Mary Gordon    

Summary: Slim Green, a corporal stationed in the South Pacific, is enamored of actress Joan Leslie. After he is injured in battle, he and his pal, Sergeant Nolan, are sent to Hollywood, California for rest and recreation before they ship out again. When Slim mentions his desire to see movie stars, he is directed to the Hollywood Canteen, a gathering place for soldiers that is run by motion picture actors and actresses. Slim is impressed when he learns that all the entertainment and food is provided free of cost to servicemen and women. Learning that Slim has a crush on Joan Leslie, canteen president Bette Davis and Jane Wyman arrange for the two to meet. The next day, Nolan finds it hard to believe Slim's account of his experience at the canteen. He accompanies his friend to see things for himself and is impressed by the friendliness of the stars. Slim and Nolan continue their sightseeing the following day and accidentally encounter Joan at the Farmer's Market. That night, Slim becomes the millionth serviceman to come to the canteen and is awarded a luxury hotel suite, a car, a visit to a movie studio and a date with his favorite actress. Slim invites Nolan to share his suite and asks Joan to be his date. When Slim takes Joan home, the two sit in the backyard and talk about their lives. The next day, Slim and Nolan visit the Warner Bros. studio and Slim has dinner with Joan and her parents. Before Slim leaves town to return to the war zone, he makes a speech to the servicemen at the canteen, honoring all branches of the service and all the allies for their part in the fight. Joan has promised to take Slim to the train, but on the way to pick him up, she runs out of gas. When she does not arrive on time, Slim writes her a note, thanking her for a wonderful weekend. At the last minute, Joan arrives at the train station, and kisses Slim goodbye. 

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Brand Name: A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Delmer Daves (Dir)
  Art Lueker (Asst dir)
  Fred Sheld (2d asst dir)
Producer: Jack L. Warner (Exec prod)
  Alex Gottlieb (Prod)
Writer: Delmer Daves (Orig scr)
Photography: Bert Glennon (Dir of photog)
  George Nogle (Cam op)
  Benny Cohan (Asst cam)
  Mack Elliott (Stills)
  Frank Flanagan (Gaffer)
Art Direction: Leo Kuter (Art dir)
Film Editor: Christian Nyby (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Casey Roberts (Set dec)
  Paul Detlefsen (Matte paintings)
  John More (Props)
Costumes: Milo Anderson (Ward)
  Leon Roberts (Ward)
  Martha Giddings (Ward)
Music: Ray Heindorf (Mus adpt)
  Leo F. Forbstein (Mus dir)
Sound: Oliver S. Garretson (Sd)
  Charles David Forrest (Sd)
  Gerald W. Alexander (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  Robert G. Wayne (Re-rec and eff mixer)
Dance: LeRoy Prinz (Mus nos created and dir by)
Make Up: Perc Westmore (Makeup artist)
  Frank McCoy (Makeup)
  Helene King (Hair)
Production Misc: Florence O'Neill (Scr clerk)
  Chuck Hansen (Unit mgr)
  Herman Lissauer (Research dir)
  Muriel Allen (Research asst)
  Joe Cramer (Best boy)
Country: United States

Music: "The Bee" by Franz Schubert; "Souvenir," composer undetermined.
Songs: "Don't Fence Me In," music and lyrics by Cole Porter; "Sweet Dreams Sweetheart," music and lyrics by Ted Koehler and M. K. Jerome; "You Can Always Tell a Yank," music and lyrics by E. Y. Harburg and Burton Lane; "We're Having a Baby," music and lyrics by Harold Adamson and Vernon Duke; "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life," music and lyrics by Ted Koehler and Burton Lane; "The General Jumped at Dawn," music and lyrics by Larry Neill and Jim Mundy; "Getting Corns for My Country," music and lyrics by Jean Barry, Leah Worth and Dick Charles; "Voodoo Moon," music and lyrics by Obdulio Morales, Julio Blanco and Marion Sunshine; "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," music and lyrics by Bob Nolan.
Composer: Jean Barry
  Harold Adamson
  Julio Blanco
  Dick Charles
  Vernon Duke
  E. Y. Harburg
  M. K. Jerome
  Ted Koehler
  Burton Lane
  Obdulio Morales
  Jim Mundy
  Larry Neill
  Bob Nolan
  Cole Porter
  Franz Schubert
  Marion Sunshine
  Leah Worth

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. 6/1/1945 dd/mm/yyyy LP13034

PCA NO: 9819
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

Genre: Musical
Subjects (Major): Hollywood Canteen (Hollywood, CA)
  Motion picture actors and actresses
  United States. Army
Subjects (Minor): Canteens (War-time, emergency, etc.)
  Family relationships
  World War II

Note: The real Hollywood Canteen was started by John Garfield, Canteen vice-president, and Bette Davis, president. Located on Cahuenga Blvd. near Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, CA, it opened on 3 Oct 1942. According to contemporary news items, the film began production in Nov 1943, but a dispute between Warner Bros. and the Screen Actors Guild caused the production to be temporarily suspended. SAG rules stipulated that each of the actors and actresses be paid full salaries for their appearance in the film, even if that appearance was very brief. Warner Bros. stopped filming on 22 Dec 1943 and demanded a public apology from the Guild. The studio alleged that the Guild's complaint violated the original studio-guild contract by, among other things, placing players in jeopardy and indirectly running counter to the national wage stabilization program. The Guild responded by stating that the union would "waive application of the rule to such players as voluntarily wish to play in the Warner production, but that it would apply the rule for the protection of any player not wishing to play in the picture or against whom pressure to play might be made on a 'patriotic' basis." When the studio brought suit against the Guild, it responded, "The real issue in this suit is not whether Warner Bros. can make Hollywood Canteen but whether the Guild has the right to enforce rules governing the conduct of its members." By the end of Apr 1944, the suit was dismissed after an out-of-court agreement in which the Guild agreed that a week's pro-rated salary was a fair minimum for freelance actors who usually work on a "per-picture" basis. Other studios refused to loan their players to Warner Bros. under these terms. A NYT article dated 30 Apr 1944 notes that nine similar "all-star" films had been planned by other studios, but were dropped before the agreement was announced. The film resumed shooting in Jun 1944 using Warner Bros. contract players.
       Other HR news items add the following information about the production: Warner Bros. developed new recording and playback equipment that was used for the first time during the making of this film. The equipment included a new, more accurate cueing device and resulted in less feedback and distortion. Scenes were shot on location at the Veterans Administration Hospital on Sawtelle Blvd., in the Bel-Air Estates, at the Farmer's Market and on the Sunset Strip. Forty percent of the film's gross receipts were to be donated to the Hollywood Canteen. According to modern sources, this film was one of Warner Bros. top money makers of the year. The film received Oscar nominations for Best Sound Recording, Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Song ("Sweet Dreams Sweetheart"). Hollywood Canteen marked the film debut of stage actress Joan McCracken. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   9 Dec 1944.   
Daily Variety   7 Jan 1944.   
Daily Variety   24-Jan-44   
Daily Variety   27 Jan 1944.   
Daily Variety   18 Apr 1944.   
Daily Variety   19 Apr 1944.   
Daily Variety   1 Jun 1944.   
Daily Variety   5 Dec 44   p. 3, 7
Film Daily   5 Dec 44   p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News   27 Jan 1944.   
Hollywood Reporter   15 Nov 43   p. 2
Hollywood Reporter   18 Nov 43   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Nov 43   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Jan 44   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Feb 1944.   
Hollywood Reporter   8 May 44   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Jun 44   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Jun 44   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   31 Aug 44   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Oct 44   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Dec 44   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Dec 44   p. 8.
Los Angeles Times   22 Dec 1943.   
Los Angeles Times   7 Jan 1944.   
Los Angeles Times   12 Jan 1944.   
Los Angeles Times   8 Feb 1944.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   9 Dec 44   p. 2213.
New York Times   2 Jan 1944.   
New York Times   30 Apr 1944.   
New York Times   9 Jun 1944.   
New York Times   16 Dec 44   p. 19.
Variety   6 Dec 44   p. 14.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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