5.8/10
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Parachute Battalion (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 12 September 1941 (USA)
In this pre-Pearl Harbor recruiting poster, colonel's estranged son Bill Burke, football hero Donald Morse, and hillbilly Jeff Hollis enlist in the paratroopers. Their training at Fort ... See full summary »

Director:

Leslie Goodwins

Writers:

John Twist (original screenplay), Hugh Fite (original screenplay) (as Major Hugh Fite Air Corps)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Preston ... Donald Morse
Nancy Kelly ... Kit Richards
Edmond O'Brien ... Bill Burke
Harry Carey ... Bill Richards
Buddy Ebsen ... Jeff Hollis
Paul Kelly ... Tex
Richard Cromwell ... Spence
Robert Barrat ... Col. Burke
Edward Fielding ... Chief of Infantry
Erville Alderson ... Pa Hollis
Selmer Jackson ... Thomas Morse
Grant Withers ... Captain
Jack Briggs ... Private
Walter Sande ... Medical Officer
Kathryn Sheldon Kathryn Sheldon ... Ma Hollis
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Storyline

In this pre-Pearl Harbor recruiting poster, colonel's estranged son Bill Burke, football hero Donald Morse, and hillbilly Jeff Hollis enlist in the paratroopers. Their training at Fort Benning, Georgia is followed in semi-documentary style, with time out for personal dramas and the romantic rivalry of Bill and Don over the sergeant's daughter. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No wonder the boys got "jump fever" whenthey tackled Uncle Sam's most dangerous game! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Batalhão de Paraquedas See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Benning, Georgia, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end, the aircraft in which the two parachutists try to catch up with the rest of the battalion (in DC-2s), and which looks like a pregnant Harvard, is a North American O-10 observation aircraft. See more »

Goofs

When the two parachutists land in the river their parachutes are not deployed but still packed. These are the jumpers main chutes, activated by the static line when jumping on command. These two jumpers, however were using their emergency chutes. The sergeant even tells Burke to remember to pull his ripcord. Therefore, the main chutes would normally remain packed. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the title and names of the eight featured players, the following statement appears in capital letters while the title song plays and we view the marching infantry: We gratefully acknowledge the splendid cooperation given by the officers and men of the 501st Parachute Battalion at Fort Benning, Ga., who actually made all the parachute jumps for this picture. See more »

Soundtracks

Reveille
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by a bugler to awaken the recruits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Curiously Light Hearted Propaganda Film
3 December 2012 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

It's debatable if this qualifies as a propaganda film as such . According to this website PARACHUTE BATTALION was released in September 1941 three months before Pearl Harbor . That said the winds of war had been blowing in America's direction for two years so Americans must have known it was coming and what better to raise morale than a patriotic flag waver showing good old American boys becoming airborne warriors ?

Actually this movie must have taken place in some alternative universe because while Western Europe had been conquered by Nazi Germany , Britain had been bombed and the Soviet Union was engaged in the first stages of a war of total annihilation with the Nazis the American response was to form a parachute battalion composed of drunks , small town hicks and football jocks

With all due respect to Simon Jack who has written an interesting review on this page it's impossible to take this film seriously now . In fact I'd be hard pressed to think anyone would have taken it seriously at the time ! From what I learned from PARACHUTE BATTALION jump school is composed of a senior citizen in his late 60s standing in front of some back projection telling a bunch of recruits who slouch around with their hands in their pockets how to jump out of a plane . It's easy to scoff at all this and The Hays Code was in full swing but there's very little that resembles realism . In fact it comes across as so light hearted and unrealistic you can't help wondering if it's a propaganda film that's been produced by the Germans !


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