Hail the Conquering Hero | Chicago Reader

Hail the Conquering Hero

Preston Sturges's last feature for Paramount (1944) takes on wartime patriotism with a brio and vengeance that may take your breath away. Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) gets discharged from the marines due to chronic hay fever, but some service buddies decide to present him to his hometown as if he's a returning war hero. As usual, Sturges's stock company of wonderful bit actors—including William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Raymond Walburn, and Jimmy Conlin—is orchestrated and conducted like a pop symphony, and Ella Raines does duty as the love interest. A scathing delight.



  • Preston Sturges


  • Eddie Bracken
  • Ella Raines
  • Raymond Walburn
  • William Demarest
  • Bill Edwards
  • Elizabeth Patterson
  • Jimmy Conlin
  • Franklin Pangborn
  • Jack Norton
  • Paul Porcasi
  • Al Bridge


  • Preston Sturges


  • Preston Sturges

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