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Army Surgeon

Army Surgeon(1942)

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Army Surgeon (1942)

War adds a special zing to the romantic triangle behind this 1942 programmer. On the eve of World War II, W.A.A.C. officer Jane Wyatt remembers World War I, when she served as nurse for heroic surgeon James Ellison. Every time their romance seems to be on track, either the enemy or former love Kent Taylor, as a dashing flyer, mucks things up for them. The film is very much a Hollywood product. Although taking advantage of World War II headlines to generate interest, it's largely set in an earlier era, allowing the filmmakers to use stock costumes from other World War I films. And even though the action spans a quarter of a century, Wyatt barely shows any signs of the passage of time in the modern-day framing story, while the male characters who survive have a hint of gray in their hair. Randolph Scott was originally pegged to play the heroic flyer, which might have given Ellison more of a run for his money than B-movie stalwart Taylor. At least director A. Edward Sutherland, who had started in the movies as one of the Keystone Kops, keeps the story moving rapidly, getting all the romantic complications in in just over an hour.

By Frank Miller

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