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When actress Kay Francis acts as mistress of ceremonies for a broadcast of the Command Performance radio show, which goes out to military troops around the world, also appearing on the show are Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra, actresses and singers Betty Grable and Carole Landis, comedienne Martha Raye and dancer Mitzi Mayfair. After the show is over, Dorsey announces that he is going on a USO tour, and Kay reveals that she also has received permission from military officials in Washington, D.C. to gather a troupe of entertainers. The perpetually blustery Martha tells a visiting colonel from the British Foreign Office how much she would like to be with the fighting men, and he suggests that Kay form her troupe with Martha, Carole and Mitzi. The three women agree, and soon Kay has organized everything for their trip to England. After their arrival in England, American soldier Sgt. Eddie Hart drives them to the military base, where they make the best of their muddy, cold surroundings. Eddie quickly develops a crush on Martha, while Carole is attracted to American flier Capt. Ted Warren. Kay is impressed by the good manners of an English doctor, Capt. Lloyd, while Mitzi is surprised to meet her former partner and boyfriend, Lt. Dick Ryan. The women have little time for romance, however, as they travel the country with their show and work hard to entertain the troops. Carole arranges to see Ted at a Red Cross benefit given at the luxurious home of Lady Carlton-Smith, and despite the attentions paid to Carole by a general, she and Ted find time to declare their love for each other. Later, the women return to Ted's camp, and Kay, Martha and Mitzi try to cheer up Carole when Ted is late returning from a mission. The men also try to entertain the hard-working performers, and together they listen to a Command Performance broadcast featuring George Jessel, Alice Faye and Carmen Miranda. Carole's anxiety is finally relieved when Ted returns safely. The couple are married shortly after, but are denied a honeymoon when the women receive orders to ship out to North Africa. Kay is bewildered by the new orders until Martha confesses that she caused the problem at the Red Cross party, when she boasted to an admiral about the entertainers' determination to visit men fighting in an active war zone. Upon their arrival in North Africa, the women are nonplussed by the hard conditions, but eagerly pitch in and help the nurses. Kay is especially pleased to find Capt. Lloyd assigned to the unit and does all she can to help him, even scrubbing floors. With their tenacity and cheerfulness, the American celebrities force the gruff head nurse to admit that she was wrong in her opinion that they would be hindrances, and they top off a long day by putting on a show for the troops. During Carole's performance, the lights go out due to a power failure, but the soldiers illuminate the stage with their flashlights and Carole continues. The show is then interrupted by a German bombing raid, and the women take cover in the trenches with the soldiers. Dick and Mitzi declare their love as they duck for cover, while elsewhere, Eddie cuddles with Martha. After the all-clear is sounded, an officer tells the women that they can now leave for the rear lines, but they refuse to leave the men while they are shipping out for the front lines. Soon after, the women wave to the soldiers as they drive away.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1944||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
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"My Dad Remembers Martha Raye"
Mark Clark 2006-11-18
My dad, Army Sgt. George Washington Clark, 395th Inf. remembers Ms. Raye when she stayed in N.Africa after making the movie "Four Jills In A...