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Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks(1952)

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The film concludes with the following written statement: "Parts of this motion picture were photographed with the facilities and personnel of the Infantry Center, Fort Benning, Georgia, particularly the Airborne Department of the Infantry School, assisted by the United States Air Force units stationed there. We are sincerely grateful to the United States Army and the Department of Defense for making this possible." Although reviews and publicity material list the character played by Mona Freeman as "Betty," she is called "Betsy" in the film.
       As noted in a February 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, producer Hal Wallis purchased a completed screenplay from Paramount, titled Ready, Willing and Four F, and used it as the basis for the Jumping Jacks story. The screenplay was written in 1943 by Fred Rinaldo, Robert Lees and Brian Marlow. Rinaldo and Lees received a screenplay credit on Jumping Jacks, while Marlow is credited as story writer. According to a December 1951 Los Angeles Times news item, Lt. Ellen de Beruff, a WAC stationed at Fort Benning, was selected to play a part in the film, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
       A June 1952 Daily Variety news item reported that Brig. Gen. Frank Dern, deputy chief of the Army's information office, had praised the comedy and predicted it would "contribute to troop morale within the Army." Despite the Army's endorsement, Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column condemned the picture because writers Lees, Rinaldo, Marlow and Richard Weil, who is credited onscreen with additional dialogue, were implicated as Communists during the Congressional hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). In Hollywood Reporter's "Open Forum" column on February 21, 1952, Lloyd Wright, Wallis' attorney, responded to the "Rambling Reporter" item by pointing out that, with the exception of Weil, all of the implicated writers, including the deceased Marlow, had worked on the 1943 screenplay and did not "benefit financially" from the sale of the script to Hal Wallis Productions. Wright also noted that HUAC had identified Weil merely as being one of 150 people attending a meeting with Communists. According to a July 1952 Hollywood Citizen-News article, the Wage Earners Committee planned to picket screenings of the film in Los Angeles in protest of its supposed Communist connections, but were prohibited from doing so after a judge ruled that such picketing constituted an "illegal secondary boycott."