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Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!

Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!(1959)


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The film's title card reads, "Leo McCarey's Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys." The picture begins with the following voice-over narration: "This is the village of Putnam Landing. Located some fifty miles North of New York City on Long Island Sound, rich in history and tradition, Putnam's Landing was founded in 1628 by one Samuel Putnam. There is very little to be said about Samuel Putnam, as the day he landed he was scalped. It was the last really interesting thing that happened in Putnam's Landing for more than three hundred years. This is the crack commuting train. The 5:29 from Grand Central makes its run in an hour and ten minutes. These are the happy commuters. In the last five years, these contented country dwellers have made 1,250 round trips. That means they have each wasted a total of 2,920 and 2/3 man hours aboard this train." The narration is spoken over a montage of images of Putnam's Landing, ending with the bored faces of the men on the communter train as they congregate in the raucous bar car. Although the Variety review lists Gale Gordon's character as "Col. Thorwald," he is called "General" in the film.
       Hollywood Reporter news items yield the following information about the film: Jack Carson replaced Paul Douglas as "Capt. Hoxie" after Douglas fell ill, according to a July 1958 item. A July 1957 item stated that Max Shulman was preparing a screen treatment based on his novel. A March 1958 item notes that the studio was negotiating with Richard Widmark for a top comedy role in the picture, and a June 1958 item states that Mickey Shaughnessey was set for a featured role. Schaughnessy does not appear in the released film, however, A Daily Variety news item adds that in March 1958, Buddy Adler was set to produce the film and was considering Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr and William Holden to star.
       Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward married prior to the production of this picture. Although the film shows "Hoxie" and "Leo" being shot into space, in reality, the first chimp flight into space took place in January 1961. On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard piloted the first manned space flight. Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! marked the screen debut of Jack Ging.