So Proudly We Hail!
Paramount's So Proudly We Hail, like MGM's Cry Havoc, is a tribute to the Red Cross nurses trapped behind enemy lines in the early days of the Pacific war. Claudette Colbert is the self-sacrificing head nurse, struggling to minister to the wounded and to keep her staff (including Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake and Barbara Britton, all of them giving better than usual performances) from buckling under the pressure. Taking into consideration the regular fans of the film's female cast, the producers thoughtfully include several scenes in which the ladies pursue their romantic lives. The story culminates with the fall of Bataan, ending on a resigned but optimistic note; this finale was designed to lift the spirits of the audience, which in 1943 wasn't so certain as Hollywood of final victory. So Proudly We Hail was not only effective propaganda (though not as effective as Cry Havoc), but it also enabled Paramount to introduce its new crop of male hunks--including the estimable Sonny Tufts.