GenreComedy, Music Story byFrank Ryan CountryUnited States
William Hamilton Release dateFebruary 13, 1942 (1942-02-13) (U.S.)
January 25, 1942 (1942-01-25) (Premiere-New York City) WriterFrank Ryan (original screenplay) DirectorsWilliam Hamilton, Frank Ryan CastVictor McLaglen (Sgt. Jimmy McGinnis), Edmund Lowe (Harry Curtis), Binnie Barnes (Violet 'Vi' Hall), Paul Kelly (Jim Blake), Robert Smith (Billy Harrison), Dorothy Lovett (Mary) Similar moviesSouth Sea Woman, Miss Sadie Thompson, Salute to the Marines, The Cock-Eyed World, What Price Glory, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
TaglineROMANCE AND REVELRY...FROM TAPS TO REVEILLE...who rejoin the Marines to impress the cuties and get all snarled up in a spy scare
Call out the marines
Call Out the Marines is a 1942 military comedy released by RKO in February 1942. It stars Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe playing the same characters with different names that they played in What Price Glory? and several sequels; however the original film trailer mentions What Price Glory? and The Cock-Eyed World. The film features extensive stock footage from RKO's Soldiers of the Sea that in some cases appear on process screens that the actors stand in front of.
Ex-Marines Jimmy McGinnis (Victor McLaglen) and Harry Curtis (Edmund Lowe), who haven't seen each other for fifteen years, meet at a racetrack. They both immediately drop their jobs as an attendant and cleaner to rekindle their friendship and brawl over which one will have Violet (Binnie Barnes) for their girl. When visiting a clip joint called the Shoreleave Cafe with Violet, they meet the owner, Jim Blake (Paul Kelly). Blake was their former captain; he left the Corps under a cloud when he was blamed for a security breach. Blake is involved in espionage, arranging to buy the plans for a new amphibious vehicle.
Jimmy and Harry are called back to active service as gunnery sergeants with the 6th Marines where they crash the spy ring. The fast-paced comedy uses the spy plot as merely an excuse for five musical numbers by Harry Revel and a variety of comedy sequences, such as barroom brawls over thrown garters, spies and policemen with speech impediments, and jeep, motorcycle and car chases.
Victor McLaglen as Jimmy McGinnis
Edmund Lowe as Harry Curtis
Binnie Barnes as Violet 'Vi' Hall
Paul Kelly as Jim Blake
Robert Smith as PFC Billy Harrison
Dorothy Lovett as Mary
Franklin Pangborn as Wilbur the Waiter
Corinna Mura as Zana Zaranda
George Cleveland as Bartender
The King's Men as Quartet
Six Hits and a Miss as Singing Group
With the introduction of conscription in the United States and World War II in the news, the majority of American minor and major film studios made comedies about military service. RKO's Call Out the Marines had a troubled production history with different stars and technicians announced in trade papers of the time for the film. The United States Marine Corps, which had initially cooperated with the producers, was outraged over the completed film in December 1941 and ordered the film shelved as "bad for morale". However it was released after America entered the war.