DirectorLeo McCarey Music directorCyril J. Mockridge Duration CountryUnited States
WriterMax Shulman, Claude Binyon Release dateDecember 23, 1958 (1958-12-23) CastPaul Newman (Harry Bannerman), Joanne Woodward (Grace Oglethorpe Bannerman), Joan Collins (Angela Hoffa), Jack Carson (Capt. Hoxie), Dwayne Hickman (Grady Metcalf, Comfort's suitor), Tuesday Weld (Comfort Goodpasture) Similar moviesSaving Private Ryan, Akira, Starship Troopers, Dawn of the Dead, Werckmeister Harmonies, Restrepo
Tagline20th Century-Fox hilariously declares a national laugh holiday, as the cast of the year brings the #1 fun best-seller howlingly alive!
Rally round the flag boys
Rally Round the Flag, Boys! is a 1958 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Max Shulman, directed by Leo McCarey, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and released by 20th Century Fox. The title comes from a line in the song "Battle Cry of Freedom".
In the fictional town of Putnam's Landing, Harry Bannerman (Paul Newman) is slowly going insane because his wife Grace (Joanne Woodward) insists on attending every civic committee meeting. When the government selects their town for their new missile base, Grace joins a committee to stop it. Harry is made the liaison for the military, and Grace's activities cause him no end of trouble. Added to the dilemma is Angela Hoffa (Joan Collins), whose efforts to get Harry for herself lead to dizzying recriminations and misunderstandings.
Paul Newman as Harry Bannerman
Joanne Woodward as Grace Bannerman
Joan Collins as Angela Hoffa
Murvyn Vye as Oscar Hoffa
Jack Carson as Captain Hoxie
Tuesday Weld as Comfort Goodpasture
Dwayne Hickman as Grady Metcalf, Comfort's suitor
Gale Gordon as General Thorwald
Tom Gilson as Corporal Opie
O.Z. Whitehead as Isaac Goodpasture, Comfort's Father
Stanley Livingston as Peter Bannerman
Percy Helton as Waldo Pike, the Plumber
David Hedison as Narrator (voice only)
Production on Rally Round the Flag, Boys! started in mid-June 1958 and ended in mid-August. The role of Captain Hoxie was originally going to be portrayed by Paul Douglas, but was taken over by Jack Carson after Douglas ended up being ill, according to a July 1958 The Hollywood Reporter news item.
The part of Angela was originally intended for blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield, but after intense lobbying from Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward, she was replaced with Joan Collins (who had co-starred with Mansfield in The Wayward Bus).
A March 1958 item noted that actor Mickey Shaughnessy was set for a featured role; however, he did not appear in the film. A Daily Variety news item reported that in March 1958, Buddy Adler was set to produce the movie, and was considering the film to star Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr and William Holden.
Release and reception
Rally Round the Flag, Boys! premiered in New York City theatres on December 23, 1958. It was released nationwide in February 1959.
The film currently holds a 25% "Rotten" rating at RottenTomatoes.com.
Rally Round the Flag, Boys! was nominated for the Golden Laurel Awards held on September 23, 1959 and received 4th place for both Top Comedy Female Performance (Joanne Woodward) and Top Comedy. Director Leo McCarey was later nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award in 1960 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for Rally Round the Flag, Boys!.