This Is The Army

David Culbert on a cinematic blend of propaganda and entertainment that proved remarkably successful with US audiences during the Second World War.

Between 1940 and 1945, the most-watched, most-profitable movie to come out of Hollywood was Warner Brothers’ This Is the Army. Based on – and taking as its subject – a wartime stage show, Irving Berlin’s musical extravaganza, set within a slender romantic narrative, included a cast of hundreds of soldiers released from front-line duty.



There is something so peculiarly and indigenously American about Mr Berlin’s fabulous hit that no other country could ever create a show quite like it. . . . Being a democracy’s sort of show, it likes to kid the Army.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email if you have any problems.