blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Soldiers in White (1942, B. Reeves Eason)

Everett Dodd’s editing makes Soldiers in White painful to watch. Some of the fault is director Eason’s, of course. His insert close-ups are awful. Given Soldiers is half comedy and half Army propaganda film (the titular soldiers are Army doctors), it’s hard to believe Eason was worried about running short and felt the need for more footage.

The narrative concerns William T. Orr as a whiny little intern who gets drafted. He harasses nurse Eleanor Parker and, once he’s wounded, is inspired by fatherly John Litel to knock off the wiseacre stuff and be an army doctor. Orr’s real bad. I kept hoping the moral of the story was he’d get run over.

Parker manages to make Owen Crump’s lame script seem good. Litel, who isn’t bad, can’t manage that feat.

Eason’s direction is weak.

The short’s tepid, of note only for Parker and Wilfred M. Cline’s Technicolor photography.

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