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  • Durante and Silvers would fit right in with the 3 Stooges with their unbearably bad but lovable antics as vacuum cleaner salesmen and later buck privates. But the fun picks up when they start dragging the Colonel's house through the town behind a tank in the middle of the night! And of course then they leave it perched halfway off a cliff overlooking a demolition test site.

    Also, Jane Wyman, the colonel's daughter, before she became a serious actress, was seriously gorgeous.
  • Jimmie & Phil worked terrific together. I wish it was on DVD or at least VHS. Very very funny movie and kids will enjoy it also. If you like watching the Marx Brothers movies, you'll love "You're in the Army Now" One of the funniest...clean humor...movies of all time.
  • Released on Christmas Day in 1941, You're In The Army Now is a marvelous opportunity to see a pair of comedic greats Jimmy Durante and Phil Silvers teaming up in an obvious attempt by Warner Brothers to cash in on the success Universal was having with Abbott&Costello in Buck Privates. Even some of the routines that Durante and Silvers use are straight from the A&C play-book.

    The subplot of the film involves stubborn old cavalry colonel Donald MacBride not wanting to convert to a mechanized army to the distress of daughter Jane Wyman and her fiancé Regis Toomey. That's the way it is with some military folks, slow to adapt to change.

    The Durante and Silvers styles clash and with good reason, try making Abbott&Costello work with two comics. Of the two of them, Silvers is strangely subdued for him. Nevertheless they do have some really funny bits and the climax involving MacBride's house is absolutely hysterical.

    Next to Edgar Kennedy no one had a better slow burn going in films than Donald MacBride. He had a marvelously expressive face and his reactions to Durante and Silvers are sometimes funnier than the two comedians themselves.

    You're In The Army Now is a curious piece of nostalgia with a once in a lifetime opportunity to see two comic legends together.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While putting these 2 comics together sounds good, it does not totally work. The problems of pairing Durante and Silvers is that there is really no straight man. That means a large cast of people for both of them to play off. The results are mixed here.

    For some reason, Durante is the Costello role here as he is doing all the physical comedy for the most part. Silvers seems to become more of the Abbott role here. Of course the 2 together are totally lost and the script only offers Luke warm help.

    The film seems to rely more on the physical comedy despite having a couple of good punch line people. There are a lot of cameos and a very long kiss between Jane Wyman and Regis Toomey to spice up the process. Being released shortly after Pearl Harbor, the 74 minutes is more of a recruiting tool for Warner Brothers who were looking for a duo like other studios had. No threat to Universal from this one despite the talent in the cast.
  • In the months before Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, millions of Americans were to enter the armed forces through enlistment or the draft. Hollywood did its part to reassure new servicemen and their families that life in the Army was not so bad when nitwits and misfits like Jimmy Durante and Phil Silvers could thrive in uniform.

    Pushing 50, Durante seemed a little old to be an Army recruit but his forever sunny disposition between trips to the guardhouse and lines like "I'm a victim of circumstances" makes it somewhat forgivable.

    I was amazed by the regimental commander who kept insisting that cavalry horses were more than a match for tanks even after the Nazi Panzers proved otherwise in France and Poland. How could someone this dense keep a combat command in 1941? Of course, Durante and Silvers prove the superiority of the tank to him, not by its firepower or mobility, but by the fact it can tow a house better than a team of horses.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director: LEWIS SEILER. Original screenplay: Paul Gerard, George Beatty. Photography: Arthur Todd. Film editor: Frank Magee. Music composed by Howard Jackson, directed by Leo F. Forbstein. Song, "I'm Glad My Number Was Called". Dance director: Matty King. Art director: Stanley Fleischer. Costumes: Milo Anderson. Make-up: Perc Westmore. Technical adviser: Captain Jack Vogelin. Special effects: Edwin DuPar, Willard Van Enger. Dialogue director: Hugh Cummings. Sound recording: Stanley Jones. Associate producer: Ben Stoloff. Copyright 27 December 1941 by Warner Bros Pictures, Inc. New York opening: 25 December 1941. U.S. release: 25 December 1941. Australian release: 9 July 1942. 7,133 feet. 79 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: "Outright but impoverished slapstick" (Parish), featuring a couple of fast-talking salesmen caught up in the peace-time army. VIEWERS' GUIDE: Okay for all.

    COMMENT: Fair comedy with musical overtones has only so-so script material but the cast, led by the charismatic Jimmy Durante, enthusiastic Phil Silvers and lovely Jane Wyman, play it strongly.

    Lewis Seiler has put it all together with a commendably firm hand. In fact, one sequence, in which Durante is forced to carry his clothes while drilling, is quite brilliantly directed and staged.

    The conclusion of the film is likewise clever, but – like this review - somewhat abrupt!
  • 1941 was an incredible year for army films. Suddenly with the peacetime draft, Hollywood decided to make a long string of comedies about army life--and they are too numerous to count. A few examples I can think of off the top of my head are Abbott & Costello in "Buck Privates", Bob Hope in "Caught in the Draft", William Tracy in "Tanks a Million" and even the almost elderly Laurel & Hardy in "Great Guns"--heck, EVERYONE seemed to be making army pictures in 1941! All of them were reasonably funny and watchable but, believe it or not, the low-budget "Tanks a Million" is probably my favorite--even though it is clearly the least familiar and lowest budget of the films I mentioned (and, by the way, there were MORE such films in '41!).

    Well, not wanting to be left out of the act, Warner Brothers decided to make one of these films--but they really didn't have a good headliner or comedy team for such a film. So they decided to try pairing two journeymen comedians, Phil Silvers and Jimmy Durante, and hope for positive results. Considering they didn't instantly become a comedy sensation or remain a team, you can assume it was not a rousing success.

    Like almost all the films above, the ANY army taking these over-age and extremely unqualified men into their ranks does strain credibility! While Silvers was only 30 (though he looked at least 45), Durante was 48--way past the age of serving--even in the armies of Liechtenstein or Costa Rica! And, being diminutive (a nice politically correct way of saying he was a shrimp), there is no way Durante could have served! But, if Oliver Hardy (who was about the same age and pushing 350 pounds) could make a film, I guess I can't fault the casting of Durante too much!

    The film begins with Durante and Silvers playing obnoxious vacuum cleaner salesmen. Eventually, to make a sale to a recruiting officer, they accidentally join the army (can anyone be THAT dumb?!). Most of the film consists of them going through basic training and making total nuisances of themselves! Along the way, they meet up with the obligatory girl (Jane Wyman) and the obligatory foil (actually, there are several--including Regis Toomey, Donald MacBride and Joe Sawyer). And, like most of these army films, there are quite a few completely out of place musical numbers--including an amazingly ridiculous one involving a prop plane. I don't know why Hollywood thought they needed to add songs to comedies and I am glad that cliché has died over the years! They just seem to bog down the film--though I must admit I liked some of Durante's numbers--as he sang so badly that they were clearly comedy!!

    Some highlights of the film was seeing Durante in drag (my gosh, he was so hideous that he made me laugh!) as well as Durante's banter. In fact, he clearly came off better than Silvers (who didn't have a lot to do by comparison) and this sort of film seemed to fit him--even if he was the most ridiculous soldier! In fact, while I truly HATED Durante in his ill-fated teaming with Buster Keaton in the early 30s, here he is a pretty funny guy. As a result, the film is very watchable and fun--though one of the lesser such films of '41. It is better than "Great Guns" (Laurel & Hardy were NOT up to their old standards in their later films) but not as funny as the other three films I already mentioned. Good...but not a must-see!

    By the way, I do have one question about this film. In the bizarre ending (that really did not work for me), you see Silvers and Durante as old men. How is it that as old men Silvers actually has a lot more hair than he did at age 30? Just a thought.