A Medal for Benny (1945)

Approved   |    |  Drama


A Medal for Benny (1945) Poster

Outcast Benny Martin joined the army to escape public scorn. But when the townspeople learn that he is to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, they pretend that he and his family are cherished, eminent citizens.


6.4/10
127

Photos

  • Arturo de Córdova and Dorothy Lamour in A Medal for Benny (1945)
  • Arturo de Córdova in A Medal for Benny (1945)
  • Fernando Alvarado in A Medal for Benny (1945)
  • Arturo de Córdova in A Medal for Benny (1945)
  • Fernando Alvarado, Arturo de Córdova, Dorothy Lamour, and J. Carrol Naish in A Medal for Benny (1945)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


20 May 2012 | drednm
8
| Dorothy Lamour and J. Carrol Naish Shine
Another Monterey Peninsula story from John Steinbeck (along with "Tortilla Flat" and "Cannery Row") to make it to the big screen. This WW II story is about the "Paisanos" (defined as ancestors of Indians and Spanish settlers) in a slum section of a small fishing village on Santa Cruz Bay. Their simple lives are changed when news spreads that one of their own, Benny Martin, has become a war hero.

Benny's girl friend (Dorothy Lamour) is being romanced by the town ne'er do well (Arturo de Cordova) who keeps coming up with get-rich-quick schemes. Benny's father (J. Carrol Naish in an Oscar-nominated performance) is a simple man who is bewildered by the world at large.

When news hist that Benny is being awarded a presidential medal, the "white fathers" decided to use the news as a publicity gimmick (shades of Peston Sturges) to put the town on the map. In a frenzy of activity, the town leaders coerce the father to leave his shack and move into a big new house. They also start a PR campaign to paint Benny and his family as a proud Spanish family with money. The hypocrisy of the town leaders is quite well done, especially after the father realizes the lie and moves back to his shack.

When an Army general shows up to award the posthumous medal, the town leaders are shocked when he decides to go to the father and take his entourage with him. The big military parade, shown against the shacks, is very powerful as is the father's final speech about his son.

Naish steals the show as the humble father, but Lamour is also excellent as the fiery Lolita, who has a sharp eye for the truth. De Cordova is OK. Others in the fine cast include Charles Dingle as the bank manager, Frank McHugh as the PR man, Douglas Dumbrille as the general, Grant Mitchell as the mayor, Mikhail Rasumny as Raphael, and Rosita Moreno as the trouble-making Toodles.

This is a terrific film filled with irony and bitterness and sadness about the world of war and those who are left behind.

Critic Reviews


More Like This

Come Fill the Cup

Come Fill the Cup

Private Worlds

Private Worlds

Country

Country

My Foolish Heart

My Foolish Heart

The Dark Angel

The Dark Angel

Pete 'n' Tillie

Pete 'n' Tillie

The Moon Is Down

The Moon Is Down

Tortilla Flat

Tortilla Flat

The Pearl

The Pearl

The Pearl

The Pearl

Objective, Burma!

Objective, Burma!

The Valley of Decision

The Valley of Decision

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama

Featured on IMDb

See what IMDb editors are watching this month, and visit our guides to what's on TV and streaming, video games, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com