Tanks A Million

2791. TANKS A MILLION (1941-usA). With WILLIAM TRACY, JAMES GLEASON, NOAH BERRY, JR., JOE SAWYER, ELYSE KNOX, DOUGLAS FOWLEY, FRANK FAYLEN. Young Dodo Doubleday is an information clerk in a railway station. Dodo actually knows about things. Plenty of things. “Oh, I just read books and remember everything I read,” he explains. Dodo can tell you anything you want to know about classical music or medieval England or the regulations of the United States Army. The latter will prove particularly useful to Dodo as he is about to enter the army. Unlike many draftees, Dodo actually is looking forward to his military service and he thinks it will be “a privilege to be a good soldier.” Only trouble is, as he begins spouting his knowledge of army rules his fellow draftees mark him as a show-off. Ames, his drill sergeant, regards him as a “half-baked clam who isn’t big enough to flavor a chowder.” The sarge had worked for years to earn his stripes and he sees Dodo as a know-it-all who is out to win promotion before being issued his first uniform. Guess what happens? That is almost exactly what Dodo does! Guess whose platoon Dodo gets to command? The one whose members are his fellow inductees! The laughs come loudly and frequently as these draftees are determined to resist Dodo’s every order while stubborn Sergeant Ames concocts scheme after scheme that is calculated to result in his being stripped of his stripes. This slapstick is among the very best of the small lot of “service comedies” which were made in Hollywood between the time in which American men became subjected to the military draft and the nation’s entry into World War II. A strange fact: despite the title, this film has nothing at all to do with tanks. Even stranger-this feature has not been edited, it was supposed to run 50 minutes! 50 minutes. Comedy