Mr. Winkle Goes to War Film Details
Overview: Wilbert Winkle, a henpecked, mild-mannered, middle-aged bank clerk and handyman, finds himself in the midst of battle in the South Pacific.
Tagline: Mr. Winkle goes to war… and your heart goes with him!
Review: Feeling under-appreciated at work and at home, mild-mannered Mr. Winkle (Edward G. Robinson) quits his job out of the blue and informs his domineering wife (Ruth Warrick) that he’s going into business as “Mr. Fix-It” with the young Ted Donaldson, a pre-teen from the neighborhood who looks up to Robinson with great awe. All of a sudden, through an obvious government error, Robinson is sent a draft notice, and when he appears, much to his chagrin, he’s actually chosen for active duty while other young bucks are sent home, deemed unfit for military service. Wife Warrick has already put him in the doghouse for the unsightly fix-it shop and when he doesn’t come home, she’s fit to be tied even more, while young Donaldson is stricken with grief. Robinson’s basic training is pretty predictable as he sees the difference between himself and the other recruits, but his main goal is to get a job where his talents can truly be utilized. Of course, his banking background gets him a job doing typical bookkeeping, and of course, that’s the last thing he wants to do. An amusing sequence has him confronting, rather reluctantly but persistently, his sergeant at a dance, of his desire for another position, and this gives the impression that he’s looking for a fight. Another amusing moment has Robinson being chosen to approach a group of young women at a table where he asks them out. He proves he’s not as wimpy as they think he is, and in fact, it’s obvious that the young women think he’s charming and cute, if not a romantic match. This being World War II, you can’t go through all this and not have some message to express, and while this is as far from Frank Capra land as you can get, Robinson ends up a surprising hero which brings people around who previously had ignored his presence. In fact, when his boss in the very first scene hears Robinson tell him that he’s quitting, he basically tells Eddie to go back to work and stop wasting his time. It’s nice to see Robinson in a role far from his gangster image. He’s closer here to his milquetoast clerk character in “The Whole Town’s Talking” as he takes on a different persona when his meddle is tested. Warrick, a middle-class version here of her “All My Children” matron, is very pretty, but film never served her well, making her appear to be older than she was. Donaldson is Robinson’s reminder of why he is going off to war, that the future must be fought for if there is to be a future and if there are going to be future generations. That message, and Warrick’s realization that she needs to appreciate her husband more than she has, makes this light-hearted comedy well worth seeing.
Duration: 80 min
Genre: Comedy, War
Also known as: Arms and the Woman,Su mayor anhelo,Monsieur Winkle s’en va-t-en guerre,Afaneis iroes,Mister Winkle va alla guerra,A Sua Grande Ambição,Eldprovet,Mr. Winkle Goes to War,Mr. Winkle Vai para a Guerra,Aghaye Winkle be Jang Miravad