Caught in the Draft (1941)

Caught in the Draft (1941)

“Of course I’m not a coward. I’m just allergic to bullets!”

A cowardly actor (Bob Hope) afraid of loud noises does everything he can to avoid enlisting in the army, including wooing the beautiful daughter (Dorothy Lamour) of a crusty colonel (Clarence Kolb) — but he nonetheless soon finds himself in basic training with his buddies (Eddie Bracken and Lynne Overman).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Actors and Actresses
  • Bob Hope Films
  • Cowardice
  • Dorothy Lamour Films
  • Military
  • Romantic Comedy
  • World War II

This box office hit was squarely designed to capitalize both on the success of the Road To… series (Hope’s character at one point says, “She looks like Dorothy Lamour, with clothes on.”) and current-day angst over involuntary enlistment during the earliest stages of American engagement with World War II.

It was quite well received — Bosley Crowther wrote a glowing review for the New York Times, referring to it as “a lively slapstick farce in which the gags are beautifully abundant” — but it hasn’t aged all that well. Hope’s cowardly character quickly (instantly, actually) grates on one’s nerves, and his treatment of Lamour is so utilitarian from the get-go that we have a hard time rooting either for him or for them as a couple. You can skip this one unless you’re a diehard fan of Hope or Lamour.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
Not much, unless this is your cup of tea.

Must See?
No; feel free to skip this one.


One thought on “Caught in the Draft (1941)

  1. First and last viewing.

    Now-forgotten ‘comedy’; dull, dated (this was really thought to be funny?, even then?; more evidence that Crowther was a terrible film critic). Almost painful to watch.

    Skip it.

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