Hail, Hero! (1969)

Hail, Hero! (1969)

“Long hair on boys is one of the things wrong with this country, if you ask me.”

When a college dropout (Michael Douglas) returns home to share he’s enlisted in the army, his kind mother (Teresa Wright) is glad to see him, but his no-nonsense father (Arthur Kennedy) remains convinced that Douglas’s disabled brother (Peter Strauss) is the only brave child in the family.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Arthur Kennedy Films
  • Counterculture
  • Generation Gap
  • Michael Douglas Films
  • Teresa Wright Films

Michael Douglas made his cinematic debut in this low-key film about an artistic young man clashing with his ultra-patriotic father, who is fond of reminiscing about the “good old days” of his service in World War II.

There’s not much to this simple story other than Douglas interacting with various people in his hometown, including a couple of girls he meets while swimming out at the lake:

…. and a pot-smoking old woman (Amy Stuart) who for some reason gifts Douglas with a creepy mummified baby.

Wright doesn’t have much to do except look and act like the reasonable parent in the family (albeit with a secret of her own):

… and Virginia Christie (in her final role) comes and goes quickly as the wife of a senator.

Douglas does bring some needed energy to the film, but his enthusiasm is not enough to save this one from obscurity.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Michael Douglas as Carl

Must See?
No, unless you’re curious. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Hail, Hero! (1969)

  1. First viewing. Skip it.

    Appropriately forgotten family drama; awkwardly written and, at under 90 minutes, seemingly interminable.

    Douglas’ character has an annoying habit of talking out loud when no one’s around. Who does this?!

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