Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!

Screening on Film
Directed by Leo McCarey.
With Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Joan Collins.
US, 1958, 35mm, color, 106 min.

For his penultimate film, McCarey made a late-Hollywood "war of the sexes" comedy into a subversive look at the American dream and its discontents. Businessman Harry Bannerman (Newman) feels ignored when his wife (Woodward) starts pouring her energies into suburban activism. While she joins the campaign against plans to make the neighborhood dump into a missile silo, Harry becomes tempted by the attention of a bored housewife (Collins). The film climaxes with a crazed Thanksgiving parade that does for the narrative of American triumphalism what the climax of Duck Soup does for the myth of military heroics.

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