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Up in Arms (RKO 1944, Danny Kaye, Dana Andrews)



Nightclub performer Danny Kaye became a star with this, his first feature film. Based on the Eddie Cantor vehicle Whoopee! (1930), the story follows hypochondriac elevator operator Kaye as he’s drafted into the Army during WWII. When Kaye tells girlfriend Dowling that he and pal Dana Andrews are shipping out, she and pal Shore, who really loves Kaye, tag along all the way to an Army base in the Pacific. Kaye lets loose with his multiple skills of mimicry, double-talk, and light song and dance – especially in a Max Sennett-esque finale with invading Japanese soldiers. Songs by both Harold Arlen and Kaye’s future wife, Sylvia Fine.

The Nervous Wreck, the Owen Davis play on which Up in Arms was based, has been adapted several times, including the 1930 Eddie Cantor vehicle Whoopee! and a 1926 version starring Harrison Ford (not THE Harrison Ford).

Academy Award Nominations: Best Song (‘Now I Know’); Best Score.

production details
USA | RKO | 105 minutes | 1944

Director: Elliott Nugent
Producer: Don Hartman
Cinematography: Ray Rennahan
Editor: Daniel Mandell
Music: Ray Heindorf
Script: Allen Boretz, Don Hartman, Robert Pirosh
Production Design: McClure Capps
Art Direction: Stewart Chaney, Perry Ferguson

Danny Kaye as Danny Weems
Dana Andrews as Joe Nelson
Dinah Shore as Virginia Merrill
Constance Dowling as Mary Morgan
Louis Calhern as Colonel Ashley
George Mathews as Blackie
Lyle Talbot as Sgt. Gelsey
Margaret Dumont as Mrs. Willoughby
Charles Arnt as Mr. Higginbotham
Harry Hayden as Dr. Weavermacher
Elisha Cook Jr. as Info Jones
William B. Davidson as Maxwell
Tom Dugan as Pitchman
George Meeker as Meeker, Ashley’s Aide
Benny Baker as Butterball
Knox Manning as Narration (voice)
Walter Catlett as Major Brock
Charles Halton as Dr. Roger B. Freyheisen
Sig Arno as Waiter
Virginia Mayo as Nurse Joanna
Maude Eburne as Woman on Cable Car
Oliver Blake as Draft Board Official
John Hamilton as Man In Theatre Lobby
Linda Christian as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
Myrna Dell as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
Lorraine Miller as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)