Rally ’Round the Flag, Boys! 1958. USA. Directed by Leo McCarey. Screenplay by McCarey, Claude Binyon. With Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward. 106 min.
Ten years after Good Sam, McCarey returned to comedy in this spoof of modern society, sexual politics, and communist paranoia, based on a best-selling novel by Max Schulman. McCarey’s sly political parable—the U.S. Army buys a garbage dump in a commuter suburb, planning to turn it into a missile base—is still mysteriously underrated, perhaps because of the misleading presence of dramatic stars Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who prove to be expert farceurs under McCarey’s guidance.