Hollywood can be especially obnoxious when it becomes proud of itself, and in "Follow The Boys" it has fairly oozed self-congratulation. The effect is disgusting and the audience restlessly tends to walk out of the theatre after half an hour or so.
If one were given a moment to forget that this represents Hollywood's opinion of Hollywood, the show might become enjoyable. W. C. Fields puts on a terrific act, Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich do a good job in their short act, and Vera Zorina is a lovely lady. But the dialogue can hardly be heard over the steady percussions of the Los Angeles back-slapping machine.
There is, of course, a plot. The plot represents a woman who is all bet up on having a baby and a man who is palpitating to bring Holywood entertainment to OUR BOYS. The man (George Raft) gets killed and the woman (Miss Zorina) forgets about the brat and becomes a camp-to-camp crusader for the higher life (as portrayed by Mr. Fields).
We cannot conceive of any reason for the attitude this picture has taken. The movie industry as a whole has been a burden on the war effort. It has failed to turn out good propaganda, for one thing, and to round out a picture of inefficiency, its escapist fare has been extraordinarily bad. When one looks around at the Russian, German, and British film industries, laboring under worse handicaps and turning out consistently more effective stuff than the "great" American movie magnates, one wonders where Hollywood gets the gall to bare a back tattooed "Pat Here" to the American pubic.