Mr. Winkle Goes to War

Mr. Winkle Goes to War is a 1944 war comedy film starring Edward G. Robinson and Ruth Warrick, based on a novel by Theodore Pratt.

Mr. Winkle Goes to War
Directed byAlfred E. Green
Produced byJack Moss
Written byGeorge Corey
Waldo Salt
Louis Solomon
Based onMr. Winkle Goes to War
1943 novel
by Theodore Pratt
StarringEdward G. Robinson
Ruth Warrick
Music byCarmen Dragon
Paul Sawtell
CinematographyJoseph Walker
Edited byRichard Fantl
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
July 19, 1944 (1944-07-19)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States


On June 1, 1942, after fourteen years, mild-mannered 44-year-old Wilbert G. Winkle (Edward G. Robinson) quits his boring bank job to follow his dream, to open a repair shop. Everyone is shocked, particularly his status-conscious wife Amy (Ruth Warrick), who demands he choose between her and his new career. The only exception is Barry (Ted Donaldson), a young orphan Mr. Winkle has befriended.

However, before the situation with Amy can be resolved, Winkle is drafted into the army. He becomes friends with another older recruit, Joe Tinker (Robert Armstrong), who is looking for revenge for his younger brother. Winkle is reassigned to help the supply sergeant keep the books, as he did in civilian life, but he rebels and, with persistence and quiet determination, becomes a mechanic, something that gives him great satisfaction. To the surprise of his sergeant (Richard Lane), he makes it through basic training. A new regulation allows older men to get honorably discharged, but Winkle refuses to quit.

When Winkle's furlough at the end of training is canceled, Barry runs away to try to see him. Amy and the head of the orphanage, Mr. McDavid (Art Smith), find him hitchhiking and bring him back. On the way, Amy learns from Barry that there is more to her husband than she thought, causing her to reconsider.

Winkle and his unit are shipped out to the fighting in the Pacific. He and Tinker are sent to repair a bulldozer. Then, the Japanese attack his unit. While Winkle fixes the bulldozer, Tinker looks for revenge. After shooting an enemy soldier, Tinker starts celebrating, only to be killed himself. Winkle uses the bulldozer to knock out a machine gun nest. He is discharged and sent home to recuperate from his wounds. The war hero returns to an enthusiastic welcome from his entire hometown and in particular from Amy and Barry, who show him a new shortcut they have made together to his repair shop.


Robert Mitchum and Hugh Beaumont have uncredited roles.

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