Keep Your Powder Dry (1945)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - War Drama  |   Release Date - Apr 1, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Similar in kind to any number of World War II "training" movies, but with the genders reversed, Keep Your Powder Dry is an undistinguished and fairly predictable tale of three WACs and how they overcame their personal differences to become friends and allies. There's nothing in the basic story that hasn't been seen before -- and to generally better effect. Most of the "changes" come from the switched genders, with audiences laughing at how "amusing" women can be, a viewpoint that many modern audiences may find a bit offensive. Otherwise, the standard issue screenplay sets up predictable situations and provides predictable solutions; technically, it works and even though it's manipulative, it still brings a tear or two near the end, but it's not particularly good writing. Edward N. Buzzell's direction is adequate to the job. He keeps things moving at a decent pace and makes sure the leading players have their "money" moments, but he doesn't bring any real flair to his work. Fortunately, the stars of the picture provide some pizzazz. Lana Turner is in real fighting trim and well cast as the self-centered socialite. Laraine Day gets to play against type as the coldly efficient Army brat, and does very well. And Susan Peters is quite good as the self-sacrificing one who holds the trio together. Throw in the always welcome Agnes Moorehead and an amusing Natalie Schafer and you have a cast that does quite well with routine material.