Wendy Barrie and Marion Hargrove
Robert Walker on the set with author Marion Hargrove (right)
Marion Hargrove discusses the story with Natalie Wood
Marion Hargrove (middle)
(Private Hargrove, who had entered the army before WWII, a...)
Private Hargrove, who had entered the army before WWII, and saw first hand the conditions of the common soldier as we entered that conflict. As a ne'er do well who refused to toe the Army line, Hargrove recounts some hilarious events that occurred during his enlistment.
Always a pretty contrary person, Marion Hargrove was unable to graduate from high school after refusing to take a test in geometry.
Marion Hargrove began his career as a journalist while still in high school, working part-time for the Charlotte News. Then Charlotte News hired him to work as a feature editor and columnist.
Marion Hargrove was drafted into the United States Army in 1941, and it was there that his unwillingness to be the perfect soldier ran him into some trouble with his sergeants. It later became material for his books. In between stints on Kitchen Police that he was assigned as punishment, Hargrove managed to write humorous articles about his life at Fort Bragg and submitted them to his old newspaper.
Then Marion Hargrove met writer Maxwell Anderson, who was at the army post researching a play and showed him his articles. Anderson liked them and helped the young army private submit them to a publisher. They were published in 1942 as See Here, Private Hargrove, a collection that combines humor with patriotism and which was perfect for American audiences worried about the war. It became an instant bestseller, selling over two million copies, earned the blessing of the War Department, and made Hargrove famous. The Army then assigned him to write for Yank in New York City, where he remained until 1945, while also publishing the sequel to his first book, What Next, Corporal Hargrove? Both books were adapted as movies produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Robert Walker.
After leaving the army as a sergeant in 1945, Marion Hargrove started on the lecture circuit and continued his career as a writer. He wrote scripts for the television series Maverick during the 1950s, writing the movie adaptation of the musical The Music Man, contributing to the periodical Argosy, and writing two novels: Something's Got to Give and The Girl He Left Behind, the latter of which was also adapted to the silver screen. Later on in his career, Hargrove wrote scripts for the popular television series I Spy and The Waltons. He also wrote for various magazines and served as an editor of Argosy.
Marion Hargrove maintained positions such as the need to reform the military court-martial system and to improve living conditions for enlisted men. Because of these stands, he was sometimes attacked by critics who labeled him a communist, an accusation he always vehemently denied.
Quotations: ''Watch your attitude, do your work, respect your superiors, try to get along with your fellow soldiers, keep yourself and your equipment clean at all times, and behave yourself. Do these and you won't have any trouble with the Army.''
Marion Hargrove's first wife was Alison Pfeiffer. They had three children, Christopher, Stephen, and Penelope. Then Hargrove married Robin Hargrove. They had three children, too, James, Edward, and Martha.