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Combat Fatigue Irritability Search the transcript
1945 / 35:07
United States Navy, Bureau of Aeronautics
Directed by and starring Gene Kelly
Sound, black-and-white.

Gene Kelly directs and stars in this wartime naval “training” film. Kelly plays the role of Seaman Bob Lucas, a troubled and angry “fireman” whose ship was sunk in battle. Many sailors died at sea, but Lucas lived through it and suffers from what now might be termed “post-traumatic stress disorder.” After lashing out at everyone around him, Lucas comes to understand his emotions, and moves from illness to wellness, with the help of a wise psychiatrist. Kelly considered his performance in Combat Fatigue Irritability one of his very best. But no filmography lists it. Apart from the combat-fatigued sailors for whom the film was made, few people have ever had the chance to see it. With this release it becomes accessible to Kelly’s devoted fans and a wider public.

Gene Kelly’s unknown wartime star turn
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