Keep Your Powder Dry (1945): MGM’s Femme-Driven WWII Drama, starring Lana Turner, Susan Peters, Laraine Day

Edward Buzzell directed Keep Your Powder Dry, a femme-driven WWII drama, starring Lana Turner, Susan Peters, and Laraine Day.

The screenplay, written by George Bruce and Mary C. McCall, Jr., follows three women who join the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.

Filmed in Florida and Iowa in late 1944, Keep Your Powder Dry premiered in Washington, D.C. on March 6, 1945.

A commercial hit for its studio, MGM, the movie earned $2.7 million against its $1.3 million budget, solidifying Turner’s status as a bankable star.

Socialite Valerie “Val” Parks is informed that she is not eligible to claim her trust fund until she can demonstrate responsibility. In response, she decides to join the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) to show she is a mature young woman.

En route to the training camp in Des Moines, Iowa, she meets Ann Darrison, a housewife who chose to enlist in the WAC after her husband is deployed overseas; and Leigh Rand, the daughter of a military family. Val and Leigh, assigned to the same barracks, immediately clash, with Leigh acting bossily toward the servile Val.


TCM showed the movie on February 8, 2021, on what would have been Lana Turner’s 100th birthday.