A Medal for Benny
Lobby card
Directed byIrving Pichel
Screenplay byFrank Butler
Story byJohn Steinbeck
Frank Butler
StarringDorothy Lamour
Arturo de Córdova
J. Carrol Naish
CinematographyLionel Lindon
Edited byArthur P. Schmidt
Music byVictor Young
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • April 16, 1945 (1945-04-16) (United States)
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States

A Medal for Benny is a 1945 American drama film directed by Irving Pichel. The story was conceived by writer Jack Wagner, who enlisted his long-time friend John Steinbeck to help him put it into script form. The film was released by Paramount Pictures. The film is also known as Benny's Medal.


Benny Martin leaves his small town of Pantera and joins the Army after getting in trouble with the police. While he is away, his girlfriend (Lolita) is romanced by Joe. Although she has not heard from Benny in months, she refuses Joe’s advances, wanting to stay loyal to Benny. She eventually falls for Joe and agrees to marry him but then finds out that Benny was killed in action and has been awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Meanwhile, the Pantera mayor plans a rally for the medal presentation to Benny’s father and intends to use a beautiful house for the event so as not to embarrass the town by having the medal presented at the modest Martin residence. However, Benny’s father Charley, refuses to go along with the ruse and instead the medal ceremony takes place at his home. In his speech, Charley says that Benny will live on in his and Lolita's hearts. Lolita then tells Joe that she cannot marry him yet, because it might break Charley's heart.[1]






  1. ^ "A Medal for Benny". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  2. ^ "The 18th Academy Awards (1946) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 11 June 2019.