Singer Steve, friend Seymour and fiance Jane, along with her dizzy blonde room mate Irma, have a series of misadventures on a California-bound train and end up involved with a gang of murderous gangsters in Las Vegas.
Sidney Pythias is a bumbling janitor picked up by cop Mike Damon as a teenage gang member worth saving from delinquency. With Damon's help, Sidney works his way through the Police Academy to become a cop too.
A bunch of comedic misadventures surround an army training camp office.
One of the best of M & L. One reason is a clever script adapted from a stage play. That means better than usual comedic lines, and also that Lewis's mugging isn't the only funny element. Unlike his later films, Lewis complements the laughs here instead of monopolizing them. Also, Martin gets to warble a few tunes in his smooth baritone. I especially like the record-booth duet with Polly Bergen that's really quite charming. And I wonder what happened to the quite talented Jean Ruth as the befuddled Millie who can't seem to decide where she works or whom she's dating. Ruth shows a lot of comedic spark in the role, but appears to have left the industry soon after. Too bad.
Not everything is roses. Being an ex-stage play means the story is pretty much confined to a single set with characters rushing in and out. Keeping up with the diverse lot may require a scorecard. Of course, there's nothing new about the comedic potential of misfits in the military, and this one was followed by several more M&L entries in a similar vein. Anyway, the act here in their first film is still, fresh, energetic and funny.
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