College students Andy Shaeffer and Susan Daniels are pinned. While Susan works hard to put herself through college, Andy sponges off his parents, his mother, Madeline Shaeffer, who in ...
See full summary »
Cash McCall is a young and slick business man who buys failing businesses and resells them. Grant Austen's Plastics is even more of a prize to Cash, for Cash is also making a bid for ... See full summary »
While working as a counselor at a summer camp, college-student Marjorie Morgenstern falls for 32-year-old Noel Airman, a would-be dramatist working at a nearby summer theater. Like Marjorie... See full summary »
The minister of the town has died and his son Chad has no tears for him. Sarah, who now calls herself Salome, is pregnant with Chad's baby, but Chad has no future, no job and no money. ... See full summary »
Circa 1900, runaway boy Nugget arrives in an Oklahoma boom town to find his brother...who's a dealer in the casino section of a palatial bawdy house, and lover of the madam, Tacey Cromwell.... See full summary »
College students Andy Shaeffer and Susan Daniels are pinned. While Susan works hard to put herself through college, Andy sponges off his parents, his mother, Madeline Shaeffer, who in particular will give him whatever he wants. In other words, Andy is a mama's boy, which he doesn't really realize. Andy and Susan have used the word love to describe their relationship, but Susan isn't sure if that's what they are really feeling for each other or if it is solely a loveless passion. And if it is love, she isn't sure their relationship can survive without Andy taking some ownership of his life. The near end of their relationship, initiated by Susan, leads to Andy starting to flunk out of college, which in turn makes Andy a prime candidate to be drafted. During basic training at Camp Ord, California, Andy makes it clear to his superiors and his fellow privates that he doesn't want to be there and will do only what is requested of him without any extra effort. His superiors and fellow ... Written by
Filmmakers dedicated the film to the Fifth Infantry Division and the servicemen stationed at Fort Ord in California. Portions of the film had been shot at the fort and Marion Hargrove had visited it while researching his novel. See more »
Sgt Stormcloud (Victor Millan) is wearing the emblem of the 3rd Infantry Division on his right shoulder. See more »
The army never believes in beginning a new day in the sunlight if he can do it at dark.
See more »
Spoiled rich kid (Hunter) is drafted into the army where he creates problems.
For about a ten-year period from the smash-hit Mr. Roberts (1955) to the deepening involvement in Vietnam, Hollywood produced a spate of service comedies, including this one. These were movies trading on the lighter side of military service. They existed in what might be called the triumphant after-glow of WWII, and perhaps as a way of further forgetting that awkward war in Korea. Of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, liberties with real military service were taken, sometimes in wholesale lots. Nonetheless, comedies like Mr. Roberts, Operation Mad Ball (1957), Operation Petticoat (1959) were genuinely funny and harmless entertainment unless taken seriously.
Few people, I expect, remember this entry and for good reasonit's not even amusing, let alone funny. Which means for one thing that folks familiar with Basic Training are not apt to overlook the many liberties taken, as other reviewers detail. Clearly, Warner Bros. intended the movie as a vehicle for its younger players, probably hoping for chemistry between Hunter and Wood. And that's the trouble. Hunter simply lacks the skills for what's actually a rather difficult role. Shaeffer needs to be not just arrogant, but also likable at some level. Unfortunately, Hunter's Pvt. Shaeffer is just obnoxious without the redeeming qualities that a Jack Lemmon or a Tony Curtis, for example, could have managed. And since Hunter's miscasting is in about every scene, the movie is more unpleasant than anything else.
Wood's role as the girlfriend is clearly secondary to Hunter's, and one most any young actress less talented could have handled. But at least, the movie's a payday for such fine supporting players as Jones, Janssen, and especially the arch Murray Hamilton whose platoon sergeant is made to suffer indignities from a trainee no real sergeant would put up with. I'm just sorry Jim Garner wasn't young enough to bring his superb light-comedy skills to the lead role. Then the movie might have worked.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?