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The Girl He Left Behind (1956)

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 »



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview:
Andy L. Shaeffer
Susan Daniels
Mrs. Madeline Shaeffer
Sgt. Hanna
Sgt. Clyde
Capt. Genaro
Vinton Hayworth ...
Arthur Shaeffer
Budd Knapp ...
Congressman Hardison (as Wilfred Knapp)
Les Johnson ...
Lt. Taylor
Florenz Ames ...
Mr. Hillaby
Fredd Wayne ...
Sgt. Sheridan


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A couple of teenagers and their kiss-and-run battle! See more »


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

30 August 1957 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Dokhtar-e faramoosh shodeh  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Hanson: The army never believes in beginning a new day in the sunlight if he can do it at dark.
See more »


Featured in I Am Divine (2013) See more »


When My Dream Boat Comes Home
Written by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin
Played during the opening credits and briefly during the dance at the beginning
See more »

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User Reviews

Sour Comedy
3 July 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

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 reason—it'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?

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