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To pacify 104 sex-starved male soldiers building an Arctic radar base, Army psychologist Vicki Loren suggests choosing one by lot to have a "perfect furlough" as selected by the men: three weeks in Paris with their favorite pin-up queen, Sandra Roca. Since "winner" Paul Hodges is a tireless Don Juan, and this is a fifties comedy, Vicki is ordered to keep Paul and Sandra out of bed. But who will guard the guardian? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
As of January 2016, Linda Cristal is the only cast member of this film that is still living. See more »
Lieutenant. As a psychologist to a patient, what's wrong with me?
Lt. Vicki Loren:
Well, I don't know you well enough to say.
Well, I do know there's something wrong with me. For an example, here I am a grown man and I still like women.
Lt. Vicki Hodges:
There's absolutely nothing abnormal about a man liking women, Corporal. But there is a limit.
What do you do after you catch the limit? You throw the next one back?
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The whole base lives vicariously through Tony Curtis
In his memoirs Tony Curtis lists this as one of five films he would make with first wife Janet Leigh. As opposed to such dramatic fare as Houdini or a great comedy like Who Was That Lady, The Perfect Furlough is distinctly second rate. The film is also one of four Curtis did with Blake Edwards as director. Tony and Blake first teamed with a good dramatic film Mister Cory and then later in Operation Petticoat and The Great Race. All of those are better than The Perfect Furlough.
The great military minds of the Pentagon are concerned about the morale of those Air Force guys stationed in the Arctic. All 104 men are performing a top security job at the North Pole so we can't furlough them all to get what they obviously need.
So what's the answer as thought of by Colonel Les Tremayne. Get a willing movie star like Linda Cristal to go on a carefully chaperoned date in Paris with just one lucky airman chosen by lottery. The others will live vicariously through Curtis's good times. The operation to be supervised by Lieutenant Janet Leigh.
Curtis is the base conniver and he connives his way into winning the lottery and the dream time with Cristal. It's one of those operations like you used to see on The Dating Game. Only Curtis does play for keeps and Leigh wishes he would play with her, officer/enlisted man rules of non-fraternization not withstanding.
It's a dumb premise to start with. I mean Lee Marvin when his Dirty Dozen had completed training he took care of them in proper style before they went on their mission. But Marvin was an original thinker on these matters unlike those in the Pentagon in Cold War peacetime.
Note some good performances by Elaine Stritch as Cristal's studio chaperon and Keenan Wynn as her controlling producer. But over all The Perfect Furlough is far from perfect.
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