34 user 12 critic

Never So Few (1959)

Approved | | Drama, War | 7 December 1959 (USA)
During WW2, the American O.S.S. mounts covert operations against the Japanese army in the jungles of Burma.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Tom Reynolds
Carla Vesari
Capt. Grey Travis
Bill Ringa
Capt. Danny De Mortimer
Nikko Regas
Gen. Sloan
Sgt. Jim Norby
Sgt. John Danforth
Philip Ahn ...
Col. Fred Parkson
Margaret Fitch
Col. Reed
Capt. Alofson - Psychiatrist
Richard Lupino ...
Mike Island


Captain Tom Reynolds and his band of skilled O.S.S. operatives are in WWII Burma to train the Kachin natives in modern warfare. But jungle combat, particularly against a Japanese army as familiar with the terrain as the Kachin, is more grueling than Reynolds had reckoned. Some respite is found in the arms of beautiful Carla, but after Chinese rebels cross the border to loot and murder American soldiers, Reynolds abandons all notions of "military protocol" and seeks requital. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Kiss by kiss the time ran out and never so few were the moments left for love!


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Campaign Burma  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,480,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Hoyt, Whit Bissell, and George Takei all went on to become legendary television actors of the 1960s, and all three played memorable roles in Star Trek (1966), but no two of them, let alone all three, were ever in the same episode of that show. See more »


Just before the commandos attack the Japanese patrol, Sgt. Jim Nortby is reading a Tom and Jerry Comic Book. The cover is in late 1950s style, and they would never have even had a comic in that shape in a deep penetration operation such as what they were on. See more »


Capt. Tom Reynolds: [while visiting at Regas' posh villa in northern India, noticing the mix of people present] Europeans, Sikhs, Chinese... Doctors, lawyers, merchants and thieves.
Carla Vesari: [Mockingly] You're a terrible poet.
See more »


Featured in Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool (2005) See more »


Kachin Koncerto
Music by Charles Wolcott
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Routine Rat Pack(-) flick spiced up by Steve McQueen
20 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a typical "Rat Pack" (minus Deano, Joey and Sammy) theatrical romp; big on action and small on fact based substance, but entertaining nonetheless.

The big surprise is Steve McQueen, appearing in one of his first major films. Up to this point, he has come to prominence in the TV series Wanted, Dead or Alive, but has yet to make the jump to film star. "Never So Few" is his springboard. A spat between Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. gets McQueen the supporting role that launches his movie career under the direction of John Sturges (who later directs The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape).

McQueen plays Corporal Bill Ringa (Why'd they pick that name...a pseudonym for "Ringer" maybe?), a self promoting "SGT. Bilko" type con man making a few fast bucks "in the rear with the gear" of the CBI. When Ringa is assigned as OSS Capt. Tom Reynold's (Frank Sinatra) jeep driver, during the latter's visit to the rear area headquarters, he impresses the officer with his unorthodox approach to selling illegal whiskey and fighting with MPs (anyone that hates MPs has got my vote). Reynolds gets Ringa transferred to his outfit and the two go about smashing the Japanese and renegade Chinese warlords.

McQueen shows the strong almost overpowering "2d in command" role he perfects in The Magnificent Seven a year later. His on-screen presence in these two films propels McQueen to leading man status thereafter.

Not a very historically accurate film, and some of the acting is overplayed, but McQueen is strong throughout and the film is fast paced and entertaining.

25 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Watch 'Objective Burma! (1945)' instead! kelkyl
Brian Donlevy as Gen. Sloan aloha498
True story? krygliy
Good war movie, lousy love story Picasner
Gina Lollobrigida thepixinator
Japanese music - twice used markystav
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