IMDb > Never So Few (1959)
Never So Few
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Never So Few (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
5.9/10   2,022 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Millard Kaufman (screenplay)
Tom T. Chamales (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for Never So Few on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 December 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Kiss by kiss the time ran out and never so few were the moments left for love!
Plot:
Captain Tom Reynolds and his band of skilled O.S.S. operatives are in WWII Burma to train the Kachin natives in modern warfare... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Something Stupid See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Frank Sinatra ... Capt. Tom Reynolds

Gina Lollobrigida ... Carla Vesari

Peter Lawford ... Capt. Grey Travis

Steve McQueen ... Bill Ringa

Richard Johnson ... Capt. Danny De Mortimer

Paul Henreid ... Nikko Regas

Brian Donlevy ... Gen. Sloan

Dean Jones ... Sgt. Jim Norby

Charles Bronson ... Sgt. John Danforth
Philip Ahn ... Nautaung

Robert Bray ... Col. Fred Parkson
Kipp Hamilton ... Margaret Fitch

John Hoyt ... Col. Reed

Whit Bissell ... Capt. Alofson - Psychiatrist
Richard Lupino ... Mike Island

Aki Aleong ... Billingsly
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Amargo ... Scout (uncredited)
Rayford Barnes ... Soldier in Helicopter (uncredited)
Charles Bateman ... Pilot (uncredited)
Chatu Singh Bedi ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
John Bryant ... General Sloan's Aide (uncredited)
Eugene Chan ... Scout (uncredited)
Spencer Chan ... Merchant (uncredited)
W.T. Chang ... Elderly Chinese (uncredited)
Kei Thin Chung ... Boat Driver (uncredited)
Isabel Cooley ... Shan Girl (uncredited)
Jim Cronin ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Noel De Souza ... Secretary (uncredited)
Ross Elliott ... Colonel Dr. Barry (uncredited)
Paul Fierro ... Hindu Noble (uncredited)
Harold Fong ... Chinese Peasant (uncredited)
Martin Fong ... Scout (uncredited)
Bhupesh Guha ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)

James Hong ... General Chao (uncredited)
Dale Ishimoto ... Scout (uncredited)
Morgan Jones ... Co-Pilot (uncredited)
Clifford Kawada ... Japanese Officer (uncredited)
George Khoury ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Robert Kino ... La-Bung La (uncredited)
Joe La Bate ... Bellboy (uncredited)
Guy Lee ... Bye Ya (uncredited)
Jay Lee ... Chinese War Lord (uncredited)
Allan Liu ... Scout (uncredited)
Leon Lontoc ... Laurel (uncredited)
Clarence Lung ... Scout (uncredited)

Mako ... Soldier in Hospital (uncredited)
Paul Maxwell ... Co-Pilot (uncredited)
Peter Miller ... Cargo Man (uncredited)
Rollin Moriyama ... Scout (uncredited)
Bong Nam ... Kachin Scout (uncredited)
Leo Needham ... Pilot (uncredited)
Maggie Pierce ... Nurse (uncredited)
James Shen ... Chinese Soldier (uncredited)
Reginald Lal Singh ... Major Domo (uncredited)

William Smith ... MP Officer #1 (uncredited)
Roy Taguchi ... Japanese Officer (uncredited)

George Takei ... Soldier in Hospital (uncredited)
Irene Tedrow ... Head Nurse (uncredited)
Marie Tsien ... Eurasian Girl (uncredited)
Lawrence Ung ... Chinese Lieutenant (uncredited)

Directed by
John Sturges 
 
Writing credits
Millard Kaufman (screenplay)

Tom T. Chamales (novel)

Produced by
Edmund Grainger .... producer
 
Original Music by
Hugo Friedhofer 
 
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ferris Webster 
 
Art Direction by
Addison Hehr 
Hans Peters 
 
Set Decoration by
Henry Grace (set decorations)
Richard Pefferle (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert E. Relyea .... assistant director
Hank Moonjean .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
 
Special Effects by
Robert R. Hoag .... special effects
Lee LeBlanc .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Cliff Shirpser .... effects camera operator (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Roy Jenson .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Helen Rose .... gowns: Gina Lollobrigida
 
Editorial Department
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Charles Wolcott .... conductor
Robert Franklyn .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Gil Grau .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Pete Jolly .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Albert Woodbury .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Panavision  photographic lenses by (as Panavision®)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Campaign Burma" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
125 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1960) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (1987) | USA:Approved (PCA #19299) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Steve McQueen's role was originally going to be played by Sammy Davis Jr.. A feud had broken out between Davis and Frank Sinatra after Davis had claimed in a radio interview that he was a greater singer than Sinatra. Sinatra demanded he be dropped from the cast, and McQueen got the part.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: During the attack on the enemy camp, when the OSS guys reveal themselves and open fire from trucks as they drive by the tents full of sleeping enemy, two trucks are side-by-side shooting in the same direction, meaning the gunners in one truck are shooting directly in the backs of the gunners in the other truck.See more »
Quotes:
Capt. Tom Reynolds:Danny, do you know anything about this guy, Regas?
Capt. Danny De Mortimer:Well... He's supposed to be in shipping, but I think he's an opium smuggler in wolf's clothing.
Capt. Tom Reynolds:What about Carla Vesari? She's quite a crock of curry.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool (2005) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Burmese FanfareSee more »

FAQ

Hedda Hopper---Did She Like the Movie?
Midwest Premiere Happened When and Where?
Screenplay---When Was Kaufman Assigned?
See more »
25 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Something Stupid, 9 September 2008
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

"Never So Few" fails in so many ways; as a treatment of the Burma campaign in World War II; as a tough-nosed action picture; as an involving melodrama; and most especially, as a vehicle for star Frank Sinatra.

Sinatra was too busy playing soldier and practicing his cool look to bother constructing an interesting character; a strange bitter vibe hangs over his performance. Oddly, it was another actor who managed to take the little "Never So Few" had to offer in the way of career advancement: Steve McQueen. Up to this point, he had done "The Blob" and TV, but his comfortable natural bearing around Sinatra's star wattage shows he could hold his own with the big boys, even when the script gave him little to work with.

McQueen is Sgt. Ringa, a jeep driver who finds himself drafted for more dangerous duty when commando leader Tom Reynolds (Sinatra) takes a shine to his street-smart ways. Reynolds leads a small band of Kachin fighters in the hilly jungles of Burma, continually harassing a Japanese force many times its size.

"A regular Abe Lincoln in North Burma" is what rich merchant Nikko Regas calls him. Regas is part of the other story in "Few", the man whose girl (Gina Lollabrigida) Reynolds wants. The exotic Lollabrigida and the world-weary chain-smoking Sinatra are clearly meant to invite comparisons to Rick and Ilsa, and Paul Henreid cements the impression by playing Nikko as much the same character he was in "Casablanca".

None of this comes together, though. In fact, the two parts fail to co-exist at all. You get 20 minutes of war followed by 40 minutes of earnest love talk, then back to the war. The war scenes are about as competently directed as an episode of "The Rat Patrol", with idiotically sequenced insert shots (like soldiers shooting up at people we then see falling in a river) and noble, servile Kachin dying with meek apologies to "Dua" Reynolds. War is hell for Tom, who loses both his monkey and his favorite gun caddy, a faithful Kachin who hands him a new automatic every time Reynolds empties a magazine on the enemy.

The romance is even worse. Sinatra and Lollabrigida have no chemistry, she can't act, and director John Sturges' idea of story advancement is to focus on her bustline and hope you don't notice the dialogue. And what dialogue!

Him: "I hanker for you alone."

Her: "Why don't you go back to the hills and play with your popguns!"

Henreid warns Lollabrigida he won't let her go then disappears for the rest of the movie, leaving Lollabrigida and Sinatra to kiss like dead fish in front of bad process shots.

The film generates a bit of interest an hour or so in, when Reynolds and his men discover the Japanese are not the only force they have to fight. But the resolution of this angle is both trite and ugly, involving the wholesale slaughter of captured prisoners while the camera focuses on Sinatra, looking so sad his previously disapproving medic (Peter Lawford, better than usual here) has to pat his shoulder to let him and the audience know it's alright.

McQueen at least mines his on-screen time to showcase his talents as an action man, and occasional scene stealer with the aid of handy props, like a slice of watermelon or a mortar. Competing with Charles Bronson, Brian Donlevy, and Richard Johnson as Reynolds' monocle-wearing British pal, McQueen hardly has to break a sweat.

The worst performance here is Sinatra's, who just drips with self-importance, whether wearing an ugly goatee (Mitch Miller must have really got to him) or trying to sound like Hemingway with stiff lines like: "You have tasted the pain of wound in combat." Sinatra was not just good but great in parts where he allowed himself to project insecurity. But too often, when permitted to coast, he gave performances like this one, showcasing the boor he could be in life from time to time.

"Never So Few" drags for more than two hours, long enough to listen to four of his Capitol albums. Guess which is a better investment of your time.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (32 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Never So Few (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Lollobrigida vickic531
True story? krygliy
Gina Lollobrigida thepixinator
Brian Donlevy as Gen. Sloan aloha498
Good war movie, lousy love story Picasner
Watch 'Objective Burma! (1945)' instead! kelkyl
See more »

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