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:
6.0/10   1,981 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
OK McQueen, but Sinatra bombs 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:
Miscellaneous: At the beginning of the movie, it says that it takes place in the "First years of WWII". But look at the costumes of Ms. Lollobrigida - petticoats, high heels, make-up - everything looks straight from the late '50s.See more »
Quotes:
Capt. Tom Reynolds:You live here with Nikko?
Carla Vesari:I want to tell you something, Captain, and then perhaps you'll let me alone. I live here with Nikko. So why don't you go back to the hills and play with your popguns?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Steve McQueen: The King of Cool (1998) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Kachin KoncertoSee more »

FAQ

Tom Chamales, Author of "Never So Few"---Was He Related to "Casbah" Actor Robert Kendall?
Thomas Chamales---Author of "Never So Few"---How Did He Die?
Steve McQueen---When Was He Signed for "Never"?
See more »
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
OK McQueen, but Sinatra bombs, 24 March 2010
Author: doug-balch from United States

The Good:

Great early look at a young Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson. Lots of big names otherwise, with Sinatra, Gina Lolabrigida, Peter Lawford, Paul Henreid and Brian Donlevy.

Underlying story idea is a good one: a semi-factual recreation of OSS operations in Burma during WW2. Would be nice to see a modern remake of this movie due to the interesting subject matter.

McQueen's first big movie role. Acquits himself well and his performance certainly helped propel him to his future starring roles.

Gina Lolabrigida can't act worth a fig, but she sure is a whole lot of woman to look at.

The Bad:

I didn't buy Sinatra in the role for a minute. The casting of this pompous lounge lizard as a charismatic special forces officer is an insult to all veterans. Sinatra reportedly pressured the producers into kicking his good buddy Sammy Davis Jr. off the picture. This is ironic, because Davis actually served in WW2, while Ol' Blue Eyes was humping every starlet he could lay his hands on.

And what was up with that Aussie-style hat Sinatra wears? The guy is living in a tent in a steamy tropical jungle mowing down scores of Japs with a machine gun and there's not a single smudge, sweat stain or wrinkle on his hat. It looks like he just picked it up off the rack in the Flamingo's tourist shop. I can just imagine the director, John Sturges, begging Frank to beat the thing on a tree stump for half an hour to make it look realistic and Sinatra refusing because the wanted a slicker look.

The Sinatra role felt like it was written for Humphrey Bogart. This is especially apparent in what is supposed to be clever Bogie/Bacall style repartee between Sinatra and Lolabrigida. The casting of Paul Henreid, who starred with Bogie in Casablanca, seems no accident.

I can imagine that Sinatra bullied his way into a role that was way, way over his head. As much as I would like to blame Sinatra entirely for this movie's failure, it should be noted that the script is the main culprit, especially the excruciating attempt at "snappy patter" between Sinatra and Lolabrigida. I don't think even Bogart could have saved this movie, but these two acting cripples have absolutely no chance.

Sturges went on to direct a fantastic film, "The Great Escape" a couple of years later, so we'll have to cut him a break on this one.

Reminds me of another star studded stinker, "The Way West", an unwatchable 1965 western that starred Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark. That also had a director, Andrew McLaglen, who went on to do much better work.

Bottom line: this is a great example of how important a script is to a movie. Here you had a panoply of big time stars and talent, a solid director, but the movie stinks anyway. Also, if your leading man is an actor of very narrow ability, you better make sure you cast him in a role that suits him.

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
True story? krygliy
Lollobrigida vickic531
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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