The crew aboard the USS Elmira are working on a project, code named Operation Honeymoon. At the operation's core is the testing of the Magnetic Analyzer Computing Synchrotron, or MACS for short, which is a smart computer designed to do among other things determine where missiles are going to land. Civilian Jason Eldridge is the scientific mastermind aboard in charge of MACS' operation. His friend aboard, Lieutenant Ferguson Howard, sees other possible uses for MACS. He wants to know if MACS, if given the proper data, can accurately predict games of chance, such as those found in casinos. After discussing the situation, Fergie and Jason decide the game which MACS can predict the most accurately is roulette. They decide to test MACS' abilities, and possibly get rich, at their next port of call where there is a casino, namely Venice. They plan on using a system of Morse Code light signals from the ship to shore to transmit the information. Although they go ahead with their plan, they are... Written by
When the Russian Consul, berating his code-breakers and underlings, begins hitting the desk with his shoe, this is a humorous reference to Russian leader Nikita Kruschev's actions at the United Nations in October of the previous year (1960), when Kruschev banged the rostrum with his shoe in anger at statements made by the Filipino delegation. See more »
In the first gambling scene where Jason begins using his system, one of the numbers called out by the croupier is "eleven in the red". Eleven on the roulette wheel is black. In a subsequent scene, Fergie is playing (at the same wheel), and the croupier calls out "eleven in the black". See more »
This is a different sort of role for Steve McQueen. While he did a bit of light comedy, he's mostly known for very serious films such as "The Great Escape", "The Magnificent Seven" and "Papillon". And perhaps this is the best reason to see the film--to see him in something different.
McQueen is a lieutenant on a naval ship who comes up with a plan--to use the ship's computer to try to crack the secret to a roulette table. In other words, using the computer to predict which slots on the wheel are most likely to hit and when. While this does not seem possible (sure a few spaces MIGHT be more likely--but probably not enough to make it profitable), you just need to accept this and go with the plot. On hand to help is the computer geek (Jim Hutton) and a few others--including the Admiral's very unusual daughter.
The film is not bad and has a few moderately funny scenes. However, none of the laughs are hilarious and the film is not especially memorable--making it a fine time-passer but not much more. It's just a turn off your brain and enjoy sort of light comedy.
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