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 »
When Beau Gilliam comes crashing through the door with the glass ornaments the first time, Fergie and Julie react to the noise slightly before it's heard. See more »
I turned this on in the middle or perhaps toward the end of the movie, not knowing what I was watching. I was immediately struck by Jack Weston's hilarious performance. He is priceless as a staunch obey-the-orders Naval grunt sent out on a mission that turns into a stunt worthy of Harold Lloyd. I really think he deserved an Academy Award just for the way he poured and downed glasses of bourbon, let alone his arabesque on the hotel lech -- I mean ledge (that's an inside joke -- watch the movie). Dean Jagger is admirable as always and the role of Admiral suits him to a T, er, an A; Steve McQueen is cool as the wisest smart Aleck in movie history; there's near-sighted Paula Prentiss and Jim Hutton along for the laughs. The scintillating dialog, tinged with Cold War obsessions, the breakneck pace reminiscent of Preston Sturges at his maddest -- gee, I wonder if the WHOLE movie is this good or I just lucked out and caught it at its best! But from the moment Weston attempts to search McQueen's hotel suite to the wacky end, it's a hoot.
This film works -- at least this vastly entertaining segment -- for me. And I'm a tough customer to please. Based on a play by Lorenz Semple, Jr. and he's no slouch!
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