Two Air Force friends have fun during their enlistment.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Archie Hall
...
William 'Bill' Bowers
...
Peggy Kramer
...
Cindy Hamilton
...
Pvt. Sam Beacham
...
Pvt. Russell Drexler
...
Pvt. Frank Ostrow
...
Pvt. Billy Simpson (as James Lydon)
...
Col. Edwin Martin
...
Capt. Harry Little
...
MSgt. Stanley Erlenheim
...
Duty Sgt. Malcolm Greenbriar
Claudia Barrett ...
Lola
Theona Bryant ...
Daphne
Elaine Devry ...
Carole (as Elaine Davis)
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Storyline

Two Air Force friends have fun during their enlistment.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's the Private With a Private Jeep...a Private Stock of Girls...and a Private Joke on the Whole U.S. Army!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

30 October 1961 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Der Held der Etappe  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character is based on Arch Hall Sr., director and star of films such as Eegah (1962) and Wild Guitar (1962), and was an Army buddy of the film's writer. Hall was indeed a pilot, as is his son, Arch Hall Jr. Hall was aware his friend Bowers was writing the script and was flattered and pleased. Once the film was completed and in release, Hall sued the producers of this movie for invasion of privacy. The suit was apparently dropped or settled out of court. Bowers, writing later about his friend and the incident, not only bore Hall no malice, he thought Hall's actions were consistently in character for the sharpie with whom he'd served in uniform. See more »

Goofs

Cindy Hamilton refers to Col. Edwin Martin as "Uncle Frank". See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Russell Drexler: And maybe you haven't given any thought to how much you are a sitting duck in one of those things.
Archie Hall: Aw, now, what is a sitting duck but a duck that just happens to be sitting?
Pvt. Sam Beacham: [Sarcastically] "What is a DEAD duck but a duck that just happens to be DEAD?"
See more »

Soundtracks

Angel Face
(uncredited)
Music by Herman S. Saunders (as Herm Saunders)
Lyrics by William Bowers
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User Reviews

 
Army life the Arch Hall way
19 June 2003 | by (Vancouver, BC) – See all my reviews

As a huge Jack Webb fan and a huge Arch Hall (Sr. & Jr.) fan, I had long awaited the opportunity to see Jack Webb's portrayal of the life of Arch Hall Sr. I was a bit disappointed, though, when I discovered that the movie was a comedy about Arch's army career, not about his production of film greats like `Eegah' and `The Choppers.' This movie doesn't even mention his extensive prewar career making B-Westerns, preferring to imply that he had `no past.'

That said, however, Robert Mitchum does an excellent job of portraying Arch, as recollected by his wartime buddy Bill Bowers (adeptly portrayed by Jack Webb himself). According to Ray Dennis Steckler, Mitchum spent time studying the real Arch Hall, learning how to make every move speak of laziness and a drive to get somebody else to do the work. Steckler (who worked with Arch on `Eegah' and `Wild Guitar') says Mitchum did him to a `T.'

Bowers clearly romanticized his old friend quite a bit - if the real Arch Hall had been that good at manipulating circumstances to his favor, he would have become a Hollywood powerhouse, not a director of low-budget (if wonderful) schlock films. Nevertheless, watching Mitchum work people as Arch is enormously entertaining. I think this movie would appeal to anybody who has been in the service and dealt with the kind of ludicrous conditions that are familiar there. Mitchum as Arch gets to turn the whole system of controlled chaos to his advantage.

It's too bad Don Knotts didn't get more scenes, I started laughing as soon as he appeared on the screen. Everyone in the cast shows excellent comedic sense, and Jack proves (once again) that he was not just the straight man from Dragnet - he was a visionary and talented artist with considerable range.


21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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