Ad-agency president Dan Edwards who, when he goes to Mexico to celebrate his nineteenth wedding anniversary, winds up getting divorced by mistake - whereupon his wife Valerie marries his ... See full summary »
Outlaw Clint Hollister escapes from jail with the help of Marshal Jake Wade, because once Clint did the same for him. Jake left Clint just after, but Clint finds him back and forces Jake to... See full summary »
The Louisiana wedding of debutante Phoebe Ann Naylor to Don Andrea de Baldasar, El Duce de la Casala is stopped by the Cavalry over a matter of honor. Don Andrea flees across the river to ... See full summary »
Danny has been in the army for 4 years, yet all he thinks about is Brooklyn and how great it is. When he returns after the war, he soon finds that Brooklyn is not so nice after all. He is ... See full summary »
Ass-breaker Dingus Magee is looking for a gold train when he comes upon old acquaintance Hoke Birdsill on stage to San Francisco, and robs him of his money. Hoke goes to the nearby town of ... See full summary »
Colonel Ryder, the publisher of a magazine, dies while on vacation. Tony, his swinging nephew, inherits the magazine and takes over. Presently, the magazine is planning to expand and to do ... See full summary »
Chino Valdez is a loner horse breeder living in the old west. Partly a loner by choice, and partly because, being a 'half-breed', he finds himself unwelcome almost everywhere he goes. One ... See full summary »
Dominic Quesada and Johnny Gray, two SCUBA divers searching for sunken treasure off the coast of Cuba, think they've hit the jackpot when they find a 17th century ship on the sea floor. ... See full summary »
This film is basically a remake of Gunga Din (1939) set in the American "Wild West". After filming was completed, the producers discovered they needed to secure the rights to the original story. They were forced to pay a large fee to the copyright owners before the film could be released. See more »
The shown lever-action arms carried by the soldiers were not issued to US units. 1873 saw the initial issuance of trapdoor Springfields, a breech-loading single shot rifle or carbine using a .45 caliber metallic cartridge - the same arms carried by Custers's troopers at Little Bighorn. See more »
Ever since my childhood, the Rat Pack films have been staples on Italian TV – but, curiously enough, not this one!; still, as often happens, its long absence doesn’t necessarily make it a lost gem and, actually, it can now be seen as the least of them! In any case, a legitimate DVD edition of it has just been released in time for the 10th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s passing – though I had to make do myself with a barely adequate VHS-to-DVD dub for this viewing…but which, surprisingly ran for 117 minutes when the film’s official length is given as 112!
Anyway, personally produced by Sinatra, this emerges as the third version of a Rudyard Kipling story: a sort of GUNGA DIN (1939) parody in Western garb – except that the original already contained strong doses of humor! Old hand W.R. Burnett wrote the script and the necessity here to follow a proper plot renders this less freewheeling than other Rat Peck outings; however, this then results in jarring bouts of violence played alongside revue-style comic sketches! The film’s major set-piece is an extended shootout between the boys and some renegade Indians in a ghost town which culminates in an outburst of fireworks and the shooting of dynamite a' la RIO BRAVO (1959); by the way, Sinatra and Dean Martin had already proved themselves in the genre – most notably with JOHNNY CONCHO (1956) and RIO BRAVO itself respectively (Martin actually became a staple of the gun-and-saddle tradition between 1956 and 1973).
With this in mind, the repartee among the stars is par for the course: Martin has the old Cary Grant role, Peter Lawford fills in for Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Sammy Davis Jr., naturally, is Din; as for Joey Bishop’s character, he usually finds himself the brunt of the boys’ jokes. Sinatra himself seems constrained by the martinet role played in GUNGA DIN by Victor McLaglen but, typically, Dino and Davis have fun with their roles. Michael Pate and Henry Silva (as father and son) feature as the rebelling Indians; incidentally, Sinatra and Silva’s next confrontation – later that year in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE – proved far more memorable. It’s also worth pointing out that three of Bing Crosby’s sons appear here as bumbling privates.
Director Sturges was himself a Western expert and had already collaborated with Sinatra on the war adventure NEVER SO FEW (1959); he also did a number of Cavalry vs. Indians-type efforts such as ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO (1953) and THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (1965; which was also largely played for laughs).
P.S. Shortly after this film’s release, Sinatra fell out badly with Lawford (even throwing him down a flight of stairs!) after President Kennedy – who was Lawford’s brother-in-law – choose to stay over at Bing Crosby’s house rather than his (due to recent allegations of Sinatra’s connection with the Mafia being uncovered) and which explains Lawford’s disappearance from subsequent Rat Pack efforts…
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?