The bond of friendship between a worldly-wise Army Master Sergeant and his naive worshiper.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter
...
Sgt. Eustis Clay
...
Bobby Jo Pepperdine
...
...
Lt. Magee
...
MP Sgt. James Priest
Lew Gallo ...
Sgt. Fred Lenahan
Rockne Tarkington ...
Sgt. William Booth
Paul Hartman ...
Chief of Police
...
Battalion Major
...
Frances McCoy
Sam Flint ...
Old Man
Lewis Charles ...
Sgt. Tozzi
...
Captain (inspecting)
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Storyline

Sentemental military comedy revolves around two contemporary army buddies, Master Sergeant Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason), a smooth operator, who supply Sergeant Eustis Clay (Steve McQueen) idolizes and hopes will join him as a civilian in a private business enterprise. Clay endeavors to be a player in the military, just like Slaughter, but it seems as though Clay still has a lot to learn from his mentor. They are joined by Tuesday Weld as a shrill dizzy blonde teenager named Bobby Jo Pepperdine and Tony Bill as bumbling Private First Class Jerry Meltzer, McQueen's screwball sidekick. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

TREMENDOUS TOGETHER! (all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Compañeros de armas y puñetazos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The camera Clay uses for the "pin-up" contest is a Polaroid Land Camera Model J66. It uses Type 47 black and white roll film and was manufactured between 1961 and 1963. Retail price was $89.50 (or about $700 in 2016). See more »

Goofs

The window air conditioner in Sgt. Slaughter's office has been pulled from the window and into the set, exposing the rear, so the camera can frame Eustice Clay kneeling in front of it. See more »

Quotes

Clay: See ya later, Maxwell
Slaughter: Until that time, Eustice, until that time
See more »

Connections

References Gunga Din (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Listen to the Mockingbird
(uncredited)
lyrics by Septimus Winner (aka Alice Hawthorne)
music by Richard Milburn
heard as background source music as an instrumental at county fair
See more »

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User Reviews

We Don't Call Him "The Great One" For Nothing
12 March 2003 | by (Alpha Centauri) – See all my reviews

It is clear that Blake Edwards chose to forego the plot points that are in the book, for more of a character study, and frankly, it works. This is not to say that if the script had included all of the plot points, that it would have been a bad film, but the script went in the direction of focusing in on the characters, not the plot.

Eustes/McQueen's character idolizes Slaughter/ Gleason's character. Any suggestion that Slaughter was ever patronizing or condescending towards Eustes is inaccurate. Eustes worships the ground Slaughter walks on, and Slaughter returns the love, knowing that his friend is more of a simple mind, but he doesn't disrespect him at all.

Jackie Gleason gives us the full "Great One" in this film, albeit in an understated mode. There's no "Bang Zoom" or "Hardee har har", but there is plenty (who am I kidding, there can never be enough) of what made The Great One so great, his vulnerability and his uncanny ability to put us inside his head, making us dream what he dreamed, letting us hurt the way he hurt, and allowing us to be a part of the oh so larger life that The Great One lived, if only for an hour or two.

This is a wonderful film. Capping on Steve McQueen for "overacting" is not fair. His character was written as over-the-top, and that's the way he played it. His wacky expressions and blatant actions in the film were beautifully offset by Gleason's calm and wordly demeanor. It's the Yin/Yang, salt/pepper, sweet/sour, and it goes together perfectly.

I'm so glad my friend sent me this movie. Otherwise, I might've never known about it. Two closing thoughts... If you want to see another perfect fat man role, played with simliar vulnerabilities, look no further than John Candy's role in "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles". John Candy took his Great One lessons. Know that. Finally, if you like this movie, you obviously enjoy buddy movies. If you're ever lucky enough to get a hold of a copy of "Looking To Get Out" 1982 starring Jon Voight, Burt Young, & Ann Margaret, don't miss it. It is the buddy movie to end all buddy movies.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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