Soldier in the Rain (1963)

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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
John Hubbard ...
Battalion Major
Frances McCoy
Sam Flint ...
Old Man
Lewis Charles ...
Sgt. Tozzi
Captain (inspecting)


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 | Add Synopsis


A grand pair - add a brand new curve to AN OLD ARMY GAME! See more »


Comedy | Drama


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the beginning Eustis Clay is seen admiring a parked sports car. It is a 1962 or early 1963 Shelby AC Cobra, one of the first cars Caroll Shelby made, and extremely valuable. See more »


At the shooting gallery, in between bites, Bobby Joe's cotton candy is out of frame and suddenly loses half it's volume. See more »


Slaughter: Let me tell you something, my friend: being a fat narcissist isn't easy.
See more »

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User Reviews

26 April 2001 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

Ralph Nelson's "Soldier in the Rain" is a wonderful movie about the true power of friendship. But it is also Blake Edwards' film. He may only be the writer and producer, but it is as personal as his best films.

The movie features two exceptional performances from Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen, each cast against type here. The stunt works: Gleason is tender and convincing and McQueen is surprisingly funny and sensitive. I've read that the duo were real life friends and I think that adds another dimension to this film. We really believe that they could be friends and it makes the ending of this film, which I will only describe as a real surprise, even more effective. Like I stated before, Edwards only wrote and produced. But his script (co-written with Maurice Richlin, his co-writer on "The Pink Panther", "The Great Race" among others) doesn't preoccupy itself with the plot. It is content to simply observe these characters and Ralph Nelson has directed it well enough to make it a strong and honorable film.

More over, this film confirmed that "Days of Wine and Roses" was no fluke; that Blake Edwards was a talent that was here to stay. After making a string of disappointments ("Operation Petticoat" was a good film, but Edwards had no hand in the script and was only a contract director there), "Days" showed us a great new talent and "Soldier in the Rain" confirms it. After this, he would write and direct "The Pink Panther", which would make him bankable. "Soldier" is better than "Panther", but lesser known. Perhaps people bought into the mystique of "Panther" but wouldn't want to see a movie about character rather than plot. Hollywood must of thought the same, because "Soldier in the Rain' received zero nominations from the usual gang of idiots we call the Academy. Too bad.

"Soldier in the Rain" is not available on home video at this moment, unfortunately. It is a shame that some of Edwards' lesser films are easily available ("Switch", "High Time")but this neglected masterpiece isn't. I think that smart audiences that want to laugh, cry and think will love this tender little masterpiece. It airs often on AMC in both pan-and-scan and letterboxed versions. Tape it when you get a chance. You never know if it'll ever be seen again.

**** out of 4 stars

26 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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