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



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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
Battalion Major
Frances McCoy
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 | Plot Synopsis


The Great One as Master Sergeant Slaughter - master at anything! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


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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?


Jackie Gleason released a version of the title music as a single on Capitol in early 1964, with another Henry Mancini composition, Bird Brain, as the b-side. This puts Soldier in the Rain (1963) in the same category as Thunder Road (1958) and Because They're Young (1960): movies which had a version of the theme song performed by a member of the cast and released as a single, while that version wasn't the one used in the movie. See more »


As mentioned above in another goof note, Sergeant Maxwell Slaughter may be a combat veteran of two wars. Unless he rose up in ranks within 10 years (this movie is copy-write 1963,) his ribbons and awards on his chest do not reflect the two Korean awards he should be wearing. The Korean War Medal for serving within Korea. And/or Korean War Service Medal for serving anywhere during the conflict dates.Additionally, he should also be awarded The United Nations Service Medal for Korea (UNKM). See more »


Clay: FBI oughtta' investigate Sgt. Priest. I think he's an escaped war criminal.
See more »


References Gunga Din (1939) See more »


Camptown Races
composed by Stephen Foster (1850)
heard as background source music as an instrumental at county fair
See more »

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User Reviews

14 August 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

This is truly a special film. Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen give two of their most untypical performances. The film is what I would categorize as a comedy-drama, light on the comedy and heavy on the drama. Gleason is wonderfully dry and witty as Sgt. Slaughter and McQueen is also funny in his part as well. His accent is a little difficult to get used to, but it's essential to the part he plays. The standout performance here, however, is Tuesday Weld's. She plays the slightly infantile "Miss Pepperdine" who acts as a romantic angle for Gleason's character. Their scenes together are the film's highlights. Her "introduction" in the film, involving a car wreck, is most memorable. It also features some nice acting by the supporting players. A really unique film, that hasn't had much exposure, known only to those who have seen it, and treasure it.

33 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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