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Soldier in the Rain (1963)

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
...
Sgt. Fred Lenahan
...
Sgt. William Booth
...
Chief of Police
...
Battalion Major
...
Frances McCoy
...
Old Man
...
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:

They're a grand pair Gleason and McQueen - tremendous together in one marvellous motion picture! 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The large patch on the left shoulder of everyone's uniform is of the U.S. Sixth Army. At the time of this film, it was headquartered at The Presidio in San Francisco. It was the training Army for soldiers being sent overseas. Inactivated in 1995, it was reactivated in 2008 and is now headquartered at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. See more »

Goofs

Master Sergeant Slaughter wears six hash marks on his left sleeve to denote that he had completed 18 years of service. On his right sleeve the five overseas bars indicate two and a half years in a foreign "hostile fire area". The patch on his right shoulder indicates prior war time service in the 24th Infantry Division which fought in the Pacific in World War II and also fought in Korea, so quite possibly Sergeant Slaughter's character was a veteran of both wars. The possible goof is that in the closing scene Eustis is in dress uniform wearing the Combat Infantry Badge but has no divisional patch on his right shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Slaughter: [Eustis is trying to talk Maxwell into leaving the Army, and joining him in lucrative civilian business deals] The world's outside that window, Eustis, and it scares me. It's awfully big out there.
Clay: You don't make no sense at all, Maxwell. You ain't scared of nothin'!
Slaughter: Oh, yes I am. You forget, I was a civilian once.
Clay: It'll be different now - you'll see.
Slaughter: I doubt it. Memories are still very strong... Childhood, growing up. "Fat boy on the block." I was always fat, Eustis. Thyroid condition. Fat baby...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
composed by Stephen Foster (1850)
heard as background source music as an instrumental at county fair
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User Reviews

AN UNDERRATED COMEDY FROM BLAKE EDWARDS
26 April 2001 | by (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


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