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Advance to the Rear (1964)

 -  Comedy | War | Western  -  1964 (Italy)
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A Union army outfit of misfits and rejects is sent to the Western territory. Southern spies try to figure out what they're up to.



(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Capt. Jared Heath
Martha Lou Williams
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Easy Jenny
Pvt. Owen Selous
Cpl. Silas Geary
Sgt. Beauregard Davis
Hugo Zattig
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Thin Elk


A Union army outfit of misfits and rejects is sent to the Western territory. Southern spies try to figure out what they're up to.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You've met the Rat Pack...Now meet the Mouse Pack!!!! See more »


Comedy | War | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Helden ohne Hosen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Roddy McDowall originally announced for supporting role that went to Andrew Prine. See more »


Martha Lou: Well aren't you something? First you break into my cabin with that disgusting display of animal lust. Then you accuse me of being a spy. And now all of a sudden, I'm the only girl in the world for you.
Heath: Well that's the way it goes sometimes.
See more »


Love Theme (Today)
Performed by The New Christy Minstrels
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User Reviews

One of the Most Hilarious Comedies of All Time; Seminal and Consistent
28 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

As others are who have studied the long and estimable body of his work, I am a great admirer of George Marshall. The versatile director had an ability to tell a story with a camera that was legendary; in "Advance to the Rear" he found, I suggest, one of his richest hoards of cinematic possibilities. The story-line of this rare historical comedy takes the viewer back to the final days of the Civil War is winding to an inevitable close; so the commander of one contingent of union soldiers has made a separate truce with his Confederate counterpart. At a prearranged time, a single cannon round, fired to miss, is set off by each side. And that is their daily war. Period. This life-preserving but odd arrangement works quite well, until a youthful officer, recently posted to the "Company of Cowards", the name in the original novel from which the narrative was extracted, sallies forth and captures some of "the Rebs". This precipitate action of course obliges their equally reluctant "enemies" to do something else, that starts to look like an act of war. "What have you done?" the union Colonel bellows at him, "Take them back! How many times have I instructed you not to show initiative?" The company depicted obviously bears a striking resemblance to "F Troop"; this film was undoubtedly the model for that enjoyable TV series.. After a major mess ensues, the group are dispatched to the West where it is hoped they cannot do too much damage to the Union cause. And then the viewer learns these misfits will have to protect a large gold shipment that Confederate guerrillas will really be trying to make away with.. The young officer has another thorn in his side; the complication is that he has fallen head-over-heels for a gung-ho and gorgeous female Confederate spy. What happens next has to be seen to be howled at. The actors in this colorful comedy-and adventure and romance are under-appreciated Glenn Ford, the ultra-skilled award-level Melvyn Douglas as the Union colonel in question, Stella Stevens as the well-constructed spy, and a large number of very good supporting actors including Jim Backus, Joan Blondell, Whit Bissell, Andrew Prine, Jesse Pearson, Michael Pate, Alan Hale, Jr., James Griffith, and many more in smaller roles. The writers credited with this hilarious screenplay, probably also an inspiration for "Hogan's Heroes" included veteran screenwriter William Bowers, Robert Carson, Samuel A. Peeples and Jack Schaefer. The music was provided by Randy Sparks, the vivid cinematography by the talented Milton Krasner. The very fine art direction was done by George W. Davis and George Imazu, with set decoration by Budd Friend and tasteful Henry Grace, with costumes by Walter Plunkett, makeup by the legendary William Tuttle and hairstyles by Sydney Guilaroff. This is a film which has everything I suggest that a comedy could ask for--a strong central character, a clear set of goals, well- developed characters, humor born out of situation, character and reaction, and a first-rate production in the hands of a director who gives every moment its due but never slows down the pace. Please watch this feature the next time it is presented; I believe you will appreciate its classic comedy mood as much as I do. I suggest it is a one-of-kind comedy although very often imitated.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Anybody have a copy of it? Spamlet
great movie! rare. can be seen online free. mayanlongcount
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