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Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (1970)

GP  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  5 March 1971 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 273 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Tensions grow between the small army base and people from the nearby town. Despite well intentions of people from both sides it all escalates after the big dance in town.


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Complete credited cast:
Officer Michael M. Nace
Shannon Gambroni
Sheriff Harve
Sgt. Jones
Billy Joe Davis
Capt. Myerson
Mr. Kruft
Maj. Purvis
Col. Flanders
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean Argyle ...
Mrs. Calhoun
John James Bannon ...
1st MP
Stan Barrett ...
Green Beret Soldier
Jeanne Bates ...
Mrs. Flanders
William Bramley ...
Deputy Henry


Tensions grow between the small army base and people from the nearby town. Despite well intentions of people from both sides it all escalates after the big dance in town.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 March 1971 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

War Games  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fourth film from distributor Cinerama in just two years to be titled with a question mark, alongside How Do I Love Thee? (1970), They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) and What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969); Where Does It Hurt? (1972) would soon follow. See more »


Shannon Gambroni: Machines are like broads, built to be had.
See more »


Remade as Tank (1984) See more »


Mama Two March
Music by Jerry Fielding
Lyrics by David McKechnie
See more »

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User Reviews

Put this one in the tank and forget about it
25 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Over the years, Hollywood has made some very good comedies about the military or set in military service. But, this is not one of them. It has to be near the bottom of the heap. What there is of a plot seems to be a few days in the lives of three career GI buddies, who are together again in a stateside base around 1970. That's when the movie was made, and when the U.S. was in the height of the war in Vietnam. Other reviewers have noted the absence of any awareness of a war going on among the characters of this film. One of the three leads in this film, Sergeant Shannon Gambroni, is a major foul-up. None of the roles are very good, so Tony Curtis can't be blamed too much for his poor portrayal of an unbelievable character. Oh, we had people like Gambroni in the Army, but they never made sergeant – or, if they did, they didn't keep their stripes very long.

This isn't a satire, and it's not a slapstick comedy. There is little more than a few clichés for humorous lines – nothing really witty about the film. The climax is the theft of some kind of a vehicle they call a tank. The feuding between the military and the local sheriff just doesn't come off as genuine, or comic. It reminded me of another film, the 1984 movie 'Tank" that starred James Garner. It wasn't a comedy, but had the best tank chase ever put on film. By the end of that movie, everyone was rooting for Garner and his tank.

So, in scratching "Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came," I can recommend a number of very funny and very good military comedies. Before and during WW II, But Abbott and Lou Costello donned various service uniforms for some laughs. Other actors got in the act, parodying military life. In 1958, Andy Griffith and Nick Adams starred in "No Time for Sergeants," and introduced foul balls who couldn't do anything right. Two Navy comedies were made about service in the backwaters during the war. "Mr. Roberts" in 1955 starred Henry Fonda, James Cagney and Jack Lemmon. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis starred in the 1959 Navy comedy, "Operation Petticoat."

Well into the Cold War, and U.S. involvement in Vietnam, American comedies about the military took on a different look. The slapstick and buffoonery were mostly replaced by satire and military irreverence. This led to some excellent films. "Dr. Strangelove," in 1964 starred Peter Sellers and a stellar cast. "MASH" in 1970 mixed the satire with drama and some crazy antics in a look back on the Korean War (then called a "conflict"). It starred Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould. "Kelly's Heroes" in 1970 had GIs in WW II going after gold in a German bank. The leaders were Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles and Donald Sutherland. A 1999 film would reprise that theme at the end of the Persian Gulf War. George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg starred in "Three Kings."

In 1981, a hilarious satire reintroduced some antics. "Stripes" had Bill Murray, John Candy and Harold Raimis as Army misfits with brains. "Good Morning, Vietnam" came out in 1987. It was a powerful comedy satire and drama about that war, starring Robin Williams. There are many more military comedies, but these are some of the best that will give movie buffs some excellent entertainment in place of duds like "Suppose They Gave a War."

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