Although allergic to kissing girls, Seaman Melvin Jones, through a fluke TV appearance, gets the undeserved reputation of a great kisser dubbed "Mr. Temptation" and is pursued by amorous young females.
En route to Hollywood, singer Steve, his partner Seymour and fiancée Jane, Jane's airheaded roommate Irma, and Irma's con artist fiancé Al have a series of misadventures and end up involved with a murderous gang.
Sidney Pythias is a bumbling janitor picked up by cop Mike Damon as a teenage gang member worth saving from delinquency. With Damon's help, Sidney works his way through the Police Academy to become a cop too.
This is Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis' first STARRING film--some reviews have said that this was their first film, though this was "My Friend Irma" from the previous year and "My Friend Irma Goes West" came out a few months before "At War With the Army". Because it was such an early film, the style and chemistry of the movie certainly isn't what you might expect for the team. The first big difference you'll notice is Jerry's musical number in his first scene! The next is that there really isn't much chemistry between them--as if it's a "Martin VERSUS Lewis" film! All too often, Dean yells at Jerry--and there's nothing all that funny about this. Any sort of camaraderie between them is missing. And, oddly, Jerry plays a guy who is married! The film is an army comedy--a type of film that was very popular around 1940-1941 but had a bit of a resurgence in the 1950s--with films like this one, "No Time for Sergeants" and "Jumping Jacks". Compared to such classic films as these plus "Caught in the Draft", "Buck Privates" and "Tanks a Million", "At War With the Army" comes up very short--mostly because it just doesn't have the laughs or chemistry the other films had.
Before joining the Army, Jerry and Dean had been friends. Now, Dean's a sergeant and Jerry is a lowly private. And, quite often, Dean bosses Jerry about--sort of like some sort of slave. But most of the film consists of Jerry doing his thing and Dean doing his--and not at all like a team. As a result, the overall plot isn't particularly good but the viewer instead is waiting for good moments--little gems that appear here and there. One of the best is seeing Jerry in drag--he made a very, very interesting (and hairy) blonde! The reaction of everyone in the bar was priceless! And, some of the songs aren't bad. But again, these are only moments within an otherwise humdrum film.
Overall, this is a film that is a must-see for Martin & Lewis fans...otherwise, eminently skip-worthy!
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