6.5/10
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14 user 7 critic

Operation Mad Ball (1957)

In post-WW2 France, U.S. Army hospital private Hogan and Captain Locke try to outwit one another on issues such as wooing pretty nurses, accounting for missing medical supplies, organizing unauthorized dances and influencing their C.O.

Director:

Richard Quine

Writers:

Arthur Carter (screenplay), Jed Harris (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Lemmon ... Pvt. Hogan
Ernie Kovacs ... Capt. Paul Lock
Kathryn Grant ... Lt. Betty Bixby
Arthur O'Connell ... Col. Rousch
Mickey Rooney ... MSgt. Yancy Skibo
Dick York ... Cpl. Bohun
James Darren ... Pvt. Widowskas
Roger Smith ... Cpl. Berryman
William Leslie ... Pvt. Grimes
Sheridan Comerate Sheridan Comerate ... Sgt. Wilson
L.Q. Jones ... Ozark
Jeanne Manet Jeanne Manet ... Madame LaFour
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Storyline

Private Hogan must raise his ability to scheme and plot to a new level to put on a madcap dance to celebrate the closing of an Army surgical hospital in post WWII France while evading the stickler-for-details Captain Locke - and win the heart to the beautiful nurse Lieutenant Betty Bixby. Written by Rick Munoz <munozrd@mymail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Filmed Entirely WITHOUT Army Coperation! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 August 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mad Ball See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

5' 2" Mickey Rooney dances with 5' 8" Marilyn Hanold, perhaps an intentional reprise of Rooney's scene in the 1946 picture, "Love Laughs at Andy Hardy," in which he dances with 6' 2"" Dorothy Ford. See more »

Goofs

When Lieutenant Bixby catches Hogan in his lie about the Stucky's X-ray and he is reading her the Riot-act about officers versus women and she has a choice, her little spit curl on the left side is straight and a bit frazzled. When Hogan salutes her and turns around to leave (with some facial guarded remorse), the shot now shows Bixby in the background with her spit curt perfectly replaced and back to being super cute. See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #8.28 (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Hummed by the soldiers in the barracks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watch an Episode of 'Bilko' Instead
20 June 2018 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

Obviously made to capitalise on Jack Lemmon's Oscar-winning turn as Ensign Pulver in 'Mister Roberts' and the current popularity of mildly satirical service comedies like 'Teahouse of the August Moon' and 'Bilko'. With that title and that cast, I've been expecting something fast-paced and zany; but mounting a big party behind the backs of their superiors hardly seems to justify such a long (105 minutes) and elaborately produced movie, which never takes flight and feels like the filmed play it is. The music score is twee, the photography drab; and its terrific cast all talk too much. (I also think it should have been in colour, like most of its contemporaries were.)

It's digs at military bureaucracy and (very) odd moments of black humour have led to comparisons with 'MASH', but a truer precursor to that is actually 'Captain Newman, M.D.' (1963), with Gregory Peck and Tony Curtis. See that instead.


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