5.9/10
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35 user 17 critic

Never So Few (1959)

Approved | | Drama, War | 7 December 1959 (USA)
During WW2, the American OSS mounts covert operations with the native Kachin against the Japanese army in the jungles of Burma.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Millard Kaufman (screenplay), Tom T. Chamales (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Sinatra ... Capt. Tom Reynolds
Gina Lollobrigida ... Carla Vesari
Peter Lawford ... Capt. Grey Travis
Steve McQueen ... Bill Ringa
Richard Johnson ... Capt. Danny De Mortimer
Paul Henreid ... Nikko Regas
Brian Donlevy ... Gen. Sloan
Dean Jones ... Sgt. Jim Norby
Charles Bronson ... Sgt. John Danforth
Philip Ahn ... Nautaung
Robert Bray ... Col. Fred Parkson
Kipp Hamilton ... Margaret Fitch
John Hoyt ... Col. Reed
Whit Bissell ... Capt. Alofson - Psychiatrist
Richard Lupino Richard Lupino ... Mike Island
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Storyline

Captain Tom Reynolds and his band of skilled OSS operatives are in WWII Burma to arm and train the Kachin natives. But jungle combat, particularly against a Japanese army as familiar with the terrain as the Kachin, is hazardous. Some respite is found during leaves in the arms of beautiful gold digger Carla, but after Chinese raiders cross the border to loot and murder American soldiers, Reynolds abandons all notions of "military protocol" and seeks requital. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When They Meet...It's Like Fire Touching Dynamite! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Campaign Burma See more »

Filming Locations:

India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,480,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve McQueen's role was originally going to be played by Sammy Davis Jr.. A feud had broken out between Davis and Frank Sinatra after Davis had claimed in a radio interview that he was a greater singer than Sinatra. Sinatra demanded he be dropped from the cast, and McQueen got the part. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of this WWII film, supplies are parachuted to the troops. On several of the boxes, USAF was stenciled on the boxes. The United States Air Force was not named until 1947 and the stencil should have read USAAF (United States Army Air Force). See more »

Quotes

Capt. Tom Reynolds: [the new doctor is nonchalantly whistling while attending the injured from the previous night's ambush on the camp] All right, doc, knock off the whistling. Nobody's interested in how medically unconcerned you are.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Burmese Fanfare
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Wolcott
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
OSS captain Sinatra finds himself leading brave American and Kachin troops across the Burmese jungle
12 September 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

During WW2, the American O.S.S. mounts covert operations , led by Captain Tom Reynolds (Frank Sinatra) commanding a handful of skilled O.S.S. operatives against the Japanese army in the jungles of Burma . But jungle combat is more grueling than Reynolds had reckoned . As the military commander and his outnumbered troops overcome incredible odds against the Japanese . As sharp-witted soldiers accompany him , such as : Sergeant Jim Norby (Dean Jones) , Capt. Danny De Mortimer (Richard Johnson) , Sgt. John Danforth (Charles Bronson) , Bill Ringa (Steve McQueen) and Doctor Capt. Grey Travis (Peter Lawford). Some respite is found in the arms of gorgeous Carla (Gina Lollobrigida) , an Italian woman protected by a veteran war supplier (Paul Henreid) . But after Chinese rebels offering illegal cross-border support , as they pass the frontier to loot and kill American soldiers ,as Reynolds abandons all notions of "military protocol" and seeks vendetta ; weighting Tom's impulsive requital , attacking against the formalities of the international diplomacy .

There's a lot of everything in this Sturges' wartime drama about Burmese war , such as : noisy action , romance , serious political talk , spectacular battles , luxurious scenarios , and wonderful Gina . This movie is based on the real-life story of World War II's OSS Detachment 101 and adapted from the novel by Tom T. Chameles ; but including a lot of focus on a silly love story . This was an OSS Operations Group designed to specialize in activities in the China-Burma-India region in collaboration with the Kachin Rangers , guerrillas and other Allied special operations units and particularly against a Japanese army as familiar with the terrain as the Kachin . The flick has a stolid script by Millard Kaufman , but not uninteresting , and results to be slow-moving , overlong and a little bit dull . However , the war battles , explosions and shootouts make strong impression . Too much romance bogs down this warfare yarn , although the action and intrigue are nice . The film loses impetus when it lingers over the Sinatra's romance with Lollo . Elsewhere, it is indicative of Cold War tensions that attention turns in the hard confrontation between American and Chinese troops . The picture proved once and for all that Frank could be a fine actor . He plays as Captain Tom Reynolds who is in WWII Burma to train the Kachin natives in modern warfare . Regular acting by Gina as the mistress of oily profileer played by Paul Henreid . There are excellent acting from some Hollywood's best players , including prestigious secondaries . Very good support cast as Dean Jones , John Hoyt , Whit Bissell , Richard Johnson , Brian Donlevy . And a lot of oriental actors to have an acceptable future Hollywood career as James Hong , George Takei and Mako's brief role as a soldier in the hospital , it was the first film role for Mako . And Aki Aleong who still goes on playing and producing ; in fact , he has played/financed the last Jean Claude Van Damme : ¨Pound and Flesh¨. It helped advance the youngster Steve McQueen career who exudes star potential , even though he was the late replacement when Sinatra fell out with Sammy Davis Jr ; as a feud had broken out between them . The following year Steve was one of ¨the Magnificent seven¨ and also played ¨The great escape¨ by Sturges .

Colorful cinematography in Cinemascope and Technicolor by William H. Daniels , usual cameraman to Greta Garbo . Thrilling as well as atmospheric musical score by Hugo Friedhofer . The motion picture was regularly directed by John Sturges . This one , though , is pretty slack stuff by John Sturges' standards . Sturges was an expert on Western genre as proved in ¨ Escape from Fort Bravo , The law and Jake Wade , The last train of Gun Hill, The Magnificent seven , Backlash , Hour of gun , Bad Day at Black Rock , Joe Kidd , The Hallelujah trail , 3 Sergeants , Valdez or Chino¨ and many others . rating : passable , worthwhile watching .


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