In this retelling of Gunga Din (1939) transplanted to the 1870's American West, three cavalry officers and a bugler work together to thwart a Native American chief intent on uniting local tribes against the white man.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Captain Tom Reynolds and his band of skilled O.S.S. operatives are in WWII Burma to train the Kachin natives in modern warfare. But jungle combat, particularly against a Japanese army as familiar with the terrain as the Kachin, is more grueling than Reynolds had reckoned. Some respite is found in the arms of beautiful Carla, but after Chinese rebels cross the border to loot and murder American soldiers, Reynolds abandons all notions of "military protocol" and seeks requital. Written by
Chris Stone <email@example.com>
The airplane taxiing on the airfield in the movie is an actual WW II Japanese Nakajima KI-84 "Hayate" (code named 'Frank'), and was the equal of any allied fighter plane at the time. This aircraft is now on display at the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots in Kagoshima Japan, and is the only surviving example of this type. See more »
Just before the commandos attack the Japanese patrol, Sgt. Jim Nortby is reading a Tom and Jerry Comic Book. The cover is in late 1950s style, and they would never have even had a comic in that shape in a deep penetration operation such as what they were on. See more »
Capt. Tom Reynolds:
[to Ringa, after Capt. De Mortimer has been killed]
I'm giving you a field commission: Second Lieutenant. You let it change your ways, and you're a damned fool.
Cpl. Bill Ringa:
Yeah. A meat-headed Second Lieutenant. William Lewis Ringa, a gentleman, by act of Congress. I'm just sorry it had to happen this way. But I'll tell you one thing: I'd give you the shirt off my back.
Capt. Tom Reynolds:
You already did, remember?
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Let yourself cash with the action, of which there is plenty, and I think you're in for a chuckling time...
One striking point in 'Never So Few' flavor is the luxurious Gina Lollobrigida, cautious, conventional and very careful, who is something to look at from any angle or any side... She displays an array of revealing gowns, and a full and shapely figure... And don't think the lady doesn't know it... With her, temptation is an art, and a titillating bath is an aesthetic maneuver... The signorina racks up quite a score... She exudes real charm and, contrary to expectation, the exotic locations of Burma, Thailand and Ceylon (exquisitely photographed in Technicolor and CinemaScope) are tentatively explored...
'Never So Few' is an undistinguished war film... Its stars are much more important than the story, but there is plenty of action...
Sinatra is heroic, tender, and rebel... A hard-drinking, hard-bitten army captain swinging with the plot from mild-mannered soldier so brave in battle, to an officer and a gentleman so afraid of life... He leads his men against the Chinese although it means crossing the Chinese frontier... In a captured Chinese village he orders all prisoners shot, wiring his superiors to 'go to hell.' He finds American supplies, and licenses issued to warlords by Chungking to raid Allied troops and sell the booty to the Japanese, splitting the take with Chungking!
The supporting cast is filled with familiar faces and each reacts to the situation differently:
Peter Lawford is the surgeon pushed out over the hills who is treating Captain De Mortimer for malaria... He advises Sinatra not to cross the border...
Steve McQueen looks good as the reckless, casual GI corporal who overpowers two 'guardians of law & order' so neatly that Sinatra gets him transferred to his outfit... McQueen gives his best screen performance, and it led to his being chosen as one of 'The Magnificent Seven' as Yul Brynner's first recruit and second-in-command...
Richard Johnson is Captain Danny De Mortimer ordered with Tom Reynolds to take a two-week "holiday" in Calcutta to obtain a surgeon and medical supplies for their men...
Paul Henreid is a war profiteer who buys and sells things in seven languages, at all hours...
Charles Bronson is the tough and edgy Sergeant John Danforth...
Dean Jones is the sergeant who clearly delivers the message: 'Do not move any attack. Rearm and release any prisoners you may have taken.'
Robert Bray is Colonel Parkson who warns Reynolds not to attack the Chinese village...
Brian Donlevy is General Sloan who backs up Reynolds and puts off the Chungking representative...
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