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7 user 1 critic

The Rookie (1959)

Approved | | Comedy | December 1959 (USA)
Pvt. Thomas Noonan and Sgt. Pete Marshall are both vying for the hand of Lili Marlene. After World War II ends, the three of them get stranded on a remote island. Two Japanese sailors, unaware that the war has ended, arrive on the island.

Director:

George O'Hanlon
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Cast

Cast overview:
Tommy Noonan ... Pvt. Thomas Patrick 'Tommy' Noonan / Japanese Submarine Sailor
Peter Marshall ... MSgt. Pete Marshall / Japanese Submarine Sailor (as Pete Marshall)
Julie Newmar ... Lili Marlene
Jerry Lester Jerry Lester ... Jerry Mann
Claude Stroud ... Col. Taylor
Norman Leavitt ... Maj. Evert
Joe Besser ... Medical Corpsman
Vince Barnett ... 1st Janitor
Herb Armstrong ... Lt. Pat Sumner
Richard Reeves ... Bruce - Military Police Sergeant
Don Corey Don Corey ... Cook
Rodney Bell Rodney Bell ... 2nd Janitor
George Eldredge ... Gen. Bechtel
Peter Leeds Peter Leeds ... Seville Quare
Patrick O'Moore ... Ship's Captain Weiss
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Storyline

Pvt. Thomas Noonan and Sgt. Pete Marshall are both vying for the hand of Lili Marlene. After World War II ends, the three of them get stranded on a remote island. Two Japanese sailors, unaware that the war has ended, arrive on the island.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

world war two | See All (1) »

Taglines:

America's newest laugh-makers!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ultimo recluta See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

First and only directorial effort from George O'Hanlon. See more »

Connections

Featured in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 19 May 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Caisson Song
(uncredited)
Written by Edmund L. Gruber
Sung by Tommy Noonan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not just unfunny, but embarrassingly unfunny
11 January 2003 | by frankfobSee all my reviews

It's hard to tell if Noonan and Marshall are trying to ape Abbott & Costello, Martin & Lewis, Curley & Larry, or some other comedy team, but whoever it was they were trying to imitate, they failed miserably. There's barely one weak laugh in this whole incredibly stupid picture. Noonan (who helped write the alleged "script", which is full of tired vaudeville-era jokes, lame puns and plot holes you could drive a Peterbilt through) and Marshall have no chemistry whatsoever; Marshall seems to be trying for a Dean Martin type of devil-may-care coolness, but he doesn't come even remotely close. God knows what Noonan thought he was doing, but being funny sure wasn't it. He seems to think that flapping his arms and legs like a marionette and and staring stupidly at everyone and everything is the height of screen comedy; maybe for him it is, but not for the audience.

I remember seeing this in the theaters when it came out. It was on the bottom of a double bill with a three-year-old Jeff Chandler western ("Pillars of the Sky," which was pretty good) and a Three Stooges short ("Sappy Bullfighters", which wasn't), and about 20 minutes into this thing all the kids in the audience were throwing stuff at the screen; it was so staggeringly unfunny that it didn't even measure up to the worst of the Three Stooges shorts. I stayed around for the end of it (not that I wanted to, but my folks weren't due to pick me up until after the movie ended), and by the time this mess was over, I was the only one in the theater. I saw it again about 15 or so years ago on cable one night, and stuck around to watch it to see if it was as inept, unfunny and brainless as I remembered. Well, I had a surprise coming to me--it was worse.

The only thing--and I emphasize the ONLY thing--this dog has going for it was Julie Newmar, who was as smokingly hot as ever; other than her, this schnauzer has absolutely NOTHING to recommend it. The two of them also play Japanese soldiers, and the way they do it makes Jerry Lewis' infamous playing of Japanese characters as thick-lensed, buck-toothed, gibbering mental defectives look benign by comparison. Marshall went on to host "Hollywood Squares," and Noonan kept trying his hand at making movies, but most of them were almost as bad as this. Not quite, though, as I don't think ANYTHING could be quite as bad as this. A truly pathetic waste of film. Don't waste your time on it.


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