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Wake Me When It's Over (1960)

Approved | | Comedy | 10 June 1960 (West Germany)
Gus Brubaker has been drafted... again. Due to a clerical error, Gus finds himself deployed to a little Japanese island where everyone is bored to death. So Gus decided to build a hotel and hire locals to run the place.


Mervyn LeRoy


Richard L. Breen, Howard Singer (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernie Kovacs ... Capt. Charlie Stark
Dick Shawn ... Gus Brubaker
Margo Moore ... Lt. Nora McKay
Jack Warden ... Captain Dave 'Doc' Farrington
Nobu McCarthy ... Ume Tanaka (as Nobu Atsumi McCarthy)
Don Knotts ... Sgt. Percy Warren
Robert Strauss ... Sgt. Sam Weiscoff
Noreen Nash ... Marge Brubaker
Parley Baer ... Col. Archie Hollingsworth
Robert Emhardt ... Joab Martinson
Marvin Kaplan ... Hap Cosgrove
Tommy Nishimura Tommy Nishimura ... Pvt. Jim (Mushy) Harigawa
Raymond Bailey ... Gen. Weigang
Robert Burton ... Col. Dowling
Frank Behrens Frank Behrens ... Maj. Bigelow


Gus Brubaker has been drafted... again. Due to a clerical error, Gus finds himself deployed to a little Japanese island where everyone is bored to death. So Gus decided to build a hotel and hire locals to run the place.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


G.I.s on the loose with 100 Geisha Girls...on a forgotten island in the South Pacific...WOW!




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 June 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Unrasiert und fern der Heimat See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dick Shawn had an "introducing" credit. See more »


Doc Farrington: Out of fifty-four girls, he's gotta find the only one with a case of hot kimono.
See more »


Referenced in Inventing the Abbotts (1997) See more »


Wake Me When It's Over
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Sung by Andy Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

Delicious writing and acting
21 July 2005 | by Karen Green (klg19)See all my reviews

I've not read the Howard Singer novel, but seeing this film is going to send me straight to the library for it. I watched this on a whim, because I wanted to see an Ernie Kovacs film performance different from his turn in "Bell, Book, and Candle." The cast in this film--from Kovacs, to newcomer Dick Shawn, to the marvelous Marvin Kaplan, to a wonderfully subdued Jack Warden--is top-notch, and the writing is just splendid. The film takes on military bureaucracy, sexual mores, international relations, postwar backlash, and mixes it all up with the sort of hijinks that Sergeant Bilko was best known for. It's sheer delight.

Shawn is the victim of a bureaucratic snafu: listed as dead after having spent 2 years in a German P.O.W. camp, the Air Force decides to issue him a new serial number instead of reinstating his old one, then discharges him the next day. As a result, with only one day's service on his record, Shawn is re-drafted 7 years after his official discharge, and stationed on the remote Japanese island of Shima, where the hostile inhabitants still have a shrine to a downed Japanese plane.

The air base C.O. is a cavalier flyboy, played by Ernie Kovacs, with the only other real authority being the doctor, played by Jack Warden. The 100 men stationed there are bored out of their skulls (Don Knotts has a nice turn as the activities counselor), and with Shawn's arrival a plot is hatched to keep the men occupied, improve local relations, and dispose of a great deal of G.I. surplus material.

The movie is a little on the long side, and the subplot with the female lieutenant seems a little forced, but the action and snappy dialogue will keep you engrossed throughout.

Sadly, this film is not available on VHS or DVD, which is a crying shame. Watch for it on television; you won't regret it.

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