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This is an Intelligently-Plotted, Leisurely and Charming Satire
This is another of a large list of service comedies, WWI, WWII and Korea, that were tried by Hollywood producers. Apparently, the idea of being part of an emergency organization of order-givers and not being able to risk one's life actively caused men in uniform to think up fantastic schemes, dream big dreams and want to get back to civilian profit-earning. Case in point--the gentlemen in this happy and very-well-made comedic satire. George Marshall directed these breezy proceedings with his usual genial skill; George Duning provided nice music and Burnett Guffey the colorful and lovely cinematography. The juxtaposition of news-corps uniformed types and Japanese ladies in a place rented by the newsmen for various purposes worked unusually well. In this talented cast are Glenn Ford, Donald O'Connor, Miiko Taka, Miyoshi Umeki, Nancy Kovack, Howard St. John, Michi Kobi, funnyman Joe Flynn, Harlan Warde and talented James Shigeta. Irving Brecher wrote the well-paced screenplay from George Campbell's clever and dialogue-rich novel. Forget the storyline; this is a fine story based on real experiences, exampling the differences between the thinking of the US soldiers and those with whom they deal in another country--in this case, Japan; it is almost a companion piece to "Don't Go Near the Water", only much lower-keyed. It even has a theme--"Be true to yourself", and there are no real villains; only a timetable and romances and the usual GI slightly-illegal goings-on. A vastly underrated and well-remembered film. Watch it, slowly. Enjoy!
- Jun 27, 2005
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