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The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance, War | 18 April 1962 (USA)
A military comedy about a luckless army intelligence lieutenant who finds himself stationed on a remote island army outpost during World War II, where all the action is between the sheets.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

George Wells (screenplay), Gordon Cotler (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jim Hutton ... Second Lt. Merle Wye
Paula Prentiss ... Lt. Molly Blue
Jack Carter ... Lt. Billy Monk
Jim Backus ... Cmdr. Jeremiah Hammerslag
Charles McGraw ... Col. Charles Korotny
Miyoshi Umeki ... Akiko
Marty Ingels ... Yeoman Leo Buckles
Lloyd Kino Lloyd Kino ... Sgt. Jess Yomura
Linda Wong Linda Wong ... Michido
Yoshio Yoda Yoshio Yoda ... Sgt. Roy Tada
Yuki Shimoda ... Kobayashi
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Storyline

1944. Hapless Second Lieutenant Merle Wye of the US army's intelligence service is dismayed that he has not seen any action - he imagining himself as a suave undercover agent, worming secrets out of exotic female spies - instead being confined to a desk job in Honolulu. For non-military reasons, Merle is assigned a new posting - his first field job - that on the South Pacific island of Rodahan. He eventually learns that both his job on Rodahan and the posting in general are rather innocuous, as the Americans liberated Rodahan from the Japanese eight months ago, there has been no action there ever since, and as such it is a rather quiet, idyllic locale. All the Japanese soldiers on the island surrendered at the time, that is all except one, a man named Kobayashi, who is unarmed and seen as being harmless because of it. Merle's job is to locate and bring in Kobayashi, solely because he has been pilfering luxury goods from the US army commissary and officers' quarters the last little ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the funniest service comedy since the War of 1812! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

18 April 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bottletop Affair See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,020,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Euterpe See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This is believed to be the first of a handful of films shot in the short lived Panacolor system. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer struck the U.S. release prints in their own lab under the Metrocolor label. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Wye is transferred to the island, the shoulder patch on his uniform changes to one signifying the U.S. Army's Ryukyu Command. This film is set during WWII and this patch did not appear until 1950 (although some references state it was unofficial as early as 1947). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Password All-Stars: Kitty Carlisle vs. Jack Carter (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

How About You?
Performed in English and Japanese
Music by Burton Lane
English lyrics by Ralph Freed
Performed by Miyoshi Umeki
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Insipid disaster
2 January 2006 | by C.K. Dexter HavenSee all my reviews

One of your more banal entries in the early 60's sex comedy genre. B movie material all the way featuring a leading man who was never funny or engaging, and a leading lady whose likability deserved better than to be lost in unintelligible glossy pieces of fluff like this.

Paula Prentiss was not the greatest actress, comedic or otherwise, but her charm and her smile have always made her one of my favorites. It's a shame she was destined to be known as the love interest in Jim Hutton comedies.

Hutton surely had to be one of the most inept comic leading men of any era. He doesn't even have even a single moment in this film that makes you laugh.

The only actor involved who brings anything colorful to this dour mess is Charles McGraw, who growls and snaps and barks as Hutton's commanding officer, but with his tongue firmly in cheek. McGraw was one of the truly great character actors. It's a memorable character turn in a film that has nothing else memorable about it.

Something about an intelligence officer who was knocked out by a baseball once who is sent to pacific island to find some Japanese spy that is actually an acrobat and along the way has a rocky romance with a Navy Nurse. A would-be WW2 romp that is as flat and lifeless as movies get. MGM gave it a sumptuous production but it was films like this, immaculately produced but lacking the kind of script, stars and director of MGM's glory years that were the final nail in the coffin of MGM as a major studio, and of Screwball comedy as an artform.

A film almost completely devoid of creativity and verve. Unless you're a Paula Prentiss or Charles McGraw fan, skip it.


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