Sentemental military comedy revolves around two contemporary army buddies, Master Sergeant Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason), a smooth operator, who supply Sergeant Eustis Clay (Steve McQueen) idolizes and hopes will join him as a civilian in a private business enterprise. Clay endeavors to be a player in the military, just like Slaughter, but it seems as though Clay still has a lot to learn from his mentor. They are joined by Tuesday Weld as a shrill dizzy blonde teenager named Bobby Jo Pepperdine and Tony Bill as bumbling Private First Class Jerry Meltzer, McQueen's screwball sidekick.Written by
The camera Clay uses for the "pin-up" contest is a Polaroid Land Camera Model J66. It uses Type 47 black and white roll film and was manufactured between 1961 and 1963. Retail price was $89.50 (or about $700 in 2016). See more »
At the shooting gallery, in between bites, Bobby Jo's cotton candy is out of frame and suddenly loses half its volume. In Bobby Jo's later encounter with Lenahan, the cotton candy disappears altogether for the remainder of the scene. See more »
[Looking at himself in a full-length mirror]
You know, Eustis, all men are vain in one way or another. I happen to be a secret narcissist.
Really? Well, Maxwell, I thought you was nutty about girls as anybody else.
[Turning and giving Sgt. Clay a curious look]
"Narcissist" is a ten-letter word meaning a person who likes to admire himself...
[turning back to look at himself in the mirror]
Let me tell you something, my friend: being a fat narcissist isn't easy.
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Listen to the Mockingbird
Music by Richard Milburn
[Background source music as an instrumental at county fair] See more »
This is truly a special film. Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen give two of their most untypical performances. The film is what I would categorize as a comedy-drama, light on the comedy and heavy on the drama. Gleason is wonderfully dry and witty as Sgt. Slaughter and McQueen is also funny in his part as well. His accent is a little difficult to get used to, but it's essential to the part he plays. The standout performance here, however, is Tuesday Weld's. She plays the slightly infantile "Miss Pepperdine" who acts as a romantic angle for Gleason's character. Their scenes together are the film's highlights. Her "introduction" in the film, involving a car wreck, is most memorable. It also features some nice acting by the supporting players. A really unique film, that hasn't had much exposure, known only to those who have seen it, and treasure it.
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