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Lee H. Katzin
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
Jackie Gleason released a version of the title music as a single on Capitol in early 1964, with another Henry Mancini composition, Bird Brain, as the b-side. This puts Soldier in the Rain (1963) in the same category as Thunder Road (1958) and Because They're Young (1960): movies which had a version of the theme song performed by a member of the cast and released as a single, while that version wasn't the one used in the movie. See more »
At the shooting gallery, in between bites, Bobby Joe's cotton candy is out of frame and suddenly loses half it's volume. See more »
This funny and sweet film brings together three characters whose personalities are in sharp contrast to each other.
McQueen is known for his roles as a "tough guy," but in this movie, his remarkable comedy skill was shown. If you have seen McQueen only as a tough guy, then seeing him in this movie will impress you with the range of which he was capable.
Conversely, Gleason, the great comic, as the straight man here, is sweet and touching and tragic.
Tuesday Weld plays a ditzy bimbo who oddly enough, becomes a girlfriend for Gleason's character in a May/December pairing that is even more peculiar on account of her fluffiness contrasted to his quiet and sober nature.
The film is in black and white, which was very effective for the story.
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