In the western frontier town of Cross Creek storekeeper George Temple is a polite and soft spoken man with a secret past.When three bank robbers on the lam stop in town to change horses George Temple's past comes back to haunt him.
The "dance hall girls" getting run out of town on the steamboat may have been based on a Civil War incident where the provost marshal in Nashville rounded up all the town's prostitutes and sent them by steamboat to Cincinnati. See more »
In the scenes where the cannons fire 30 rounds, some of the cannons fire before their fuses are ignited. See more »
Advance to the Rear is the last of a string of films that Glenn Ford made with director George Marshall. As an actor/director combination, they don't rate as high as John Wayne/John Ford or Robert DeNiro/Martin Scorsese, but they did turn out a succession of very funny films.
Back at the beginning of Ford's career, Marshall directed him in Texas along with another young star Bill Holden. Than it was almost a decade until they worked together again in one of Ford's best and probably funniest film, The Sheepman.
Ford had not done that much comedy up till then. Marshall took great advantage of Glenn Ford's really great gift for deadpanning some fabulous lines. They did five more films after that and Ford used him in his television series Cade's County. A good director/actor team turning out some great product.
I think George Marshall's not been given his due. He was best at comedy, but could also turn out good westerns. His most noted film, Destry Rides Again is a great blend of both.
Ford is a newly assigned lieutenant in a company that bears a striking resemblance to F Troop. Possibly this film was the inspiration for same. After a major snafu, they are assigned out in the west where it is hoped they cannot do too much damage to the Union cause.
And then it's discovered they are to be protecting a major gold shipment that Confederate guerrilla James Griffith is out to steal. Ford has an additional complication in that he's fallen for Confederate spy Stella Stevens.
You'll have a lot of laughs along the way in seeing if and how all these situations are dealt with. Another performance of note here is Melvyn Douglas as the commanding officer of the company. Douglas, two years past his Oscar for Hud, gets a real change of pace and he looks like he's having a ball playing the bumbling and pompous Colonel Brackenby.
Watch this one and you're in for good afternoon's share of laughs.
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