Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Overlooked Movies: Soldier in the Rain

While on my military comedy theme, here's one that I really liked, though it probably wasn't as good as I thought.  It's also as much a drama as a comedy, with a sentimental ending.

The casting of the top-billed McQueen and Gleason is interesting, since McQueen plays the exuberant balls-to-the wall guy and Gleason underplays his own role.  McQueen is the not-too-bright hick, a schemer who hates the army and can't wait to get out.  Gleason's the staid career guy.  The movie's really a buddy film about their relationship as much as it's about anything.  The wild plotting of a military comedy like Wake Me When It's Over is absent. There's not much of a plot at all.

And speaking of casting, Tuesday Weld is really good in this, as she was in a lot of things.  Her relationship with Gleason is very well done.  

I don't know how well the ending would work now, but I thought it was pretty cool 50-something years ago.  I bought the book shortly after seeing the movie and immediately became a William Goldman fan.  I checked Netflix, and the movie's not available through that service.  Too bad, as it's another one I'd really like to see again.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't really remember the details (wasn't it in black & white?) but I do remember seeing it, as well as reading the Goldman book, followed by his BOYS AND GIRLS TOGETHER, THE THING OF IT IS..., YOUR TURN TO CURTSY, MY TURN TO BOW and THE TEMPLE OF GOLD, all in the late 1960's.

Jeff

Bill Crider said...

Yes, it was in glorious B&W (clips above somewhere).

Rick said...

I bought a gorgeous collector-to-collector copy of this several years ago.
McQueen played it a bit more--okay a lot more-- stupid than I had recalled.
Gleason was even spectacular than I remembered.
And Weld was, as I mention in one of my Pinterest film poster pins, the most sadly under-utilized movie actresses of her generation.

Rick said...

"...one of the most sadly under-utilized..."

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am not sure I ever saw this which is surprising considering my teenage crush on Steve.

Mike Doran said...

I'm fairly sure that Soldier In The Rain is available as a MOD-DVD, I think from Warner Archive (not 100% certain, have to check).

"Until that time, Eustis ... until that time ..."

Todd Mason said...

This will be playing on US public television stations a Lot in December. However, as far as I know, it hasn't be scheduled on KUHT as far as I see.

Bill Crider said...

Naturally. Houston's public TV station isn't great.