THE GIRL HE LEFT BEHIND
(director: David Butler; screenwriter: Guy Trosper/based on the memoir by Marion Hargrove; cinematographer: Ted D. McCord; editor: Irene Morra; music: Roy Webb; cast: Tab Hunter (Andy Shaeffer), Natalie Wood (Susan Daniels), Vinton Hayworth (Arthur Scvhaeffer), Jessie Royce Landis (Madeline Shaeffer), Jim Backus (Sgt. Hanna), Henry Jones (Hanson), Murray Hamilton (Sgt. Clyde), Alan King (Maguire), James Garner (Preston), David Janssen (Capt. Genaro); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Frank P. Rosenberg; Warner Brothers; 1956)
“Dreadful Army recruiting comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
David Butler (“April in Paris”/”Calamity Jane”) flatly helms this dreadful Army recruiting comedy. It’s based on the memoir by Marion Hargrove, and is awkwardly written by Guy Trosper. The action is set in California.It tells of the spoiled rich boy Andy Schaeffer (Tab Hunter), who flunks out of college and is drafted into the peacetime Army. He wants out of the service to be back home with his conventional coed girlfriend Susan Daniels (Natalie Wood). Predictably Andy’s scheme to get a discharge because of ineptitude backfires, as during a war games exercise he heroically saves the lives of four soldiers. Thereby his dishonorable discharge is disregarded and he graduates from basic training. As his proud parents (Jessie Royce Landis & Vinton Hayworth) say at his graduation ceremony, the Army made a man out of him. It’s filmed in black-and-white.
REVIEWED ON 12/7/2016 GRADE: C