Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


A PRIVATE'S AFFAIR (1959). Director: Raoul Walsh.

Luigi (Sal Mineo), Jerry (Barry Coe) and Mike (Gary Crosby) are all drafted, become buddies, and wind up being tapped to sing a silly song about the Army on a TV show hosted by Jim Gordon (Jim Backus), an Ed Sullivan type. The only really interesting development comes when Jerry, in the hospital for laryngitis, accidentally winds up getting married to the Assistant Secretary of the Army. This might have been even more interesting had the assistant secretary been a man, but the AS is actually named Elizabeth Chapman (Jessie Royce Landis). Jerry does his best to get this situation rectified despite the Army's red tape. The developments might have been amusing had Chapman been what today we would call a cougar, but she's just a nice, perfectly dull middle-aged lady. The performances are acceptable, but this is the kind of essentially foolish and unfunny semi-musical that does nothing for anyone's career, and even drags in (admittedly adorable) chimpanzees just for a couple of brief giggles. Barbara Eden, Terry Moore, and Christine Carere are the pretty ladies that the boys sort of get involved with. Mineo's character of Luigi and the voice inflection he uses for him are rather irritating. The big production number near the end features a few bosomy wenches.

Verdict: You wonder why anyone who actually read the script thought this would make a good movie. *.

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