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Advance to the Rear (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, War, Western | 1964 (Italy)
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2:59 | Trailer
A Union army outfit of misfits and rejects is sent to the Western territory. Southern spies try to figure out what they're up to.

Director:

George Marshall

Writers:

Samuel A. Peeples (screen play), William Bowers (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Glenn Ford ... Capt. Jared Heath
Stella Stevens ... Martha Lou Williams
Melvyn Douglas ... Col. Claude Brackenbury
Jim Backus ... Gen. Willoughby
Joan Blondell ... Easy Jenny
Andrew Prine ... Pvt. Owen Selous
Jesse Pearson ... Cpl. Silas Geary
Alan Hale Jr. ... Sgt. Beauregard Davis (as Alan Hale)
James Griffith ... Hugo Zattig
Whit Bissell ... Capt. Queeg
Michael Pate ... Thin Elk
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Storyline

In 1862, during the American Civil War, a company of Union infantrymen, commanded by Colonel Claude Brackenbury, receives an order to attack the Confederate positions. Due to a mishap, the colonel's horse stampedes toward the rear of the front. The confused soldiers, deployed in assault formation, follow their colonel in a rush. This is seen by the consequent Board of Inquiry as plain cowardice in the face of the enemy. As a result, Colonel Brackenbury is demoted to the rank of Captain and his executive officer, Captain Jared Heath, is demoted to the rank of Lieutenant. As further punishment, Brackenbury and Heath, together with a few of their NCOs are transferred West, to Fort Hooker where they are to take charge of a company of misfits and rejects. The new company is designated as Company Q. On the way West, the demoted officers travel on a river-boat. Among the passengers there are several prostitutes, led by Madam Easy Jenny, who are being run out of town by the decent townsfolk. ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You've met the Rat Pack...Now meet the Mouse Pack!!!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1964 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Advance to the Rear See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Original title was "Company of Cowards", which was the name of the source novel, but the studio decided it was not marketable. Theme song: "Company of Cowards" remained, however. See more »

Goofs

From an opening title card, the film begins in the spring of 1862. Right after the inquest, Gen. Willoughby quotes Gen. Sherman as saying "war is hell". That did not occur until September of 1864. See more »

Quotes

Easy Jenny: Say, you're not interested in her, are you?
Heath: Not in the way you mean, Jenny.
Easy Jenny: What other way is there?
See more »

Soundtracks

Anything Love Can Buy
Written by Randy Sparks (uncredited)
Performed by The New Christy Minstrels
See more »

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User Reviews

A B-movie masterpiece
6 March 2001 | by smprescottSee all my reviews

I saw this movie in the basement movie studio of Ytterboe Hall (my freshman college dorm -- alas now only a memory) when it came out 37 years ago. After I got married and settled down, I started scanning the television listings regularly for it. After 20 years, one of the channels started showing it in the wee hours so I managed to tape it. 'Advance To The Rear' is a rare gem.

This movie was made during the short but glorious window of cultural innocence (between R & B and the Rolling Stones) when folk music was as popular as rock. The music is by Randy Sparks and sung by his New Christy Minstrals. The song 'Today' is from this movie.

Stella Stevens, as the Confederate spy, is gorgeous beyond description. Glen Ford plays the bemused hero trying to do things by the book admidst a collection of misfits ('We're a company of cowards and we've come to save the day.'). Jim Backus ('Gilligan's Island' and the voice of Mr. Magoo) leads a familiar cast of veteran supporting actors and actresses of the era. Did I mention that Stella Stevens is good looking?

'Advance To The Rear' is a B-movie masterpiece. One of those rare examples of everything coming together perfectly. For those of us who remember the era, it is also very evocative -- perhaps more so than any other movie of its time. It would be nice if whoever has the rights would release it, my VHS tape is getting a little flaky. By the way, they made an LP of the sound track. Now that be a major garage sale find.


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