5.9/10
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35 user 17 critic

Never So Few (1959)

Approved | | Drama, War | 7 December 1959 (USA)
During WW2, the American OSS mounts covert operations with the native Kachin against the Japanese army in the jungles of Burma.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Millard Kaufman (screenplay), Tom T. Chamales (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Sinatra ... Capt. Tom Reynolds
Gina Lollobrigida ... Carla Vesari
Peter Lawford ... Capt. Grey Travis
Steve McQueen ... Bill Ringa
Richard Johnson ... Capt. Danny De Mortimer
Paul Henreid ... Nikko Regas
Brian Donlevy ... Gen. Sloan
Dean Jones ... Sgt. Jim Norby
Charles Bronson ... Sgt. John Danforth
Philip Ahn ... Nautaung
Robert Bray ... Col. Fred Parkson
Kipp Hamilton ... Margaret Fitch
John Hoyt ... Col. Reed
Whit Bissell ... Capt. Alofson - Psychiatrist
Richard Lupino Richard Lupino ... Mike Island
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Storyline

Captain Tom Reynolds and his band of skilled OSS operatives are in WWII Burma to arm and train the Kachin natives. But jungle combat, particularly against a Japanese army as familiar with the terrain as the Kachin, is hazardous. Some respite is found during leaves in the arms of beautiful gold digger Carla, but after Chinese raiders cross the border to loot and murder American soldiers, Reynolds abandons all notions of "military protocol" and seeks requital. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When They Meet...It's Like Fire Touching Dynamite! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Campaign Burma See more »

Filming Locations:

India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,480,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The airplane taxiing on the airfield in the movie is an actual WW II Japanese Nakajima KI-84 "Hayate" (code named 'Frank'), and was the equal of any allied fighter plane at the time. This aircraft is now on display at the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots in Kagoshima Japan, and is the only surviving example of this type. See more »

Goofs

Post WW2 cars are behind the jeep driven by Bill Ringa in the early city scenes. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Tom Reynolds: You know, the movies have got it all wrong, a cigarette tastes lousy when you're wounded.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Steve McQueen: The King of Cool (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Burmese Fanfare
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Wolcott
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Let yourself cash with the action, of which there is plenty, and I think you're in for a chuckling time...
31 January 2002 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

One striking point in 'Never So Few' flavor is the luxurious Gina Lollobrigida, cautious, conventional and very careful, who is something to look at from any angle or any side... She displays an array of revealing gowns, and a full and shapely figure... And don't think the lady doesn't know it... With her, temptation is an art, and a titillating bath is an aesthetic maneuver... The signorina racks up quite a score... She exudes real charm and, contrary to expectation, the exotic locations of Burma, Thailand and Ceylon (exquisitely photographed in Technicolor and CinemaScope) are tentatively explored...

'Never So Few' is an undistinguished war film... Its stars are much more important than the story, but there is plenty of action...

Sinatra is heroic, tender, and rebel... A hard-drinking, hard-bitten army captain swinging with the plot from mild-mannered soldier so brave in battle, to an officer and a gentleman so afraid of life... He leads his men against the Chinese although it means crossing the Chinese frontier... In a captured Chinese village he orders all prisoners shot, wiring his superiors to 'go to hell.' He finds American supplies, and licenses issued to warlords by Chungking to raid Allied troops and sell the booty to the Japanese, splitting the take with Chungking!

The supporting cast is filled with familiar faces and each reacts to the situation differently:

Peter Lawford is the surgeon pushed out over the hills who is treating Captain De Mortimer for malaria... He advises Sinatra not to cross the border...

Steve McQueen looks good as the reckless, casual GI corporal who overpowers two 'guardians of law & order' so neatly that Sinatra gets him transferred to his outfit... McQueen gives his best screen performance, and it led to his being chosen as one of 'The Magnificent Seven' as Yul Brynner's first recruit and second-in-command...

Richard Johnson is Captain Danny De Mortimer ordered with Tom Reynolds to take a two-week "holiday" in Calcutta to obtain a surgeon and medical supplies for their men...

Paul Henreid is a war profiteer who buys and sells things in seven languages, at all hours...

Charles Bronson is the tough and edgy Sergeant John Danforth...

Dean Jones is the sergeant who clearly delivers the message: 'Do not move any attack. Rearm and release any prisoners you may have taken.'

Robert Bray is Colonel Parkson who warns Reynolds not to attack the Chinese village...

Brian Donlevy is General Sloan who backs up Reynolds and puts off the Chungking representative...


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