Warner Brothers archive collection - DVD - Jackie Gleason - Steve McQueen - Tuesday Weld
Home » Comedy » Soldier in the Rain

Soldier in the Rain

Soldier in the Rain (1963) starring Jackie Gleason, Steve McQueen, Tuesday Weld

Review of Soldier in the Rain

Warner Brothers archive collection - DVD - Jackie Gleason - Steve McQueen - Tuesday WeldSoldier in the Rain is a great many things.  It’s a “buddy” film, as Jackie Gleason‘s character take under his wing the young man played by Steve McQueen.  It’s a story of the two becoming friends, then close friends, and finally Gleason treating McQueen as a younger brother.  He goes so far as to rescue McQueen towards the end of the film, with tragic consequences.

It’s the story of a fish out of the water, for both characters.  Jackie Gleason’s character is supremely confident, having carved out a very comfortable niche for himself.  But he’s trapped inside it.  Until Steve McQueen talks him into going on a double data with Tuesday Weld.  Gleason’s character is older, heavier, and doesn’t consider himself good-looking.  To the opposite sex, at least.

It’s hard to be a fat narcissist.”  The line is used for a (funny) joke, but it’s very revealing about the character as well.  And Steve McQueen’s character is perpetually chasing the quick buck.  And sees the military service as the means to an end.  At least, at first.

It’s frankly one of my favorite movies, and I highly recommend it.

Editorial review of Soldier in the Rain

His own soda pop machine. Air conditioning. The finest cotton underwear. Someone else doing the work. That’s M/Sgt. Maxwell Slaughter’s (Jackie Gleason) game – and man, can he play it. Just ask Supply Sgt. Eustis Clay (Steve McQueen), who idolizes the big, shrewd, supremely self-confident older man. Maybe someday they can go into business together. In the meantime, how about a hot double date? So Clay fixes Slaughter up with a teenybopper named Bobby Jo (Tuesday Weld), a move that sets off a chain reaction of laughs and drama. Gleason and McQueen make a surprisingly engaging comedy team in this overlooked gem (co-scripted by Blake Edwards, who at this time was also embarking on The Pink Panther movie series) that showcases both stars’ unique talents.

Funny movie quotes from Soldier in the Rain

MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): The machine prefers cash.

Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): Stay off my mattresses.

MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [Looking at himself in a full-length mirror] You know, Eustis, all men are vain in one way or another. I happen to be a secret narcissist.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): Really? Well, Maxwell, I thought you was nutty about girls as anybody else.
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [Turning and giving Pvt. Clay a curious look] “Narcissist” is a ten-letter word meaning a person who likes to admire himself…
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [turning back to look at himself in the mirror] Let me tell you something, my friend: being a fat narcissist isn’t easy.

Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): See ya later, Maxwell
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): Until that time, Eustice, until that time

Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): FBI oughtta’ investigate Sgt. Priest. I think he’s an escaped war criminal.

MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [On the phone, impersonating a doctor, a fictitious “Major Clawmute”] Is that all you’ll be needing, Lieutenant?
Lt. Magee (Tom Poston): Ah, as long as I’ve got you on the phone, there is one thing…
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): What’s the poop, Lieutenant?
Lt. Magee (Tom Poston): There’s something on my big toe… It looks like a corn, but it’s too small to be a corn.
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): Oh, yes, we call those “semi-corns.” Hah! Pesky little things, aren’t they?
Lt. Magee (Tom Poston): Uh, anything I can do for it?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): I suggest you just soak your feet in sauerkraut juice.
Lt. Magee (Tom Poston): [Baffled] “Sauerkraut juice”?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [Grinning impishly] Morning and night. You get a small tub, and you fill it with sauerkraut juice, and you stand in it.
Lt. Magee (Tom Poston): You did say “sauerkraut juice”?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): Room temperature!
Lt. Magee (Tom Poston): Check! Thank you, Major!
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): Thank YOU, Lieutenant.

Bobby Jo Pepperdine (Tuesday Weld): [Taking a break while on the golf course] You want another beer, too?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): I’d love one, Miss Pepperdine.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): What about your diet, Maxwell?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): I have never ceased trying to lose weight, Eustis. But I’m not gonna’ try to become a fanatic about it. I’ve done enough exercise this morning to burn up a car-load of calories. I can afford to pamper myself.

Bobby Jo Pepperdine (Tuesday Weld): You know something, Mr. Slaughter? You ain’t “fatty” any more. You’re my baby boyfriend.

Bobby Jo Pepperdine (Tuesday Weld): [after Sgt. Slaughter has manhandled an annoying soldier] You know what you were like? You were like Randolph Scott on the late, late movies… A fat Randolph Scott!
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [Bemused] “A fat Randolph Scott”?… Miss Pepperdine, you certainly have a faculty for searching out and selecting just the right compliment.

MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [At the carnival] One cotton candy, please.
Bobby Jo Pepperdine (Tuesday Weld): Oh, I just LOVE watchin’ ’em make it. Don’t you?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [Waxing poetic] A gossamer fantasy – the stuff dreams are made of.
Bobby Jo Pepperdine (Tuesday Weld): Boy, you sure talk funny!

Pfc. Jerry Meltzer: [Arriving at the overturned car in which Miss Pepperdine and Sgt. Lenahan have crashed] It’s just like they say: “Drinking and gasoline don’t mix.”
Bobby Jo Pepperdine (Tuesday Weld): [Giggling, slightly drunk] Well, we ain’t been drinkin’ gasoline!

MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [Eustis is trying to talk Maxwell into leaving the Army, and joining him in lucrative civilian business deals] The world’s outside that window, Eustis, and it scares me. It’s awfully big out there.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): You don’t make no sense at all, Maxwell. You ain’t scared of nothin’!
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): Oh, yes I am. You forget, I was a civilian once.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): It’ll be different now – you’ll see.
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): I doubt it. Memories are still very strong… Childhood, growing up. “Fat boy on the block.” I was always fat, Eustis. Thyroid condition. Fat baby, fat child…
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): Well, if you ask me, I’d say you’re just kinda’ plump, ya’ know? Pleasingly.
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): I am fat, Eustis.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): Come on, Maxwell, I’m askin’ ya’. Please! Why, you’re too smart to stay in the stupid Army.
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): I like the “stupid Army.” It’s my home… But it’s not yours. So you go and make your millions, and I’ll wish you joy.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): Well, you can’t stay in the Army forever, Maxwell.
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): I know. And when that day comes, I know just the place where we can retire.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): You do? Where is it?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): It’s far… Far out in the Pacific. I saw it once, during the war. It’s a little island – green, lush, tropical, with a long white beach shining in the sun… People are friendly, kind, generous, and round. And all the girls are slim and round, with bright eyes, and smiles that would melt your heart. Wait’ll you see them: long legs, flat stomachs, and round, firm breasts that tilt up.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): [Clearly captivated] “Up”?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): Up.
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): Whew, fantastic… What do they wear?
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): Nothing… Absolutely nothing.

Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): Boy, what a combination! You and I against the world. Maxwell, if we were in business together, you could retire when you’re forty.
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [Soberly] I’m already past 40… And, I’m not getting any younger. I’m in the twilight of my years. And every minute is precious. Every second counts. Of necessity, my very existence depends on prompt and immediate action. To wait is to ponder. To ponder is to waste. And Eustis, to waste is a mortal sin. You understand?

MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): [After Clay slices his golf ball onto the green by standing at right angles to the green on Slaughter’s instructions after slicing every ball he hits, the balls rolls onto the green and bumps into Slaughter’s ball which is already there, and comes to rest against it with a dinging sound effect like when a cash register drawer is opened]: Hoooo-weee!
Sgt. Eustice Clay (Steve McQueen): What did I do right?
Frances McCoy: Oh, they’re both together!
MSgt. Maxwell Slaughter (Jackie Gleason): It’s the mating season.

Trivia for Soldier in the Rain

  • Jackie Gleason released a version of the title music as a single on Capitol in early 1964, with another Henry Mancini composition, Bird Brain, as the b-side. This puts Soldier in the Rain (1963) in the same category as Thunder Road (1958) and Because They’re Young (1960): movies which had a version of the theme song performed by a member of the cast and released as a single, while that version wasn’t the one used in the movie.
  • In the beginning, Eustis Clay is seen admiring a parked sports car. It is a 1962 or early 1963 Shelby AC Cobra, one of the first cars Caroll Shelby made, and extremely valuable.