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The Honeymoon Machine (1961)

 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:00 pm    Post subject: The Honeymoon Machine (1961) Reply with quote



"The Honeymoon Machine" was originally released on August 23, 1961 and was based upon the Lorenzo Semple Jr ("Pretty Poison," "Papillon," and "The Parallax View") play "The Golden Fleecing" which ran on Broadway from October to December of 1959 for 84 performances.

Plot : Civilian scientist Jason Eldridge (Jim Hutton) is on board the US Navy military ship the Elmira overseeing the super computer MACS (Magnetic Analyzer Computing Synchrotron).

Jason's pal Lt. Ferguson 'Fergie' Howard (Steve McQueen) concocts a plan with Jason, LtJG Beauregard Gillman (Jack Mullaney), and another officer operating MACS to break the bank at a casino in Venice, Italy.

Defying the direct orders of Admiral Fitch that all naval officers are to wear their uniforms when on shore and cannot enter the casino; Fergie and his cohorts check into a swanky hotel suite.

There they plan to use a signal lamp in order to communicate with their confederate manning MACS on board the USN Elmira. Their pal will signal the correct computer tabulations from MACS that will correctly predict the results of the casino roulette wheel.

Naturally, things become very complicated during this gambit for Fergie and his gang.

Julie Fitch, Admiral Fitch's daughter, and Fergie meet and begin to fall for each other. Eldridge meets his former girlfriend & heiress Pam Dunstan (Paula Prentiss) who is engaged.

Admiral Fitch---in the suite just below Fergie & company---is made aware that mysterious signals are being sent from the Elmira to the casino. They don't have a clue as to what the coded numbers mean but Fitch immediately puts his staff on alert to figure out what this 'espionage' is all about.

The American & Soviet consulates also get in on the act suspecting some kind of spy ring at work.

THM is one of those screwball-romantic comedies that were so prevalent in movies once upon a time.

No, this isn't a classic film by any means.

However, if you're looking for a humorous and fun lighthearted comedy this movie fits the bill.

The cast all do a fine job of keeping the story moving briskly along.

Steve McQueen had comedic chops as seen here that he rarely showed in many of his films.

He reportedly walked out of the premiere of THM and hated the film even more than "The Blob."

I think Steve took this all too seriously. The film is exactly what it is meant to be; a romcom to entertain people and nothing more.

Currently available on Youtube.
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Bud Brewster
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I really like this movie, and I bought the DVD from WB Archive Collection. The cast is excellent, the script is terrific, the acting is very good, and the concept is fascinating.

Steve McQueen gave a great performance. He's likable, witty, and energetic! Very Happy

. . . Which makes it very surprising that he despised this movie. Here's an IMDB trivia item.
________________________________

Steve McQueen hated this movie even more so than "The Blob (1958)." According to a 2011 biography of McQueen, he walked out of the first public preview screening, vowing to never again work for "MGM."

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