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Back at the Front Details


Back at the Front is the second of two film comedies based on the wartime cartoons of Bill Mauldin. As in Bill Mauldin, the principal characters are woebegone GIs Willie and Joe: Tom Ewell is back as Willie, but Harvey Lembeck replaces David Wayne as Joe. The original purpose of Mauldin's newspaper cartoons--to give enlisted men a surreptitious means of blowing off steam concerning the iniquities of war and the occasional idiocies of their officers--is completely ignored in Back at the Front. Instead, we are offered a very standard spy plot set in postwar Tokyo, involving femme fatale Mari Blanchard and a shipment of booby-trapped food tins. Back at the Front could have been done just as well with Abbott and Costello--better, in fact. Watch in the closing scenes for David Janssen, playing a one-line bit as a rookie soldier. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Tom Ewell
as Willie
Harvey Lembeck
as Joe
Mari Blanchard
as Nida
Barry Kelley
as Gen. Dixon
Vaughn Taylor
as Maj. Ormsby
Richard Long
as Sgt. Rose
Russell Johnson
as Johnny Redondo
Gregg Palmer
as Capt. White
Benson Fong
as Rickshaw Boy
Aram Katcher
as Ben
George Ramsey
as Pete Wilson
Aram Katcher
as Ben
Benson Fong
as Rickshaw Boy
Gregg Palmer
as Capt. White


George Sherman
Lou Breslow
Don McGuire
Oscar Brodney
Clifford Stine
Henry Mancini
Composer (Music Score)
Herman Stein
Composer (Music Score)
Joseph E. Gershenson
Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Weatherwax
Rosemary Odell
Costume Designer