Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Back at the Front is the second of two film comedies based on the wartime cartoons of Bill Mauldin. As in Up Front, 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.
espionage, Japan, smuggling, soldier, weapons, army, military, service, commander, friendship, scheme, relationship, war