review for The Perfect Furlough on AllMovie

The Perfect Furlough (1958)
by Craig Butler review

There's nothing perfect about The Perfect Furlough, but undemanding audiences willing to go to great lengths to suspend their disbelief should be moderately entertained by this dated piece of fluff. Those who ask that their films have some bearing on reality, however, will likely be annoyed by much of Furlough, starting with its truly ridiculous premise: that 104 sex-starved men isolated in the arctic without any female companionship for seven months would find their libidos satisfied by having one man from among them be picked to go on a dream furlough on behalf of them all. Things aren't smooth sailing even after one swallows this ridiculous premise (or the idea that any psychologist with an ounce of gray matter would even suggest such a ridiculous arrangement), for Furlough is laden with mechanical plot devices that stretch credulity past the breaking point. All of this would matter less if the film found genuine humor in all this, but real laughs are few and far between. Don't blame the cast, for Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh do very fine jobs with this leaden material, and Elaine Stritch's dry way with a line makes her brief scenes quite memorable. Unfortunately, director Blake Edwards doesn't take full advantage of his actors and also paces the film rather dully. Sex farces are much harder to pull off than they seem, but Furlough falls very short of the mark.