The Girl He Left Behind (1956)

Genres - Adventure, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Adventure  |   Release Date - Oct 26, 1956 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The Girl He Left Behind is a moderately entertaining Service Life comedy, one which would probably have been more enjoyable with a better actor than Tab Hunter in the leading role. Hunter is not horrible, mind you; he's actually quite good at making an audience believe that his character is indeed a spoiled rich kid who has a lot of growing up to do. Unfortunately, Hunter isn't actor enough to either make the audience like this character or to believe the sudden growth into maturity that climaxes the film. Neither of these things are easy to accomplish, but without them Girl falls short of being a much better film. Fortunately, Girl does have a lot of laughs, a great many of them courtesy of Murray Hamilton's expertly-played drill sergeant. There's also solid humor from Jim Backus, Henry Jones and Alan King, and an incredibly beautiful Natalie Wood in the title role, turning in one of her finer "almost grown" performances. David Butler's direction is swift and professional, pointing up the script's strengths and doing all he can to disguise the flaws in the film.