Steve McQueen and Jackie Gleason were buddies in this 1963 comedy film

The two played an inseparable duo in the underrated gem Soldier in the Rain.

Soldier in the Rain official movie poster distributed by Allied Artists (1963)

When a Western legend and a comedic icon come together for a film, there's a lot you should expect. We've seen Steve McQueen outside of his role as Josh Randall on Wanted: Dead or Alive, and we know Jackie Gleason is more than just his character Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners.

Both actors brought something unique to the worlds of film and television, so we're not surprised they got the chance to work together in a 1963 film. Soldier in the Rain is an American comedy-buddy film, you know, the kind of film that shows why "you can't have one without the other."

Steve McQueen played Sergeant Eustis Clay, an impatient guy counting down the days of finishing his peacetime service and moving on to finer things. He was into schemes and scams that often resulted in trouble, and that's where Jackie Gleason's character comes in.

Gleason played Master Sergeant Maxwell Slaughter, an intelligent guy with a good head on his shoulders. He was much brighter than Clay, but he enjoyed his company, although that company inconvenienced him several times. Slaughter is connected to all the perks and supply sources an army base can provide.

Yet, Clay felt there was something Slaughter was missing in his life: a regular civilian experience. He sets the master sergeant up on a date with a much younger woman with a personality opposite to his, Bobby Jo Pepperdine, played by Tuesday Weld.

Adam West also briefly appeared as inspecting captian. A lot more happens in this hour-and-a-half movie, but we don't want to spoil it too much for those who haven't seen it.

The movie was released on November 27, 1963, just a few days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which many people believe is the reason why the audience was reduced. Despite the low views, many believe this film is an underrated gem.

There was no way to have Gleason in this film without McQueen. The two's acting styles complimented each other, and Tuesday Weld was also a stand-out.

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Wufferduck 16 months ago
This movie is a total classic and a must watch. Great acting great story. So underrated!!
AgingDisgracefully 16 months ago
"Until that time, Eustis. Until that time."
tootsieg 16 months ago
I will definitely watch out for the movie.
cperrynaples tootsieg 16 months ago
HARD TO FIND! Apprantly it's out of print!
Runeshaper 16 months ago
Sounds like an EXCELLENT film! Can't go wrong with that cast.
MrsPhilHarris 16 months ago
He hooks up 40-odd year old Gleason with 20 year old Weld? As someone who was once a 20 year old female that age difference is massive. 10 years older was my limit, and even that was a lot!
BrittReid 16 months ago
Nothing better than Ralph and Frank Bullitt.
Andybandit 16 months ago
That is cool that Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen were best friends in the movie Soldier in the Rain. I love the Honeymooners. I wish MeTv would move the Honeymoon from 11pm MT, and move it in place of one the DVDS on the Sunday.
cperrynaples 16 months ago
Fun fact: It was directed by Ralph Nelson, who at around the same time directed a Twilight Zone and the much more successful Lillies Of The Field!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 16 months ago
The episode in question is A World Of His Own, remembered for Kennan Wynn making Rod Serling "disappear"! He also did both the TV and movie versions of Requiem For A Heavyweight, the latter featuring Gleason!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 16 months ago
And a funny story about that episode: You might remember that Wynn made an elephant appear in the hallway! The day Nelson shot that scene, he saw a trainer seeming torture the elephant! A moment later, the animal "did his duty" and the trainer said, "Ok, he's good for 2 hours!" Nelson then the cameraman he had to shoot ASAP...LOL!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 16 months ago
TOLD the cameraman!
cperrynaples 16 months ago
There's a memorable scene where Jackie talks to his mirror refection! It is a scene only "the Great one" could pull off...LOL!
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