The Perfect Furlough (1959)
The tried and true formula for a romantic comedy is put to good use here casting real life husband and wife Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh for this Universal International romp. It’s also directed by a master of comical situations with Blake Edwards behind the camera.
I have always loved calling Tony – Stoney. This is due to my love of his appearance on the Flintstones as the Slave boy so for this review I think I will continue to do just that.
In this entertaining military comedy, Lieutenant Janet Leigh is called in looking to find a solution to a military problem. It seems that a group of soldiers at a base in the far north are going stir crazy and she suggests that one member of the platoon be selected to win a trip to Paris with the bombshell of their dreams. Linda Cristal. (Admittedly that would work fine for me.) Con man Stoney immediately goes into action ensuring by hook or by crook he gets that trip. It seems he has a military file the size of a dictionary on his encounters with the opposite sex. After all he is the only high school student in history to be sued for breach of promise…..to his teacher! Here’s a challenge that Janet might want to take on as it’s up to her to keep off screen hubby Curtis in line with the sexy Cristal.
Crusty Keenan Wynn shows up here as Cristal’s press agent and just like you’d expect from this wonderful character actor he’s quick with the threats and temper. Wynn had a talent for playing these type of roles and was put to good use by Disney in the Flubber films opposite Fred MacMurray among others.
As with most of these type of comedies there is the usual romantic moments where our leads almost get together for what we assume to be the rest of their lives until a rumor or a third party ruins the inevitable nuptials. From there it’s a comedy of errors as to how the script writers can get them back together for the on screen kiss and fade out. Not to worry, this title won’t let you down.
This is prime Stoney Curtis. He’s great as the con man at the military base and plays the Casanova perfectly as he works his charm around the beauty of Cristal and onto lovely Janet. Looking back it’s amusing how the first 10 minutes of the script plays out where Leigh and her superiors are discussing the problems of Stoney’s platoon. The whole scene revolves around sex and the fact that these men have been isolated for 7 months without any. But of course a script from 1959 has to play around with the wording so no one ever comes out and states the obvious.
Stoney and Janet made a few films together before there Hollywood breakup including Houdini and The Vikings. On screen they made a lovely couple and it’s too bad they didn’t hang in there like Paul and Joanne over the years. If you can find a copy of this pick it up and enjoy a couple of Hollywood stars during their peak years.