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Often lambasted by the critics for his comedic work, Paul Newman is somewhat successful in this uneven WW II comedy playing Harry Frigg, a private whose ability to break out of Army stockades earns him a special assignment and a temporary promotion to major general. Five Allied generals
(Bosley, Duggan, Gray, Roux, and Williams) are being held in a villa by the Italians under the not-so-watchful eye of colonel Scotti, and Frigg is sent to engineer their escape. He drags his feet, though, when he becomes involved with the beautiful owner of the villa, Koscina. The escape is
delayed further because the generals don't want to disrupt Scotti's promotion ceremonies. Then, Italy surrenders and the Germans take possession of the prisoners, but Newman is more than up to this new challenge. Although Newman's performance here is unquestionably of the hit-and-miss variety, he
does manage to generate more than a few laughs with his glib delivery of some very funny lines, including his "cheece und craggers" greeting upon encountering the generals while dressed in a German uniform.