The inspiration for Star Trek’s “A Piece of the Action”. Chief Urulu sees a gangster picture on McHale’s Island (“Cagney” and his boss rub each other out), “Urulu really dig that kinda jazz, Tough Tony not work for peanuts, take back fruit mash, go into booze racket.” He sets up a speakeasy.
Urulu never signed a treaty for the island, Binghamton is ordered to rectify the oversight. The evil genius that is Capt. Binghamton worms a refusal from the chief, McHale and his men will be forced onto the base under his careful supervision, “pow!”
The crew in mufti threaten to give Urulu cement overshoes. Adm. Rogers plays along with the gag, Binghamton falls in and has to be carved out of his concrete block.
A Star Falls on Taratupa
The crew get Mimi St. Clair (Jean Hale) the Hollywood actress to send them two hundred 8 x 10 glossies of her celestial self. The simple plan is to have Fuji lipstick each one, a crewman adds a personal autographed note from the star and voilà, two hundred bucks clear profit.
Their request arrives just when Mimi is pining away in Hollywood far from the theaters of war that see Grable’s legs atop a tank hoofing it for Gen. Patton and his men.
A Nip in Time
Like Debussy spitting in the censers, Fuji appears as Admiral Fujiwara of the Imperial Navy (with Parker in tow as fellow officer and interpreter) to spike a German patrol and liberate the crew, out collecting war souvenirs in an Italian village.
Col. Harrigan, a collector of souvenirs himself, magnanimously allows the heroic PT men to keep their contraband. German prisoners are shepherded into detainment wearing only their long woolen underwear.
Capt. Binghamton is ordered on a rest cure after this hallucination, another McHale with a baby picture seeking il suo cugino.
“Busted down to an Italian fisherman” is Tinker’s droll remark.
Giuseppe’s ebullience and size get him aboard the admirable 73 against the protestations of the crew, whence the confusion.
Seeing Borgnine in Italian is like undubbed Fellini or Leone or Antonioni.
The Bald-Headed Contessa
Shy Ensign Parker wears the dress of Contessa Francesca D’Arezzi to evade a local girl’s baciami at a party in a boarded-up villa where the crew is resting on a hike ordered by Captain Binghamton away from the banquet he is preparing for General Bronson.
Vino, Vino, Who’s Got the Vino?
It’s sunk by the Germans just off the beach, the world-famous Chianti of Voltafiore. Captain Binghamton wants to butter up General Bronson with it, the mayor hasn’t a clue, Ensign Parker falls overboard and snags it.
Captain Binghamton ensconced at City Hall is urged by Colonel Harrigan to take in McHale and his crew to improve morale, the colonel so much admires their seaside bivouac. Fuji’s English accent as Admiral Smythe Smythe of the Royal Navy gets past Binghamton on the telephone to warn McHale of the treachery, the captain also learns he’s been manipulated, in German uniforms two separate raids are launched on the beach.
The Wacky WAC
She goes AWOL for her lover, Sgt. Clancy, Col. Harrigan’s driver. The colonel is invited to lecture McHale and his crew on Army ordnance. The WAC corporal in Italian village dress signals to Clancy, Binghamton arrests her as a spy.
Parker is outfitted in her uniform as a WAC MP and liberates her from the Palazzo Municipale but is joined by real WAC MPs, the three girls share a room in the palace but slip out for a triple-date with the men.
La Dolce 73
A home movie of Binghamton fighting off Nazis played by McHale and the crew of PT 73 in captured German uniforms is filmed by Lt. Carpenter and sent by the captain to Mrs. Binghamton.
A second film of Binghamton raiding the cast party is edited to show Binghamton solo at the orgy, and sent to a Congresswoman on tour.
She is persuaded to act in a third film on the hazards of fraternization, playing a “woman of experience” to Binghamton’s naïve officer. The director is Federico Parchini, Ens. Parker.
Col. Harrigan and Capt. Binghamton squabble over a gym to impress the General. Harrigan commandeers the athletic equipment, Binghamton is left with golf clubs.
Count Guido Panzini, “architect to the rich”, agrees to build a golf course in two weeks and absconds with the recreation funds.
A signboard and a tee-off are confiscated by Harrigan as Army property, put there by McHale and his men for just this purpose, behind it all there is swamp.
Lt. Carpenter arrests Panzini, the transfer is nearly spoiled, the con man is made to play Binghamton’s physician. The Navy departs, the Army plays through.
A salami in the filing cabinet, a laundry list instead of spare parts, Adm. Ennis sends a WAVE to sort out Capt. Binghamton’s files. She is impervious even to Virgil’s charms.
She shares with Ens. Parker the romance of regulations.
The crew must pay the damages for Giuseppe’s fishing boat, but their beauty contest with local talent is canceled as fraternization. The WAVE ensign, bested in citation of regs by Parker, volunteers her unit. McHale invites Adm. Ennis to judge.
“Enough with the regulations,” says the winner as she gives her ensign a kiss. Capt. Binghamton gnaws his hat in fury.
Little Red Riding Doctor
The military governor of Voltafiore is not elected king for the festival day of its five-hundredth year in 1944, the honor goes to McHale.
A visiting Army psychiatrist on the lookout for combat fatigue is offered the crew of PT 73 after days and nights of constant patrol duty, but doesn’t take the bait.
Cappuccetto Rosso for the kiddies is the crew’s festival offering, Binghamton has them play it in a field for Special Services. The psychiatrist carts them away.
The king asks for a recount. The psychiatrist is waylaid and costumed as Red Riding Hood, his superior finds him thus, and Binghamton insisting he is the king. Both are escorted to a hospital ship.
Binghamton rows back in a life raft, the crew repair to a “little red brick house”, to change the metaphor.
Who Was That German I Saw
Binghamton and Parker are kidnapped by Nazi soldiers in U.S. sailor uniforms and held at gunpoint under the bright sun of the Voltafiore town square. A visiting war photographer is disgusted by the sight of McHale and his crew driving up thoroughly drunk, Globe has him there to do a feature on PT 73, for which reason “Killer” Wally Binghamton with his brace of pearl-handled silver sidearms dispatched them out on patrol, leaving their tents to be ransacked by a lost German unit with a plan for escape.
On McHale’s signal, he and his perfectly sober men back from patrol disarm the Nazis in a trice. This picture makes the cover, a print of Binghamton fainting persuades him to join the luau.
The Holy War Raid
The Rat Patrol
Hauptmann Dietrich has in operation a decisive plan not merely to defeat the patrol once and for all, but to do so strategically for the German campaign.
A faux patrol under the command of Dietrich (wearing the uniform of an American colonel and leading German troops in GI gear) strikes in the middle of prayers to kidnap an Arab holy man, Marabout (Abraham Sofaer). He is to be liberated by German forces, thus winning an Arab army to the Nazi cause.
The genuine patrol is captured at once by Arabs on horseback and shown the ransom note. Moffitt traces the stone to a nearby formation, he and Troy ride Arab horses to within sight of Dietrich’s phony American base.
Marabout is freed, Dietrich is unruffled. He sets out for the Arab encampment ahead of Troy and Moffitt, dismisses a diversionary call from the latter. “His German isn’t as good as my English.”
Hitchcock and Pettigrew are being held by the Arabs, “food for jackals” by sundown. Troy and Moffitt have one of Dietrich’s ersatz jeeps.
“We’re getting low on saints these days,” Sgt. Troy tells Marabout, restored to his people, “we have to protect the ones we have.” The Arab replies, “Saints take many forms.”
“Your halo’s on crooked, Sarge,” says Pettigrew.