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An American stationed in Germany bets that he can make an icy entertainer fall for him.
In West Germany, Specialist Tulsa MacLean, a tank gunner with the U.S. Third Armored (Spearhead) Division, is on maneuvers when he and his buddies, Cookie, Jeeter and Rick, learn that they are being transferred to Frankfurt in the morning. Tulsa, Rick and Cookie, who intend to open a nightclub after they are discharged, have formed a musical group named The Three Blazes and are to make their debut that night at the rathskeller run by Papa Mueller. Although Tulsa would rather spend the evening saying farewell to his German girl friends, Cookie and Rick persuade him to perform, especially as they are being pressured to repay Sgt. McGraw, who loaned them the money to buy their instruments. Most of the audience loves their songs, but when one G.I. interrupts by playing the jukebox, a brawl breaks out and Tulsa is forced to pay Papa for the damages. The next day, Tulsa persuades McGraw to become a partner in the planned nightclub, but McGraw balks at giving him $300 for the club's lease. Desperate for the funds, Tulsa gambles all of their money on a bet lothario Sgt. "Dynamite" Bixby makes with his rival, Turk, that Dynamite will be able to spend the night alone with Lili, a German dancer at the Café Europa in Frankfurt. Although Turk warns Dynamite that Lili is "steam heat outside but an iceberg inside," Dynamite is confident that he can successfully date her. Before the men leave, however, Capt. Hobart tells them that due to the complaints he has received about Dynamite's behavior, the womanizer is being sent to Alaska. During the journey to Frankfurt, the men are discouraged until Cookie persuades a reluctant Tulsa to take Dynamite's place. At the base, while Tulsa is instructing his friends not to interfere with his pursuit of Lili, Rick searches for his former girl friend Marla, who had broken off with him abruptly more than a year earlier. When they reach the Europa, the G.I.s are thrilled by Lili's sultry performance, but worry when she pours beer over a groping admirer. Tulsa's attempts to talk to her are interrupted when Cookie pays the orchestra leader to call Tulsa up to perform a song to impress Lili. The dancer is indeed pleased by Tulsa's talent, but only sits with him afterward to escape her admirer, and when Tulsa escorts her outside, Lili attempts to brush him off. Charmed by his openness, however, Lili takes him to a bistro, where Tulsa again sings for her. Meanwhile, Cookie is romancing Tina, an Italian waitress from the Europa, who takes him to her apartment. Just as Cookie turns out the lights to kiss Tina, Lili and Tulsa walk in. Much to Tulsa and Cookie's chagrin, they learn that Tina and Lili are roommates, thereby jeopardizing Tulsa's chances of spending the night with Lili alone, as stipulated by the wager. The next day, Tulsa tricks McGraw into giving him, Rick and Cookie three-day passes so that they can participate in the Armed Forces Show. Tulsa then travels with Lili on a ferry to a nearby tourist area, and they spend the day watching a puppet show, riding a sky tram and falling in love. During the drive back to Frankfurt, however, Tulsa worries about his deepening feelings for Lili. Meanwhile, back in town, Rick cannot convince Mrs. Hagermann, Marla's landlady, to give him Marla's forwarding address. After he departs, however, Mrs. Hagermann sneaks up to Marla's apartment, where the younger woman declares that she will not see Rick, even though he has no idea that he is the father of her infant son. Shortly after, Cookie purchases an airplane ticket to Milan for Tina on the pretext of wanting to cure her homesickness, while really he wants to insure that Tulsa can be alone with Lili. That evening, while Lili prepares for her performance, Tulsa breaks their date for later, telling her that when a G.I. is in on temporary assignment and meets a girl he likes, one of them always ends up getting hurt. Although she is distraught, Lili admires Tulsa's principles and bids him goodbye. Tulsa then tells Cookie to call off the bet, but when Cookie questions Lili, he learns that she still cares for Tulsa and decides not to follow Tulsa's instructions. As the unknowing Tulsa leaves the club, he receives an urgent message to contact Rick. At Marla's apartment, the reunited couple reveals that Mrs. Hagermann "double-crossed" Marla by telling Rick of her presence in Frankfurt, and upon learning of his son's existence, Rick smoothed over his earlier misunderstanding with Marla. The couple now want to marry in nearby Heidelburg but need Tulsa to baby-sit. Although Tulsa protests that he knows nothing about babies, he remains with the infant, who begins to wail after his parents depart. Flustered, Tulsa breaks the baby's bottle and calls Lili for help. Delighted to hear from him, Lili tells Tulsa to meet her at her apartment, and the eavesdropping Cookie, not knowing what is really happening, assumes that a romantic rendezvous will ensue. Before Cookie can follow Lili, however, Tina arrives and tells him that she missed him too much to go to Milan. While Cookie takes Tina out on the town, three G.I.s station themselves in a coffeehouse opposite Lili's to observe Tulsa's progress. Tulsa and Lili spend the entire night tending to the baby, whom they nickname Tiger, and in the morning, the G.I.s watch as Tulsa kisses Lili goodbye and wins the bet. That afternoon, Lili and Tulsa meet at the rehearsals for the Armed Forces Show. As they reminisce about their pleasant evening with Tiger, they are interrupted by McGraw, who informs Tulsa that Hobart has learned about the bet. The infuriated and heartbroken Lili then refuses to listen to Tulsa's protests that their evening together had nothing to do with the wager, which he had ordered Cookie to cancel. After Lili storms off, she hears Tiger crying and meets Marla, who reveals that Tulsa really was baby-sitting. Lili then explains to Hobart that she and Tulsa were well-chaperoned during the night, and Hobart asks the relieved soldier to baby-sit his own children. When they are alone, Lili accepts Tulsa's marriage proposal and, embracing him, tells him that he may win his bet for real that night. After entertaining the cheering troops, the three friends then race backstage to kiss their waiting sweethearts.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||PG||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 4 Nov 1960; London opening: week of 14 Nov 1960; Los Angeles opening: 16 Nov 1960|
|Release Date:||1960||Production Date:||
Hal Wallis' Production
AFI; AFI-DVD; my own DVD*
UCLA has 35mm print R-FB0000053918, M18685; Mertz
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Hal Wallis Productions, Paramount Pictures Corp.|
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