The Honeymoon Machine (1961)

88 mins | Comedy | July 1961

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writer:

George Wells

Cinematographer:

Joseph La Shelle

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Preston Ames

Production Company:

Avon Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Filming began on 20 Mar 1961, as announced in that day’s DV. One month later, an item in the 20 Apr 1961 DV indicated that filming had just been completed or was nearing completion. Director Richard Thorpe reportedly sped up production by bringing the picture in five days ahead of schedule.
       A sneak preview screening was set to take place on 16 Jun 1961 in Pasadena, CA, the 12 Jun 1961 DV noted. The following month, a 19 Jul 1961 Var advertisement claimed that preview screenings, where moviegoers received “audience reaction computer cards” to be evaluated by “electronic data processing equipment,” had taken place in ninety-three U.S. cities. A box-office chart in the 2 Aug 1961 Var indicated that the picture went into general release in Cleveland, OH, two weeks prior, and an item in the 19 Jul 1961 [San Antonio, TX] San Antonio Light listed a 20 Jul 1961 opening at the Aztec Theatre. A citywide release in Los Angeles, CA, on a double bill with Ring of Fire (1961, see entry), was set to take place on 2 Aug 1961, bolstered by a $25,000 advertising campaign from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM). The 5 Jul 1961 Var had previously reported that Steve McQueen would do an 80-city promotional tour for the picture. Early the next year, a 10 Jan 1962 Var chart listed an estimated $1.5 million gross (in film rentals), and an anticipated total of $2 million.
       Caricaturist Gordon Currie created caricature art for the picture, according to a 24 May 1961 DV brief. ... More Less

Filming began on 20 Mar 1961, as announced in that day’s DV. One month later, an item in the 20 Apr 1961 DV indicated that filming had just been completed or was nearing completion. Director Richard Thorpe reportedly sped up production by bringing the picture in five days ahead of schedule.
       A sneak preview screening was set to take place on 16 Jun 1961 in Pasadena, CA, the 12 Jun 1961 DV noted. The following month, a 19 Jul 1961 Var advertisement claimed that preview screenings, where moviegoers received “audience reaction computer cards” to be evaluated by “electronic data processing equipment,” had taken place in ninety-three U.S. cities. A box-office chart in the 2 Aug 1961 Var indicated that the picture went into general release in Cleveland, OH, two weeks prior, and an item in the 19 Jul 1961 [San Antonio, TX] San Antonio Light listed a 20 Jul 1961 opening at the Aztec Theatre. A citywide release in Los Angeles, CA, on a double bill with Ring of Fire (1961, see entry), was set to take place on 2 Aug 1961, bolstered by a $25,000 advertising campaign from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM). The 5 Jul 1961 Var had previously reported that Steve McQueen would do an 80-city promotional tour for the picture. Early the next year, a 10 Jan 1962 Var chart listed an estimated $1.5 million gross (in film rentals), and an anticipated total of $2 million.
       Caricaturist Gordon Currie created caricature art for the picture, according to a 24 May 1961 DV brief. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
15 Feb 1961
p. 14.
Daily Variety
20 Mar 1961
p. 17.
Daily Variety
24 Mar 1961
p. 12.
Daily Variety
20 Apr 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 May 1961
p. 7.
Daily Variety
12 Jun 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Jul 1961
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
2 Aug 1961
Section C, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
3 Aug 1961
Section B, p. 11.
New York Times
24 Aug 1961.
---
San Antonio Light [San Antonio, TX]
19 Jul 1961
p. 30.
Variety
25 Jan 1961
p. 4.
Variety
5 Jul 1961
p. 62.
Variety
19 Jul 1961
p. 10.
Variety
2 Aug 1961
p. 9.
Variety
10 Jan 1962
p. 13, 58.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Sp visual eff
Sp visual eff
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Golden Fleecing by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. (New York, 15 Oct 1959).
SONGS
"Love Is Crazy," words and music by Leigh Harline and Jack Brooks.
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1961
Premiere Information:
Pasadena, CA, sneak preview: 16 June 1961
San Antonio, TX, opening: 20 July 1961
Los Angeles opening: 2 August 1961
New York opening: 23 August 1961
Production Date:
20 March--late April 1961
Copyright Claimant:
Avon Productions
Copyright Date:
27 June 1961
Copyright Number:
LP20069
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
88
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After tracking missiles with an electronic brain (Operation Honeymoon), a U.S. battleship lays anchor off Venice. Almost immediately, young and brash Lieutenant Fergie Howard hits upon the scheme of using the electronic computer to break the roulette table at the Lido casino. Aided by the reluctant Ensign Gilliam and civilian missile expert Jason Eldridge, Fergie blinker-signals all the data on the pattern of the casino game table to the ship, has the data fed into the machine, and receives back the likely winning numbers. Complications arise when Fergie falls for young Julie Fitch, who just happens to be an admiral's daughter; and Jason becomes involved with a former girl friend, a nearsighted millionairess named Pam Dunstan. The girls decide to cooperate, however, and once the plan is put into operation the boys amass a fortune. But further problems develop when the blinker communications are intercepted by Admiral Fitch and some Russians, both of whom mistakenly assume that they relate to aggressive military measures. An alcoholic signalman, Burford Taylor, stumbles upon the foursome, learns of their activities, and reveals all to the admiral. But, after a riot at the casino, Fergie talks his way out of a court-martial and even gets the admiral to accept him, albeit reluctantly, as a son-in-law. And young Jason decides that being married to a millionairess might not be so painful as he previously ... +


After tracking missiles with an electronic brain (Operation Honeymoon), a U.S. battleship lays anchor off Venice. Almost immediately, young and brash Lieutenant Fergie Howard hits upon the scheme of using the electronic computer to break the roulette table at the Lido casino. Aided by the reluctant Ensign Gilliam and civilian missile expert Jason Eldridge, Fergie blinker-signals all the data on the pattern of the casino game table to the ship, has the data fed into the machine, and receives back the likely winning numbers. Complications arise when Fergie falls for young Julie Fitch, who just happens to be an admiral's daughter; and Jason becomes involved with a former girl friend, a nearsighted millionairess named Pam Dunstan. The girls decide to cooperate, however, and once the plan is put into operation the boys amass a fortune. But further problems develop when the blinker communications are intercepted by Admiral Fitch and some Russians, both of whom mistakenly assume that they relate to aggressive military measures. An alcoholic signalman, Burford Taylor, stumbles upon the foursome, learns of their activities, and reveals all to the admiral. But, after a riot at the casino, Fergie talks his way out of a court-martial and even gets the admiral to accept him, albeit reluctantly, as a son-in-law. And young Jason decides that being married to a millionairess might not be so painful as he previously imagined. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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