ADVANCE TO THE REAR is a light-hearted 1964 American western comedy
film set in the
American Civil War
* 1 Plot * 2 Cast * 3 Musical soundtrack * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links
Union Colonel Claude Brackenbury has a cozy arrangement with his Confederate counterpart. They fire a few artillery rounds in each other's general direction at precisely the same time each morning, then go back to contentedly waiting for the war to end.
Captain Jared Heath, however, disturbs the status quo one day by going out and capturing some of the enemy. The Confederates feel obliged to retaliate. One thing leads to another and a military fiasco results. As punishment, Brackenbury and Heath are demoted, placed in charge of all the misfits General Willoughby can find and shipped west, where they can (hopefully) do no further damage.
The rebels are suspicious, so they send a beautiful spy, Martha Lou Williams, to find out their "real" mission. After questioning Easy Jenny, a madam Martha Lou is traveling with, Heath sees through Martha Lou's ruse. But he decides that he is going to marry her eventually, so Heath does his best to keep her out of mischief.
When the unit is sent to escort an important gold shipment, the soldiers are captured by Thin Elk, an Indian chief in league with Hugo Zattig of the Confederates. Zattig's men masquerade as Union soldiers (using uniforms taken from prisoners) and hijack the shipment. Thin Elk, meanwhile, recognizing Brackenbury as a fellow West Point graduate, lets his captives go, although without horses or guns.
Heath takes charge. He and the men steal horses from the Indians, retrieve the gold (and Martha Lou) and capture Zattig's gang.
The score was composed by
* ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1964", Variety, 6 January 1965 p 39. Please note this figure is rentals accruing to distributors not total gross. * ^ New Christy Minstrels sing "Today" on YouTube