The Horizontal Lieutenant is a 1962 American romantic comedy war film directed by Richard Thorpe, based on the 1961 novel The Bottletop Affair by Gordon Cotler. It is a military comedy about an unfortunate army intelligence lieutenant who finds himself isolated on a remote Japanese island army outpost during World War II. It stars Jim Hutton and Paula Prentiss and was directed by Richard Thorpe.

It was the last of four teamings between Hutton and Prentiss following Where the Boys Are, The Honeymoon Machine and Bachelor in Paradise.


Merle Wye, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army stationed in Hawaii, is attracted to nurse Molly Blue, but she barely gives him the time of day.

The inept Merle is transferred to a remote smaller island, where he is assigned the task of finding a man called Kobayashi who is suspected of pilfering Army supplies. One thing after another goes wrong for Merle, who is knocked cold when Kobayashi finally turns up, but given a medal of valor anyway after Molly is able to capture the prisoner on his behalf.


  • Jim Hutton as Merle Wye
  • Paula Prentiss as Molly Blue
  • Jack Carter as Billy Monk
  • Jim Backus as Jeremiah Hammerslag
  • Charles McGraw as Col. Charles Korotny
  • Miyoshi Umeki as Akiko
  • Marty Ingels as Buckles
  • Lloyd Kino as Sgt. Jess Yomura
  • Linda Wong as Michido
  • Yoshio Yoda as Sgt. Roy Tada
  • Yuki Shimoda as Kobayashi


The novel was published in 1959.

Hutton and Prentiss were under contract to MGM at the time.


According to MGM records, the film earned $1.1 million in the US and Canada and $750,000 overseas, resulting in a loss of $380,000.



External links

  • The Horizontal Lieutenant at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Horizontal Lieutenant at the TCM Movie Database
  • Original trailer at TCM

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