The Girl He Left Behind

The Girl He Left Behind is a 1956 romantic comedy film starring Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood. The supporting cast includes Jim Backus, Alan King, James Garner, and David Janssen. The film was written by Guy Trosper and directed by David Butler, and was filmed at Fort Ord, California. For Garner and King, it was just their third movie.

The Girl He Left Behind
The Girl He Left Behind - Poster
Directed byDavid Butler
Written byGuy Trosper
Based onnovel by Marion Hargrove
StarringTab Hunter
Natalie Wood
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyTed D. McCord
Edited byIrene Morra
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
October 26, 1956 (US)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.4 million (US rentals)[1]


Andy Schaeffer is a spoiled mama's boy who usually gets his way. He breezes through college while girlfriend Susan Daniels studies hard while also working at a job to pay for her education. She isn't sure where their relationship is going. Where it's going for Andy is the Army, because his grades have become so poor at school, he's being drafted. Andy reports for basic training at Fort Ord, making it clear to everybody there that he'd rather be anyplace else.



Marion Hargrove had a huge success with his book See Here Private Hargrove which sold 3,500,000 copies. Warner Bros approached him to see if he would be interested writing a story about a draftee in the army in peacetime.

Hargrove agreed but wanted the story to be accurate, and he had left the army in 1945. He arranged through Warners to undertake enlistment and some basic training at Fort Ord. Hargrove told Warners he had enough material for the book. The studio paid him to write the novel and retained only the screen rights.[2]

The novel was published in 1956. Hargrove wanted to call it All Quiet in the Third Platoon but Warners preferred The Girl He Left Behind.[3]

Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood had just appeared in The Burning Hills together and Warner Bros were keen to build them into an on screen team.[4]

Filming started June 1956.[5] Much of the film was shot at Fort Ord and used real soldiers.[2]

See also



  1. "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. Smith, C. (June 17, 1956). "Pvt. hargrove's back". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 166938311.
  3. P., C. (May 17, 1956). "Books of the times". The New York Times. ProQuest 113846776.
  4. "RISING STARS". Chicago Daily Tribune. August 12, 1956. ProQuest 179868975.
  5. PRYOR, THOMAS M (May 1, 1956). "CARNERA CHARGES STUDIO WITH FOUL". The New York Times.

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