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On shore leave, a young sailor meets and falls in love with a pretty young blonde. He goes home with her to meet her parents, but they don't approve of him at all. Their daughter takes offense at this, and in the ensuing argument she storms out of the house determined to live on her own. She believes that her new boyfriend will marry her, but when he admits that he's not the marrying kind and then goes back to sea, she feels hurt and rejected and her life goes into a downward spiral. Written by
Music by Fred E. Ahlert
Lyrics by Roy Turk
Played during the opening credits and sung by an unidentified man
Sung a cappella by William Haines (uncredited) often
Sung a cappella by Anita Page (uncredited)
Sung by the sailors twice
Played by the organ grinder See more »
William Haines Aims To Tease In His Debut Talkie Feature
A silly, irresponsible sailor gives his new girlfriend a bad case of the NAVY BLUES when he loves her & leaves her, instead of offering marriage.
Carrying on the Silly Billy antics he perfected in silent pictures, William Haines made his talkie feature debut in this piece of cinematic fluff, released 5 days before Christmas, 1929. He would play variations of this character throughout the rest of his screen career. Just as important, in NAVY BLUES he showed himself well capable of being a talkie star. Although he acts like a complete cad, he does so with a certain amount of boyish charm, and that's what made money for the studios. And the very next year, 1930, Haines would be Hollywood's male box office champ.
The plot doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. Haines' wild & flamboyant behavior, quite frankly, would make him a good candidate for a 'don't ask - don't tell' policy, and a frequent inhabitant of the brig. His eventual rehabilitation seems suspiciously superficial. Anita Page, as his disappointed sweetheart, seems a bit too easily pushed into prostitution. Karl Dane, as a hulking Swede seaman, is given little to do except act exceedingly simple-minded.
Still, in the final accounting this is William Haines' film, and although his character is slightly repellent, Haines is never less than amusing.
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