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Russ Raymond, America's number one crooner, disappears and joins the Navy under the name Tommy Halstead. Dorothy Roberts, a magazine journalist, is intent on finding out what happened to Russ and she tries everything she can to get a picture of him to prove he's Russ Raymond. Tommy's friends, Pomeroy Watson and Smokey Adams,help him while Pomeroy writes love letters to Patty Andrews. But because Smokey makes Pomeroy lie about himself in the letters, and when Patty comes to the Navy base, she's furious at Pomeroy. When Pomeroy, Smokey, Tommy and the Andrews sisters set sail for Hawaii, Pomeroy discovers there's a tomato in the potato locker, and she's been snapping shots of Tommy the whole trip. Whether Pomeroy's proving that 7 x 13 = 28 - three different ways, having Smokey help him play ship captain for Patty, or falling out of his hammock, it's an Abbott and Costello classic. Written by
Lindsay Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie was actually filmed after Hold That Ghost (1941), but they released it first because the public wanted to see some "service pictures." After this film was released, Universal revamped "Hold That Ghost" to add a romantic subplot and some musical numbers for The Andrews Sisters and Ted Lewis' band, which hadn't been in the original cut. See more »
Thus continued a standard (and at the time of its release, winning) formula for Abbott & Costello's earliest films which you need to take with a grain or two of salt in order to appreciate them. With IN THE NAVY, Universal wanted to capitalize on the monstrous success of the earlier BUCK PRIVATES, so now we've got another "service comedy" from the team, with some tried and true funny segments that work, scattered along with the now customary dashes of song, dance, and sub-plotting.
In the area of humorous routines, Bud and Lou are a hit with the "Lemon Shell Game," the "Sons of Neptune" initiation prank, Lou trying to get some sleep in a cockeyed hammock, and then Costello later trying to prove to Abbott that "7x13 = 28". We've even got Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges on hand to help out with some of these gags. This is all fine and dandy.
But then again, every once in awhile it's obligatory that the three Andrews Sisters have to pop in with another song and dance number. While I actually didn't mind the ladies in BUCK PRIVATES, I didn't care for any of their songs in this film. Even worse, some time is wasted on a silly romance between lead singer Patty Andrews and chubby little Lou. This doesn't go anywhere and is more of a liability than a help.
Dick Powell gets big billing along with Abbott and Costello, and a good portion of the story deals with his being a successful singer, idolized by hordes of adoring women, who'd like nothing more than to sneak into the navy just to get away from all the fanfare. Unluckily for him, there's a female photographer who's hot on his trail and is determined to spring up with her ever-intrusive camera to snap all the pictures she can of him. This also becomes rather tiring. Yet thankfully, A&C are constantly in their hilarious prime to keep bringing us back to the laughs, which is always the chief reason we keep wanting to watch.
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