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Navy Blues (1941)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  13 September 1941 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 160 users  
Reviews: 11 user

On a layover in Hawaii two conniving Navy seamen borrow money to lay down bets that their ship will win the upcoming gunnery practice trophy, having found out that the current gunnery champ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Navy Blues (1941)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marge Jordan
Jack Oakie ...
Cake O'Hara
Martha Raye ...
Lilibelle Bolton
...
Powerhouse Bolton
Herbert Anderson ...
Homer Matthews
...
'Buttons' Johnson
...
Tubby (as Jackie C. Gleason)
...
Mac
Richard Lane ...
'Rocky' Anderson
John Ridgely ...
Jersey
...
Navy Blues Sextette Member (as Katharine Aldridge)
Georgia Carroll ...
Navy Blues Sextette Member
Marguerite Chapman ...
Navy Blues Sextette Member
Peggy Diggins ...
Navy Blues Sextette Member
Leslie Brooks ...
Navy Blues Sextette Member (as Loraine Gettman)
Edit

Storyline

On a layover in Hawaii two conniving Navy seamen borrow money to lay down bets that their ship will win the upcoming gunnery practice trophy, having found out that the current gunnery champ has just transferred aboard their ship. What they haven't learned, however, is that the marksman's enlistment is up before the contest is supposed to take place. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | navy | contest | hawaii | uniform | See All (18) »

Taglines:

The Miracle Maritime Musical! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flottan går iland  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Jackie Gleason. See more »

Goofs

During the gunnery awards ceremony, the band is playing, "Semper Paratus". This is the service anthem for the U.S. Coast Guard, and would not be played during a U.S. Navy awards ceremony. See more »

Quotes

Lilibelle Bolton: Yeah, don't forget my alimony!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The actors spell out the words 'The End' as they sing and march into formation at the very end. See more »

Connections

References Manpower (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mediocre Musical With Some Interesting Details
24 April 2006 | by (Falls Church, Virginia) – See all my reviews

The best musicals offer memorable songs imaginatively staged. "Navy Blues" offers neither. Both composer Arthur Schwartz ("Dancing in the Dark") and lyricist Johnnie Mercer ("Hurray for Hollywood") did much better work elsewhere, as did choreographer Seymour Felix ("The Great Ziegfeld").

The leads are only so-so. Oomph girl Ann Sheridan looks great and Martha Raye is suitably brassy, but Jacks Haley and Oakie are hardly Abbott and Costello, and Herbert Anderson is woeful as Sheridan's romantic interest.

Plots are always secondary in musicals, though sometimes they help pick up the pace. Here, a typically thin story line is a good 20 minutes too long.

For all these weaknesses "Navy Blues" has some interesting aspects.

The cast features the already rotund Jackie Gleason in his first film. He doesn't have very many lines but you can't miss him as a young sailor named Tubby. Had this been made a decade later he would have been a natural for Oakie's role.

More significantly, this is a last look at the United States Navy on the eve of World War Two. These are real ships and real sailors on the brink of history.

When Oakie and Haley's characters disembark at Honolulu (actually San Diego), the ship in the background is the USS Curtiss, a seaplane tender that a few months later was damaged at Pearl Harbor. Twenty-one of her crew were killed on December 7th.

Other scenes appear to have been shot on an Astoria class heavy cruiser, of which there were six. The following year three of these ships were sunk off Guadalcanal, with great loss of life.

Surely many of the sailors parading behind the cast members in the closing sequence would not survive the war. Few could foresee that in the spring of 1941, but for us that sad fact gives the film a poignancy its makers never intended.


15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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