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Edward G. Robinson,
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Flagwaving story of a new American destroyer, the JOHN PAUL JONES, from the day her keel is laid, to what was very nearly her last voyage. Among the crew, is Steve Boleslavski, a shipyard welder that helped build her, who reenlists, with his old rank of Chief boatswain's mate. After failing her sea trials, she is assigned to the mail run, until caught up in a disparate battle with a Japanese sub. After getting torpedoed, and on the verge of sinking, the Captain, and crew hatch a plan to try and save the ship, and destroy the sub. Written by
The USS John Paul Jones in reality was the Benson Class destoyer USS Hobby (DD610). She was primarily used for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) in both the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters. She servived the war, but would eventually be destroyed as a training target in 1972. See more »
The railings around the deck of destroyers, or any warship, are not made of sheet metal as shown in this film. The railings that surround the deck are made up of posts and cables. This allows water to quickly leave the deck. See more »
Edward G. Robinson and Glenn Ford star in Destroyer, a sentimental Navy tale of two different generations of Navy men. Though the film's World War II vintage somewhat dates it, the film is still good entertainment.
The film begins with news of the USS John Paul Jones being sunk in the Pacific. That news is particularly hard for retired Navy chief Edward G. Robinson who now makes a living building ships in the navy yard. He gets to build the new John Paul Jones and decides that he ought to serve on her.
But when he pulls some strings to get assigned to the JPJ II, someone gets displaced as the chief boatswain. That someone is Glenn Ford and that doesn't make for a harmonious ship. In addition Robinson's kind of behind the times in the newer improvements the US Navy has made since the last war.
Complicating things is Marguerite Chapman, Robinson's daughter who Ford falls for. That really makes things bad on shore and off.
Robinson's the show in this film. His portrayal of an old Navy fighting man who won't be beached in a second war is sentimental, but effective. His best moments are when he finally begins to win the crew's respect by telling them the story of the guy and the engagement that the guy fought for whom the ship is named after.
In fact the final duel between the USS John Paul Jones and a Japanese submarine has a lot of similarity between what happened with the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis of the Royal Navy.
Rounding out a nice supporting cast are Regis Toomey, Edward Brophy, Edgar Buchanan, and Leo Gorcey who gives us a bit of New York street smarts for the ship.
Destroyer is a dated propaganda film from the World War II era, but still entertaining because of the two leads.
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