IMDb > Stand by for Action (1942)

Stand by for Action (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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Stand by for Action -- An "old Noah's Ark," scoffs Lt. Masterman, a Harvard-schooled Bostonian ensconced in a cushy desk job. Care to guess who will be volunteered to be the aged ship's executive officer?

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Laurence Kirk (suggested by a story by)
Harvey S. Haislip (original story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Stand by for Action on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 February 1944 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
U. S. Navy Lieutenant Gregg Masterman (Robert Taylor), of THE Harvard and Boston Back Bay Mastermans... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
The Shakedown of the U.S.S. Warren See more (18 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Taylor ... Lieut. Gregg Masterman

Charles Laughton ... Rear Admiral Stephen Thomas

Brian Donlevy ... Lieut. Cmdr. Martin J. Roberts

Walter Brennan ... Chief Yeoman Henry Johnson
Marilyn Maxwell ... Audrey Carr
Henry O'Neill ... Cmdr. Stone M.C
Marta Linden ... Mary Collins

Chill Wills ... Chief Boatswain's Mate Jenks

Douglass Dumbrille ... Captain Ludlow
Richard Quine ... Ensign Lindsay
William Tannen ... Flag Lieut. Dudley

Douglas Fowley ... Ensign Martin
Tim Ryan ... Lieut. Tim Ryan
Dick Simmons ... Lieut. (jg) Royce
Byron Foulger ... Pharmacist's Mate 'Doc' Miller
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Carpenter's Mate 'Chips'
Inez Cooper ... Susan Garrison
Ben Welden ... Chief Quartermaster Rankin
Harry Fleischmann ... Chief Signalman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Alexander ... Sailor in Boat (uncredited)
Will Armstrong ... Sailor (uncredited)
Billy Bletcher ... Sailor (uncredited)
Wally Cassell ... Talker (uncredited)

Jim Davis ... Talker (uncredited)
Jay Eaton ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Calvin Emery ... Lookout (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Sailor (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Senator at Party (uncredited)
Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian ... Sailor (uncredited)
Robert Kent ... Hank Nels (uncredited)
Hal Le Sueur ... Lookout (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Ship Officer (uncredited)
Ralph McCullough ... Sailor in Boat (uncredited)
James Millican ... Talker (uncredited)
Bea Nigro ... Senator's Wife (uncredited)
Spec O'Donnell ... Jason (uncredited)

'Snub' Pollard ... Sailor (uncredited)
William Roberts ... Marine Messenger (uncredited)
Elizabeth Russell ... Expectant Mother (uncredited)
Theodore von Eltz ... 'Commander' (uncredited)
Pat West ... Sailor (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Sailor (uncredited)
Douglas Wood ... Sen. Masterman (uncredited)
Duke York ... Sailor (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Z. Leonard 
 
Writing credits
Laurence Kirk (suggested by a story by)

Harvey S. Haislip (original story) (as Captain Harvey Haislip) and
R.C. Sherriff (original story)

George Bruce (screenplay) &
John L. Balderston (screenplay) and
Herman J. Mankiewicz (screenplay)

Produced by
Orville O. Dull .... producer
Robert Z. Leonard .... producer
 
Original Music by
Lennie Hayton 
 
Cinematography by
Charles Rosher (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Boemler 
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert A. Golden .... assistant director (uncredited)
Horace Hough .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sandy Roth .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Edward G. Boyle .... associate set decorator
Urie McCleary .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Michael Steinore .... sound effects (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects (as Arnold Gillespie)
Donald Jahraus .... special effects (as Don Jahraus)
 
Visual Effects by
Max Fabian .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Wally Heglin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
H.D. Smith .... technical advisor (as Lieut. Comdr. H.D. Smith USN)
Wallace Worsley Jr. .... location script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Finland:S | Sweden:15 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #8801) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The world premiere on 31 December 1942 took place simultaneously in 7 US cities: Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Illinois; Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, California and San Francisco, California. Some earlier screenings may have taken place for naval officers on Treasure Island, California and Mare Island, California.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: In the navy "aye-aye" is used to acknowledge an order. In this film it's used when "yes Sir" would have been the proper response.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Oceana RollSee more »

FAQ

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
The Shakedown of the U.S.S. Warren, 15 February 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Standby For Action finds the two co-stars of Billy the Kid, Robert Taylor and Brian Donlevy thrown together due to wartime circumstances as executive officer and captain of the recommissioned U.S.S. Warren. Apparently the Warren was one of the old vintage World War I destroyers that didn't get traded to the United Kingdom in the Destroyers for Naval Bases Deal that we did with them.

She's a worn out old tub as her caretaker, retired Chief Yeoman Walter Brennan will tell you, but she has plenty of heart and a lot of fight left in her. It's a lesson Taylor has to learn.

Had Standby For Action been filmed at 20th Century Fox, Tyrone Power would have had the role, in fact he did have a similar part in Crash Dive. Taylor's a rich kid whose family connections got him a commission and a job with Admiral Charles Laughton. Donlevy's a career Navy man who rose through the ranks to become a captain, also similar to the role Dana Andrews had in Crash Dive.

The crusty, but wise Admiral Laughton decides that his junior aide could use a bit of real sea duty and assigns him to the Warren to serve under Donlevy. It turns out to be a learning experience for both men.

Taylor and Donlevy give strong and capable performances. Taylor looks the part and in fact the following year he was wearing the uniform of Uncle Sam's Navy and seeing action in the real Pacific Theater. But both these guys had to fight against a pair of veteran scene stealers in Charles Laughton and Walter Brennan.

Laughton dominates every scene he's in and uses every trick in his considerable command to capture and hold the audience's attention. This is not Captain Bligh by any means, yet Bligh was as much a seaman as he was a sadist. This admiral is no such thing, but he knows and loves the Navy he serves with.

No more so than Walter Brennan and the high point of the film is Brennan telling Taylor and Donlevy how much the Navy means to him and how much he wants to serve his country in her hour of peril. At least it's my favorite scene.

The Warren runs into all kinds of problems from rescuing a lifeboat filled with infants to action against a Japanese battleship. Taylor and Donlevy and the crew meet all challenges.

Standby For Action is a good wartime action adventure. Robert Taylor would soon enough be dealing with the real thing.

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