When Lt. John Harknesshe, a 90 day wonder with an engineering degree, is assigned as the new skipper of submarine chaser equipped with an experimental steam engine, he hopes that the U.S.S. Teakettle's veterans will afford him enough help to accomplish the ship's goals. Unfortunately he finds the crew and its officers share his novice status or only have experience in diesel engines. Written by
When we first see Gary Cooper he is in a car driving onto a Navy base. There is a guard stationed at the base who waves Cooper in. The guard has a 1911 Pistol holstered on his belt. There isn't a magazine inserted in the pistol so he is guarding the front gate with an unloaded weapon. See more »
[Exiting engine room]
I've never seen anything like it in my whole life!
We keep it running, sir.
Yeah, Yeah, you can also hang upside-down with your belt from a doorknob and kick the transom open with your feet, but I don't recommend it Chief.
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It's noted in the Citadel Film Series book, the Films Of Gary Cooper that You're In The Navy Now was his first film for 20th Century Fox. It did fail to mention that this was the sixth of seven films that Cooper made with director Henry Hathaway. This was the only one of those seven that could be classified as a comedy.
Lieutenant Gary Cooper has just been activated from reserve status due to the war that broke out after Pearl Harbor. The Navy give him one interesting first command at sea. The Navy is experimenting with steam power as an alternative to diesel on the theory that there is in fact an infinite supply of water and oil might become scarce.
So Cooper gets an assignment on an experimental steam power PT Boat and he's to test it to see if it's feasible. But what the Navy also does is give him an entirely green crew of both officers and enlisted men. The only exception is boatswain Millard Mitchell.
This is quite a recipe for disaster and the laughs that would accompany those disasters. But Cooper and his crew prove surprisingly resilient in overcoming obstacles.
It's ironic that a film about a green crew for a Naval ship should also prove to be the debut film of several noted players as well. Lee Marvin, Harvey Lembeck, Charles Bronson, and Jack Warden all made their feature film debuts in You're In The Navy Now as sailors on the USS Teakettle as the men call their steam powered vessel.
With all the problems he has Coop is lucky enough to have married Jane Greer who is also in the WAVES and working as a secretary for one of the port big shots in John McIntire. She's provides the usual wifely support and has his back when things go wrong on the Teakettle as they inevitably do.
You're In The Navy Now is far from one of Cooper's major films nor is it the best of his collaborations with Henry Hathaway. But it's a pleasant enough comedy about a shakedown cruise which was also a shakedown film for a lot of debuting players.
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