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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
The movie was filmed aboard the USS PC-1168, a PC-461-class submarine chaser, laid down on 3 April 1943 at Sullivan Drydock and Repair Corporation, Brooklyn, New York, and launched on 3 July 1943. It was decommissioned four years after the movie was made, on 19 May 1954, and transferred that same date to the Republic of China Navy as their PC-116, ROCS Ching Kiang, where it served until it was struck from the register on 16 December 1970. See more »
This movie is taking place during WW2 but the warships are displaying the large peace-time hull numbers, not the war-time smaller hull numbers. 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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This film might just take you by surprise. After all, in so many films Gary Cooper plays the bigger than life hero. And, in so many WWII films (especially those made during the war), the story is about bigger than life heroes. Well, as a nice change of pace, Cooper plays a woefully unprepared and not especially heroic guy in this war film set during WWII--but made a few years later.
The film begins with Cooper receiving his first command of a naval ship. This seems weird to him, as he's only a reserve officer and has zero experience with ships. To make things a LOT worse, it turns out just about everyone on his new ship has no experience either! Heck, they aren't even sure how to take the ship out of port--it's that bad. To make things even worse, the Navy is testing out a new engine--and they've installed it on this ship! They can't help but fail and the film consists of one problem after another trying to get this ship to sea. Overall, an interesting film that actually was pretty entertaining and mildly funny--and I liked that it didn't try hard for jokes but took a more casual approach. It also helped that Cooper had some nice support--with Eddie Arnold, Jack Webb, Millard Mitchell, Ray Collins and many other veteran supporting actors. And, interestingly, the film was a first for three soon to be big names--Lee Marvin, Charley Buchinsky (Charles Bronson) and Jack Warden. Well worth seeing and undemanding fun.
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