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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
This movie's US alternate title, U.S.S. Teakettle, is a reference to the patrol vessel's name in the film. The United States navy vessel's engine has steam turbines which use steam to drive it just as a tea kettle "steams" when it boils. See more »
In the scene where they are rolling depth charges off the aft deck during a drill, Lee Marvin is first seen as a radio man on the bridge, then after a cut, he is on the aft deck with the depth charge crew. 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 is a good representation of life in the Navy,even in today's world. Anyone who served on a "steamer" as a "snipe" will easily understand the sacrifices required to keep the ship going. The human bonding that is very evident, while the Officers are growing into their authority, is constantly repeated in today's Navy. A ship's complement will turn-over 50 percent after returning from a deployment, returning the ship to a state of controlled chaos. What is seen in this movie is a very good look at what happens to every ship every two-three years. Ultimately, the crew completes the "quickening" and are able to function as a team. Try to understand the leadership techniques that "Coop" appears to stumble over with the intended effect. These tools are constantly in use today. Also understand the "level of silliness" that is demanded by the US Navy. While civilians will pooh-pooh the Navy brass requirements, this is taken with the utmost seriousness and urgency to complete, especially in time of war. As nit-picky the Navy demands are, it is very common for the entire ship to put their combined effort on this objective. Hence, it looks as silly as an elephant standing on a thimble. The amazing thing is that it is actually happening.
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