Francis in the Navy (1955)
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In this film Donald O'Connor gets a message from his friend Francis that he's been stuck in the Navy in San Diego and about to be sold as surplus at an auction. O'Connor goes to San Diego but finds he's continually mistaken for a sailor who is a dead ringer for army lieutenant O'Connor. It's only the beginning of the Comedy Of Errors situation with both O'Connor and another non-talking mule who looks like Francis.
So Donald O'Connor gives us two roles for the price of one her. I have to say that it got a little weird and freaky when army O'Connor starts romancing Martha Hyer who is a navy nurse and sister to navy O'Connor. She probably thought so to, both Hyer and her character.
A lot of familiar names who later made a mark on the small screen show up in Francis In The Navy. In the cast are Jim Backus, Paul Burke, David Janssen, and most of all Clint Eastwood who's height makes him hard to miss.
So with 2 for 1 O'Connors Francis In The Navy is a slight somewhat amusing service comedy which should give its viewers some laughs.
Thanks, Sheila Kelley
Peter comes to this navy base to buy Francis, who is being auctioned as surplus. Meanwhile Peter is having constant problems with navy personnel insisting he must be Slicker. Several times, he is undressed (by men and women) of his army uniform and given a navy uniform. He is sent to the psycho ward for claiming he's not Slicker. Several of the nurses there get amorous with him. One is played by Virginia O'Brien. In the '40s,she appeared in a number of musicals in which she displayed her signature deadpan singing style. Her extremely minor role was her only Hollywood film appearance during a 30 year period. A young Clint Eastwood appears several times as one of the sailors.
Peter has various other misadventures, of course. He has to drive a landing craft, with no prior experience, and nearly hits another... Seems Slicker is a champion Navy welter weight boxer. Thus, Peter has to fight a bruiser, with only a little help from Francis. He loses and ends up in the hospital.
Eventually, Peter and Slicker meet face to face, and Slicker also meets Francis. They are seen facing each other at close quarters. Don't know how they did that in those days. Anyway, a WAVE officer enters and faints when she sees the two and hears Francis talk.
Another interesting sequence is when the 2 are together in a barrack and an officer walks in. They get on opposite sides of a mirror frame(mirror missing) and mimic the actions of each other, as if there was only one of them. A similar stunt was done in "The Princess and the Pirate".....The last part of the film deals with various mishaps in a landing exercise, in which Francis takes a small part. As with the prior films in this series, Arthur Lubin was the director. He would go on to direct the rather similar Mister Ed TV series.
Frances did not play nearly as an important role in this film as in "Frances Joins the WACS), which was a more entertaining film.