After a quayside mix-up with the Italian family of his fiancée, Able Seaman Knocker White finds himself literally left holding the baby. Unable to return it before his ship sails he enlists... See full summary »
After a quayside mix-up with the Italian family of his fiancée, Able Seaman Knocker White finds himself literally left holding the baby. Unable to return it before his ship sails he enlists the help of best mate Puncher Roberts to smuggle the child aboard. But babies are surprisingly demanding and gradually the whole crew is drawn into helping keep it fed and washed - and undiscovered. Even so, the officers above deck start to puzzle over the increasingly strange happenings on board. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When your light airy comedy can boast Richard Attenborough and John Mills as its leads, well it's in safe hands as a time filler at least. The Baby And The Battleship is one of those affable comedies that filtered out of Shepperton Studios from time to time back in the day. Always crammed with stock British talent, they serve as a reminder, much like the Pinewood Studios comedies released in the same time frame, of simple honest enjoyment. No frills or attempts at insulting the viewers intelligence, they existed (exist) purely as a medium to be sampled without the need for dissection or deeper themed meanings (like some of Ealing's comedies for example).
This effort revolves around two sailors, Knocker (Attenborough) and Puncher (Mills), who while on shore leave find themselves baby minding the brother of Knocker's Italian fiancée, the 13th born in the family no less! After a big punch up in the city, Puncher wakes up to find everyone has gone except the baby, who is still sitting in the last place Puncher had left him. Fretting and unable to find Knocker 9who's off with his lady searching elsewhere), Puncher smuggles the baby on board his ship and promptly enlists his ship mates to help him. Cue much mirth as first the ship sails leaving Knocker AWOL on shore, and secondly as macho sailors try to temporarily raise the child whilst simultaneously keeping him hidden from the ship's superiors; something that proves most definitely hard to do.
As one can reasonably expect with a cast containing two of Great Britain's treasures, the acting is value for money. Backed up by a ships roll call consisting of Bryan Forbes, Michael Hordern, Michael Howard, Lionel Jeffries, John Le Mesurier and Gordon Jackson, it's easy to see why this comedy was steered safely into port. Also having some nice outer location work at Abattoir Wharf in Corradino, Malta, is a plus as well. The Baby And The Battleship probably isn't a film you would want to watch time and time again, but hey, sometimes once is enough to leave a safe and favourable impression. 6/10
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