Lieutenant Rip Crandall is hoodwinked into taking command of the "Wackiest Ship in the Navy" - a real garbage scow with a crew of misfits who don't know a jib from a jigger. What none of ... See full summary »
Lieutenant Rip Crandall is hoodwinked into taking command of the "Wackiest Ship in the Navy" - a real garbage scow with a crew of misfits who don't know a jib from a jigger. What none of them knows, including Crandall, is that this ship has a very important top-secret mission to complete in waters patrolled by the Japanese fleet. Their mission will save hundreds of allied lives - if only they can get there in one piece. Written by
The original name of the boat in the movie was the "Fiesta". She was built in Hong Kong in 1932 entirely of teakwood. She was a 72 foot gaff-rigged schooner and came with a 165hp auxiliary diesel engine, weighed 28 net tons, drew 8 feet of water and could make 7.5 knots under power. She was also equipped with 3 tiled heads (bathrooms), two of them with showers, 1400 gallon fresh water tank, a 19 cubic foot deep freezer, and a 24 cubic foot refrigerator. Prior to the movie the Fiesta was owned by Martin J. Vitousek and his wife the former Beatrice Leiseder. (Source: The San Francisco Chronicle Sept. 14, 1952). See more »
When the Echo is escaping the Japanese and heading toward the reef, Jack Lemmon tells the crew to lower the centerboard - they proceed to do that (even while ducking when the Japanese shoot at the boat). However, when the Echo approaches the reef, the underwater shot shows the centerboard retracting - it retracts all the way up. Then when the underwater shot shows the Echo clearing the reef, the centerboard is down again. See more »
If you remember Pearl Harbor, you'll recall that in the year that followed the Japanese were almost invincible. Early in 1943, however, they were checked. Stopped cold by the Marines at Guadalcanal, the Navy in the Coral Sea, and the Allied armies in New Guinea. This was a period of far-reaching decisions, desperate strategies, and incredibly daring counter-strokes - not the least of which involved two bright young naval officers...
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While it may have spawned a popular TV series, there's very little that's "wacky" about this big screen origin which doesn't seem to settle into an even pattern for either a comedy, or a light war-action film. Lemmon is the newly recruited and reluctant skipper of the Navy's laughing stock - a ragtag group of social rejects and dull blades, all affable types, just lacking the mettle required of active service. Lemmon has three days to turn them into a competent outfit, capable of piloting their lemon of a yacht on an ostensibly routine journey. Suffice to say that with the aid of inexperienced but promising young officer Ricky Nelson and no-nonsense chief mate Mike Kellin, the crew silence their detractors and unwittingly undertake a secret mission in enemy waters.
The subsequent TV series with Jack Warden and Gary Collins was several years beyond its nexus, but superior in most facets, despite only lasting a couple of years. The dialogue is busy (Lemmon typically written in hyper-speed), there's plenty of slapstick humour much of it courtesy of pea-brained radioman Berlinger and some well orchestrated sea-faring action, but it never gels properly. Nelson sings (but doesn't act) while the fairer gender representation is left to Patricia Driscoll who performs an impressive down under accent.
It's capable in its discreet elements, but collectively, disappointingly flat. Sort of a light-humoured marine Dirty Dozen that I'd recommend only to Lemmon fans or perhaps those who enjoy Nelson's expressionless crooning.
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