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The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960)

 -  Comedy | War  -  29 December 1960 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,249 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 5 critic

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 »

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(screenplay), (screen story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Ens. Tommy J. Hanson
...
Lt. Cmdr. Wilbur F. Vandewater
Chips Rafferty ...
Patterson
Tom Tully ...
Capt. McClung
Joby Baker ...
Josh Davidson
Warren Berlinger ...
Radioman 2nd Class A.J. 'Sparks' Sparks
Patricia Driscoll ...
Maggie
Mike Kellin ...
Chief Mate Jack MacCarthy
...
Lt. Dennis M. Foster
Alvy Moore ...
Seaman J. Johnson
Joseph Gallison ...
'Cameo' (as Joe Gallison)
Teru Shimada ...
Maj. Samada
George Shibata ...
Capt. Shigetsu
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Quine ...
Narrator
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Storyline

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 A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The ocean roars and so will you! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 December 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armeijan hassuin laiva  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The closeup shots of the Japanese patrol plane shows the 2 Japanese pilots sitting in a Douglas DC-3 (or C-47) cockpit, but the long shots are of a Beechcraft D18 (a considerably smaller airplane). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Operation Double 007 (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Promoted Two Grades and a Better Officer!

Based on true events (we were at war with the Japanese in 1943 in the Pacific), "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" stars Jack Lemmon as, once again, a naval officer.

Lemmon made his first big film in 1955 when he played the con artist, Ensign Pulver, in "Mister Roberts," a movie that's attained classic status. In this 1961 film he dons the navy uniform again, this time as a lieutenant (senior grade). A reserve officer who was a dapper yachtsman in California before the war, Lemmon is assigned to command a sailing vessel with (barely functioning) auxiliary mechanical propulsion.

The U.S.S. Echo is hardly the dream command of any officer, reserve or regular. But the new C.O. gamely takes on training an eager but totally bemused crew in the art of sailing a vessel.

The Echo is assigned to land an Australian coast watcher on an island occupied by the stereotypically portrayed Japanese (more Japanese officers with U.C.L.A. degrees appear in film than ever showed up on the front). The heroic coast watchers were very important during the island hopping campaign and they deserve every bit of cinematic recognition they have received. Many died, some after being tortured by their captors.

Nowhere nearly as smoothly directed as "Mister Roberts," "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" (and there's no rational reason for the title-the Army doesn't even play a role here) teeters unevenly between some nice comedy and some very 1950s-1960s war action supplemented by combat footage (one Japanese plane has been shown blown out of the sky so often in movies that if the pilot's estate was entitled to royalties the heirs would be richer than Bill Gates).

The exploits of the Echo's crew led, we are told, to the American victory in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, an important engagement.

This is a good film for renting. Jack Lemmon plays the competent and caring C.O. very nicely and is the center of the story.

The Navy must have really liked the script. They put a fleet anchorage at the filmmaker's disposal. Here's a quiz for the sharp-eyed. At one point the stern of one of the most famous and important smaller combatant vessels of World War II is shown while Lemmon is instructing his crew. What ship is it?

6/10.


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