20 user 12 critic

The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, War | 29 December 1960 (USA)
During WW2, Lt. Rip Crandall, who was a yachtsman before the war, takes command of the USS Echo, a sailing ship, for a secret mission in waters patrolled by Japanese warships.



(screenplay), (screen story) (as Herbert Margolis) | 2 more credits »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | War | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the spring of 1942, the New Zealand government presents the U.S. a 70-year-old wooden twin-masted schooner. The US military decides to use the ship to place spies ashore behind Japanese ... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Warden, Gary Collins, Mike Kellin
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.

Director: David Swift
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Romy Schneider, Dorothy Provine
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man who has set up the perfect lifestyle for himself makes the mistake of marrying while drunk...and his fantasies of murder are used against him.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisi, Terry-Thomas
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A love-struck landlord tries to convince a pretty tenant to dump her fiance and give him a chance.

Director: David Swift
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Carol Lynley, Dean Jones
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An American junior diplomat in London rents a house from, and falls in love with, a woman suspected of murder.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Fred Astaire
Irma la Douce (1963)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Paris, a former policeman falls in love with a prostitute, and tries to get her out of that life by paying for all of her time.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day.

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Fiedler
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In post-WW2 France, U.S. Army hospital private Hogan and Captain Locke try to outwit one another on issues such as wooing pretty nurses, accounting for missing medical supplies, organizing unauthorized dances and influencing their C.O.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Kathryn Grant
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A major countermands orders and attacks to avenge a previous massacre of men, women, and children.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles


Cast overview:
Lt. Cmdr. Wilbur F. Vandewater
Capt. McClung
Josh Davidson
Radioman 2nd Class A.J. 'Sparks' Sparks
Patricia Driscoll ...
Chief Mate Jack MacCarthy
Lt. Dennis M. Foster
Seaman J. Johnson
Joseph Gallison ...
'Cameo' (as Joe Gallison)
Teru Shimada ...
Maj. Samada
George Shibata ...


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


The ocean roars and so will you! See more »


Comedy | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

29 December 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wackiest Ship in the Navy  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mike Kellin who played the Chief also played this same part in the television series "The Wackiest Ship in the Army". He was the only actor to play a role in both the tv series and the movie. See more »


When the Echo is going over the reef on New Britain, the Japanese Major comes from below with his sword and attacks LT Crandall. The sword goes past Crandall under his arm. In a following shot, Crandall has the sword embedded in his chest. The major did not have a chance to strike twice before being overpowered. See more »


[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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY...................IN THE ARMY? See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Lost Continent (1990) See more »


Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
(c) 1947
Lyrics by Edgar De Lange (as Eddie De Lange)
Music by Louis Alter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fans of Lemmon should not miss this one!
14 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

It's too bad Hollywood stopped making war flicks like this one. They were much more enjoyable than the kind of hand-wringing performances you see nowadays. Lemmon took a break from chewing the scenery in the classics "Some Like It Hot" and "The Great Race" and returned to a more straight-man character of the kind he played in Mister Roberts. Although Lemmon is, as usual, great, the movie suffers somewhat from a bland supporting cast and the insufferable Ricky Nelson, whose acting is as wooden as it was in "Rio Bravo." Although slow to get going, the movie eventually takes off and maintains a robust pace to the conclusion. Note that TV showings tend to trim this one heavily, so if you see it sitting in the bargain bin, be sure to pick it up!

For fans of Lemmon or the genre only!

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page