These are the adventures of the misfit crew of PT-73 during World War II. They're one of the best fighting crews in the Navy, but break regulations when it suits them. Their commander, LCDR McHale, is at times as roguish as his crew, but he puts his foot down when things go too far. They are assigned an XO, Ensign Parker, who is by-the-book, but too much of a klutz to command too much respect. They have a house-boy Fuji, who deserted the Japanese Navy, who wears a POW outfit just in case he's caught so he won't be shot at. Their nemesis is CAPT Binghamton and his aide LT Carpenter. They're initially stationed in the South Pacific, but move to Italy in the last season. Written by
The vessel used for shots of the PT-73 underway was a 72-foot type II Vosper MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat), a British design built under license in the U.S. for export to Russia. The war ended in August 1945 before the boat--the real number of which was PT-694--could be sent to the Soviet Union. The boat was then purchased by billionaire businessman Howard Hughes and used as a chase boat for the one and only flight of his Spruce Goose aircraft. The boat was then sold to Universal Pictures--as there were few other real PT oats left in existence at the time--and some liberties were taken in reconfiguring it to look like a PT Boat. Vosper PTs did not have machine gun turrets on either side of the pilot house (though ironically, the real PT-73--a Higgins design--did) as the PT-73 in the show did. Other irregularities are the main mast aft and a small mast right in front of the cockpit. Shots of the crew aboard the PT-73 were filmed on a full-scale mock-up in a soundstage. "PT-73" was later sold to the mayor of Hawthorne, California, and was converted to a sport fishing boat. It was destroyed when it broke loose of its mooring near Santa Barbara and washed up on the beach during a storm. The real PT-73 was a 78-foot Higgins boat assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 13, which saw service in the Aleutians and in the Southwest Pacific theater. On 15 January 1945 it ran aground and was destroyed to prevent it falling into enemy hands. See more »
Although the show is set in the 1940s, the nurses and other women are seen sporting hairdos from the early 1960s. See more »
I started watching this in reruns in the mid-sixties. I'd watch it while having lunch on a stool in my kitchen in Oakland California.
It just blew me away. There I was - spraying avocado & sprouts sandwiches & salads all over the kitchen in uncontrollable hysteria - 3 or 4 gut-wrenching laughs for every chew-&-swallow.
Never since have I ever seen a show - TV series or feature film - with as great a complement of genuinely riotously talented comedians as McHale's Navy: Tim Conway, Joe Flynn, Carl Ballantine (comic magician on Ed Sullivan), Bob Hastings, Billy Sands. Even Gavin McLeod was on board & Ernest Borgnine gave it authority & glue! It was brilliant; as far as I'm concerned on a par with the Marx brothers & Abbott & Costello. Ageless & priceless!!!
So where's the DVD?
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