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"McHale's Navy"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"McHale's Navy" More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Bring back McHale's Navy!

Author: davidwb88 from Seattle, Wa. USA
22 February 2005

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Los Angeles from Seattle with Ernest Borgnine. I was interested to find out that McHale's Navy was currently not being shown on TV. This show was without a doubt, one of the funniest shows of all time, featuring an ensemble cast that rivals any in the history of TV. I would just like to say to programmers out there, especially at Nick At Night and TV Land, BRING BACK McHALES NAVY! There are generations of young people that have never seen this classic show from TV's golden era, and that is a shame. Writers of todays TV comedies could learn more than a few things about whats funny from watching this wonderful show. It was truly a great example of what results from great writing, acting, and that magic chemistry that only happens once in a great while when you have a great ensemble cast.

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Best TV comedy series Ever!

10/10
Author: inframan from the lower depths
24 August 2005

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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15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A Classic

Author: Brian Washington (Sargebri@att.net) from Los Angeles, California
7 April 2003

After years of playing primarily dramatic roles, Ernest Borgnine really shines as the lovable con man Commander Quentin McHale. I loved "F-Troop", but you can see where that show got its inspiration. The supporting cast was also great, especially Joe Flynn playing his usual hot tempered authority figure in Captain Binghamton and Tim Conway playing the role that made him famous, the nerdish Ensign Parker.

This show is so funny you often wonder if we had a navy like this, how did we win the war.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Borgnine's show, but Flynn & Conway were the real stars

Author: frankfob from California
6 April 2002

I know this was Ernest Borgnine's show, and though he played it too broadly sometimes, he was still pretty good in it. However, the main reason I watched the show was for Joe Flynn's Captain Binghamton and Tim Conway's Ensign Parker. Binghamton was always trying to nail McHale and his crew (he kept calling them "you and your pirates") and some of his schemes to get rid of them were hilarious, especially when, as usual, they blew up in his face. Conway's eager but almost totally incompetent Ensign Parker was a a joy to watch, due to Conway's comic genius. It was side-splitting to watch him squirm, stutter and completely fall apart whenever he was given any kind of responsibility at all; he'd try to do a good job, and it usually worked out in the end, but what happened in between was always good for a lot of laughs. I especially enjoyed watching him totally dissolve whenever Claudine Longet put the moves on him. Conway was one of TV's great clowns, as shown by his work on "The Carol Burnett Show," and he's at the top of his form; he had the amazing ability to move his body in three or four different directions at the same time--he would look like a marionette with the strings tangled--and that combined with his twitches, facial expressions and look of total incomprehension was a riot. Another actor I really enjoyed was Bob Hastings, who played Binghamton's loyal, long-suffering and abused underling, Lt. Carpenter. Carpenter was the ultimate company man, so eager to please his boss that he gladly entered into whatever lame-brained scheme Binghamton cooked up to discredit McHale ("Oh, good-o, sir, that's brilliant!"), which usually wound up with Binghamton's shifting the blame to him whenever it went wrong--which Carpenter, of course, always readily accepted ("I'm sorry, sir, of course it was all my fault"). Carl Ballantine's scheming Gruber, always on the lookout to make a (usually dishonest) buck, was a lot of fun, too.

I think the series lost a bit of steam when the location was moved from the South Pacific to Italy, and some of the supporting cast was somewhat weak (Gavin McLeod's Happy was especially annoying), but overall it was a very funny, enjoyable show, with some great byplay between Flynn and Conway.

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

McHale's Navy TV Series

Author: bobkudyba from Australia
29 November 2005

I have always enjoyed Mchale's Navy, it has to be one of my all time favourite shows. The show was immensely popular in Australia during the 1960's and has returned regularly since then. The show joins many of those other TV SitComs of that 'Golden Era' of television, such as: Batman, Gilligan's Island, The Addams Family, Gomer Pyle, USMC and many more that kept us amused.

I always made sure I was home from school and seated in time for the show every Monday to Friday to see the wacky adventures of McHale and his crew as they managed to get themselves into yet another 'mess' in their daily battle of wits with their strictly by the book Captain Wallace B. Binghamton and Lieutenant Carpenter.

Ernest Borgnine has always been one of my favourite actors and his portrayal of the long suffering LTCOMDR Quinton McHale was first rate. McHale always seemed to have his hands full trying to keep his 'bunch of eight balls' in line, as well as have to contend with his bumbling Exec Officer, Ensign Parker (Tim Conway).

I thought Ernest Borgnine made the show, being the go-between his men and his stern CO, Capt Binghamton. McHale was always concocting some scheme to get his men off the hook with Binghamton, sometimes himself too, after they got into some mishap or other. Capt, Binghamton was also forever trying to invent some scheme to get McHale and his 'Pirates' shipped out, inevitably this backfired on the good Captain someway or another.

I still enjoy this show, it's as every bit as entertaining now as it was back in those good old days.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Guilt-Free Fun !

Author: parmrh from Chapel Hill, N.C. U.S.A.
28 May 2005

"McHale's Navy" manages to present THE PERFECT take on "War-Time Comedy", (eclipsed only by "M*A*S*H"). Some may point to "Hogan's Heroes" as being superior, but while I enjoyed that as a kid, nowadays I cannot get past "Hogan's Heroes"' simple-minded take on The Nazis and sugar-coated fantasy prison camp setting. The Nazis were NOT simple-minded, easily-fooled buffoons, and "Hogan's Heroes" is an insult to the ordeals endured by every Allied POW in WW2.

McHale's Navy" on the other hand,never insults the intelligence of The Viewer by taking too many broad liberties with history. The Japanese in Mchale's Navy are a serious enemy,(save for the harmless "Fuji" the escaped POW given shelter by McHale and Crew).

In "McHale's Navy", The REAL Enemy is..... THE BRASS!

That's where honest War-Time Comedy is meant to derive from,and where it is at it's best. When you spotlight the overly- officious asininity of The Higher Ranks, you get Genuine Comedy. It's a Truth that Ernie Pyle, Bill Mauldin, Floyd Gibbons and Richard Hooker understood; and that Truth is showcased no where better than in "McHale's Navy".

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A favorite TV series from the 1960s.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
1 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While the 1950s may have been the TV boom in the US, the 1960s was when family entertainment really took a prime spot. 'McHale's Navy' ran while I was in high school and college, and was one of those TV series that most families set time aside to watch each week.

Ernest Borgnine was the nominal star of the series as Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale. He was earnest and mostly by the book, but his foil was the very funny Tim Conway who was the bumbling Ensign Charles Parker. Parker was everything that McHale was not, and a good portion of McHale's energy was fixing situations that Parker got them and the crew in.

And finally, Joe Flynn was perfect as their commanding officer, Capt. Wallace B. Binghamton. He was the stereotype, the half wit commander who only vaguely knew what was going on, and while trying to keep tabs on McHale and his crew, was usually in the process of being outwitted by them.

I very entertaining comedy series, I watch old episodes whenever I can catch them. As well as old episodes of the Carol Burnett show where Conway was an even bigger comedy hoot!

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Classic TV

Author: Thor2000 from Collinsport, Maine
20 July 2001

My memories of watching this show coincide with the same days I used to stay home sick from, and in some cases "sick of," school. I loved staying home and watching the wacky adventures of McHale and his crew. Borgnine's big smiling face made him sort of my best buddy and his crew my extended family. I think the best appeal of the show was that it seemed to pay homages to so many of my favorites: Gilligan's Island, Hogan's Heroes, F Troop, The Andy Griffith Show and Get Smart just to name a few. Conway's character had a lot of Barney Fife in him, and the surreal humor reminded me a lot of Night Court. Maybe that's what makes a show a classic; by it's way to reinvent comedy where everyone can find some interest in it.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Tim Conway and Joe Flynn -- two forgotten comic geniuses

10/10
Author: tallguy62 from Chicago, IL
2 July 2007

Who can resist the comic talent of Tim Conway? Further, who can resist both Conway and Flynn on the same show to "play off" one another? The result is hysterical. I recently bought this first season, after having seen McHale's Navy (the 1960s movie) and McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force. I had enjoyed them both, but was unaware that the original TV show is now available for purchase.

I am always sad that nowadays, comedians are vulgar and crude and do not need to have ANY talent in order to be popular. True comedy is one of the toughest things for an actor to portray well. Any fool can spew forth obscenities for a cheap laugh, but true comedy requires something more. Joe Flynn and Tim Conway both have that "something more" I am referring to. You will know what I am talking about if you watch any of these old episodes.

What a delightful television show with good writing and decent acting.

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Classic WWII comedy series starring Ernest Borgnine!

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
31 August 2004

"McHale's Navy" is probably one of the classiest and the most funniest sitcom of its day to ever depict the misadventures of a misfit band of recruits who are in command and in charge of a PT Cruiser Boat during the scenes around a Naval Military Base on a secured island in the South Pacific in World War II,under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale(Ernest Borgnine),and his commanding officer who keeps a watchful eye on McHale and his crew,Capt.Wallace Binghamton(Joe Flynn),and Binghamton's nerdish assistant Ensign Charles Parker(Tim Conway). This show had it all with some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen and believe me some of the hijinks that McHale and his band of recruits get into is enough right there to steal the thunder of the show,courtesy of not only the 'big smiling face' of Ernest Borgnine,but from Tim Conway who hilarious situations made the show itself stand out,and it would prove the standing point when he would go on to host his own show,and from there into an nine-year hiatus for "The Carol Burnett Show". Oh yeah,lets not forget Joe Flynn as well,since him and Conway were the perfect comedy team and with them in this series it would have not survive. This series also had some familiar faces here as well including several actors who would go on to make a name for themselves,including actor Gavin MacLeod,who played Private First Class Joesph "Happy" Haines.

It was from this series that MacLeod would go to do other roles as well including a seven-year stint on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show",and from there as Captain Stubbing on "The Love Boat". This series also had singing sensation Billy Sands as "Tinkerbell",and many more. "McHale's Navy",ran on ABC-TV for five seasons from 1962 to 1966 and produced 138 episodes,all in black and white and produced by Revue Productions/Universal Studios in Hollywood. During the show's five year-run,since studios executives at Universal,which produced the series,decided that the cast should make the jump from the small screen to the big screen,producing three theatrical features for the studio,and this time around they were to be produced in color....... "McHale's Navy"(1964),"McHale's Navy Joins The Air Force"(1965),and the final,"McHale's Navy Joins The Army"(1965)while the TV series was still on the air,and the TV series was still in black and white.

What killed McHale's Navy after being a great hit? During the show's final season(1965-1966)McHale,and his crew along with Binghamton and Parker,not to mention Binghamton's second Lt. Carpenter,were all shipped from the operations in the South Pacific to the operations of Europe,where they were shipped to Italy to fight against the Germans. In the Pacific,they were up against the Japanese,but the Germans? That what killed the show,and from there the laughter stopped after five seasons.

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