21 user 6 critic

Skirts Ahoy! (1952)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 8 August 1952 (Netherlands)
Three young ladies sign up for some kind of training at a naval base. However, their greatest trouble isn't long marches or several weeks in a small boat, but their love life.


Sidney Lanfield


Isobel Lennart


Complete credited cast:
Esther Williams ... Whitney Young
Joan Evans ... Mary Kate Yarbrough
Vivian Blaine ... Una Yancy
Barry Sullivan ... Lt. Cmdr. Paul Elcott
Keefe Brasselle ... Dick Hallson
Billy Eckstine Billy Eckstine ... Billy Eckstein
Dean Miller ... Archie O'Conovan
Margalo Gillmore ... Lt. Cmdr. Stauton
The DeMarco Sisters The DeMarco Sisters ... The Williams Sisters
Anne DeMarco Anne DeMarco ... Williams sister (as The De Marco Sisters)
Arlene DeMarco Arlene DeMarco ... Williams Sister (as The De Marco Sisters)
Gloria DeMarco Gloria DeMarco ... Williams Sister (as The De Marco Sisters)
Jeanette DeMarco Jeanette DeMarco ... Williams Sister (as The De Marco Sisters)
Terri DeMarco Terri DeMarco ... Williams Sister (as The De Marco Sisters)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jeff Donnell ... Lt. Giff
Learn more

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Three young ladies sign up for some kind of training at a naval base. However, their greatest trouble isn't long marches or several weeks in a small boat, but their love life. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's Big Color by Technicolor Musical! See more »


Comedy | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Elements of the plot inadvertently resurfaced in later films: Vivian Blaine's ongoing, comically desperate pursuit of her Navy gob would serve as the basis for Connie Francis' character in the MGM musical Follow the Boys (1963), and the premise of Skirts Ahoy! (1952) - women joining the armed forces in response to an inner lack in their private lives - would spark the popular comedy Private Benjamin (1980) many decades later. In particular, the character of Whitney Young (Esther Williams) - spoiled, unharnesssd and sanctimonious - is clearly the prototype for Goldie Hawn's role as Judy Benjamin. See more »


Whitney Young: You said the one thing in your life was Dick.
See more »


Skirts Ahoy!
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Ralph Blane
Performed by female chorus over opening titles
Played instrumentally behind the black drill team
See more »

User Reviews

Not Front Rank, but Still Entertaining
12 December 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

It may not be front rank, but the production is doing what glossy MGM did best—musicals. Of course with the aquatic Esther Williams, we know some of the music will accompany her acrobatic swim skills. The first half are the three girls getting accustomed to military life with the usual plucked heartstrings, while musical numbers dominate the second half. As expected, the results are lavishly produced in candy box Technicolor. Ordinarily, a patriotically themed production like this would be WWII movie fare, but keep in mind in '52 and '53 the Korean War was still dragging on, though it's never mentioned in the screenplay.

The pacing is zippy, not letting the boy-girl interludes slow things down. Still, the musical selections are largely forgettable, while the set pieces are many and not too well blended. My favorites are The Debbie Reynolds-Bobby Van cameo, a good acrobatic contrast to the various marching numbers. Apparently MGM liked the result well enough to team them in the following year's beguiling The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953). Also, Williams' underwater shenanigans with the two kids is certainly eye-catching and different. (Too bad the little girl died a couple months later in a diving accident {IMDB}.)

It's an able cast from a patrician Williams to a goofy Blaine to an unpredictable Evans. But when I think musicals, I don't think Barry Sullivan. Looks like he was breaking with his sinister image by playing a no-nonsense doctor; at the same time, not looking too comfortable. And, oh yes, the brief interludes between Williams and the beguiled old guy amount to an inspired poignant touch.

All in all, it's an entertaining, if crowded, 109-minutes that probably tries to do too much for its own good. No it's not among Williams' best, still the pacing and visuals zip along in fine fashion such that if you don't like this set-up, a new one will soon follow.

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Release Date:

8 August 1952 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Des jupons à l'horizon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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