6.6/10
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24 user 11 critic

Hit the Deck (1955)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 4 March 1955 (USA)
Sailor Danny Xavier Smith and two other gobs try to save his sister Susan's virtue. She wants to get a role in the show "Hit the Deck". After wrecking the producers hotel suite, they land ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Rowland
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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jane Powell ... Susan Smith
Tony Martin ... Chief Boatswain's Mate Wm. F. Clark
Debbie Reynolds ... Carol Pace
Walter Pidgeon ... Rear Adm. Daniel Xavier Smith
Vic Damone ... Rico Ferrari
Gene Raymond ... Wendell Craig
Ann Miller ... Ginger
Russ Tamblyn ... Danny Xavier Smith
J. Carrol Naish ... Mr. Peroni
Kay Armen Kay Armen ... Mrs. Ottavio Ferrari
Richard Anderson ... Lt. Jackson
Jane Darwell ... Jenny
Alan King ... Shore Patrol
Henry Slate Henry Slate ... Shore Patrol
The Jubalaires The Jubalaires ... Navy Kitchen Vocal Quartette (as Jubilaires)
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Storyline

Sailor Danny Xavier Smith and two other gobs try to save his sister Susan's virtue. She wants to get a role in the show "Hit the Deck". After wrecking the producers hotel suite, they land in the brig. But Danny's father is a Rear Admiral... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

remake | navy | admiral | dancer | sailor | See All (12) »

Taglines:

MGM's star-sparkling, laugh-loaded, song-splashed musical! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La fille de l'amiral See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (original master sound track)| Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's original soundtrack album was one of many that successfully hid the identities of the ghost singers who dubbed vocals for non-singing stars. For all songs in which Russ Tamblyn's character appears, the liner notes on the album cover use the preface "As portrayed in the picture by..." so as to prevent listing the actual singer whose voice is being heard. See more »

Quotes

Chief Boatswain's Mate William F. Clark: Ginger, baby, I worship the ground you walk on!
Ginger: Now he's talking real estate!
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing Kay Armen See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment! (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(1893) (uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by Tony Martin, Russ Tamblyn, Vic Damone and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doesn't completely float, doesn't sink either
16 October 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Hit the Deck' is not one of the classic film musicals (made during somewhat of a twilight period for MGM musicals), but there are far worse film musicals around before and since. To me, 'Hit the Deck' is problematic but underrated, and it's sad that it wasn't more of a hit (it's not anywhere close to being bad enough to deserve making a loss).

It does have its problems that stop it from completely floating. While nobody really goes to see a musical for the story, more often than not being the least exceptional thing about even the classics, the story is barely existent and unevenly paced. Coming to life in the production numbers (which are full to the brim with liveliness), as well as the comedy of J. Carrol Naish and Alan King, but drags when bogged down by the often too talky scenes and in the scenes with Russ Tamblyn, Vic Damone and Tony Martin.

Of this trio of men, only Tamblyn (also the best dancer of the three) acquits himself well in the acting stakes, being lively and likable. Damone sings wondrously, then again when did he ever not, and has some charm but was never the most exciting of actors, being somewhat bland. Worse is Martin, who is very stiff and wooden throughout and generates very little warmth which does hurt the chemistry between him and Ann Miller (making one question what on earth she saw in him). Admittedly though Damone and Martin fare better as singers than Tamblyn, who actually was dubbed and while Rex Dennis does a good job the dubbing was just too obvious, the voice sounding too deep and muscular to come out of Tamblyn.

The ladies however fare much better. Ann Miller steals the show in the knockout that is the exuberantly choreographed and visually dazzling "Lady from the Bayou". Choreographically, a very close second best would be the inventive number in the fun house between Tamblyn and Debbie Reynolds, who beguiles vocally, radiates personality-wise and will make even the most cynical of people go weak at the knees at the sight of her in that blue dress. Jane Powell is cute as a button as always and sets hearts aflutter whenever she sings. Kay Armen kills it in "Ciribiribin" and "Hallelujah", while Walter Pidgeon effortlessly commands the screen whenever he appears and Naish and King are comic delights.

Visually, 'Hit the Deck' is shot in truly ravishing CinemaScope, looking especially fetching in "Lady from the Bayou" and "Hallelujah". The songs are very tuneful and while not unforgettable (generally the exuberant choreography of "Lady from the Bayou" and the fun house duet make more of an impression) they are not unmemorable or unhummable. "Sometimes I'm Happy", "I Know that You Know", and "Hallelujah" come off best, though "Why oh Why" entertains too.

On the whole, uneven and doesn't completely float but has enough great things that stop it from sinking or being a ship-wreck. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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