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.
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 »
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.
Jane Osgood runs a lobster business, which supports her two young children. Railroad staff inattention ruins her shipment, so with her lawyer George, Jane sues Harry Foster Malone, director of the line and the "meanest man in the world".
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.
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
As Lemmon and Nelson are training the crew in how to unfurl the mainsail, you can see the stern of the USS Fletcher in the background. The Fletcher earned 15 battle stars in WWII and Korea. She was one of the most decorated destroyers to serve in the South Pacific. She was scrapped in 1972. See more »
Port Moresby is a much larger town and port than represented in the film. There is no large mountain behind it. See more »
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...
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Opening credits prologue: ALLIED HEADQUARTERS BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA FEB. 1943 See more »
Based on true events (we were at war with the Japanese in 1943 in the Pacific), "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" stars Jack Lemmon as, once again, a naval officer.
Lemmon made his first big film in 1955 when he played the con artist, Ensign Pulver, in "Mister Roberts," a movie that's attained classic status. In this 1961 film he dons the navy uniform again, this time as a lieutenant (senior grade). A reserve officer who was a dapper yachtsman in California before the war, Lemmon is assigned to command a sailing vessel with (barely functioning) auxiliary mechanical propulsion.
The U.S.S. Echo is hardly the dream command of any officer, reserve or regular. But the new C.O. gamely takes on training an eager but totally bemused crew in the art of sailing a vessel.
The Echo is assigned to land an Australian coast watcher on an island occupied by the stereotypically portrayed Japanese (more Japanese officers with U.C.L.A. degrees appear in film than ever showed up on the front). The heroic coast watchers were very important during the island hopping campaign and they deserve every bit of cinematic recognition they have received. Many died, some after being tortured by their captors.
Nowhere nearly as smoothly directed as "Mister Roberts," "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" (and there's no rational reason for the title-the Army doesn't even play a role here) teeters unevenly between some nice comedy and some very 1950s-1960s war action supplemented by combat footage (one Japanese plane has been shown blown out of the sky so often in movies that if the pilot's estate was entitled to royalties the heirs would be richer than Bill Gates).
The exploits of the Echo's crew led, we are told, to the American victory in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, an important engagement.
This is a good film for renting. Jack Lemmon plays the competent and caring C.O. very nicely and is the center of the story.
The Navy must have really liked the script. They put a fleet anchorage at the filmmaker's disposal. Here's a quiz for the sharp-eyed. At one point the stern of one of the most famous and important smaller combatant vessels of World War II is shown while Lemmon is instructing his crew. What ship is it?
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