Friday, July 8, 2016

In the Navy

Year 8, Day 190 - 7/8/16 - Movie #2,391

BEFORE: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello carry over from "Buck Privates", which did so well at the box office (better than "Citizen Kane" in the same year!) that they rushed to film another military-themed picture.  

THE PLOT: Russ Raymond, America's number one crooner, disappears and joins the Navy under the name Tommy Halstead. Dorothy Roberts, a magazine journalist, is intent on finding out what happened to him.

AFTER: Ah, see, the navy works completely different from the army - according to Hollywood, at least.  Incompetent soldiers in the Army get sent off to war with a "Aren't you so lucky?" type of song, but incompetent sailors in the Navy never get put on a ship, because that would be dangerous for everyone.  Costello's character, Pomeroy Watson, spends SIX YEARS in the Navy before getting assigned to a ship.  Don't you think he would have been discharged, if he kept failing at everything, except making biscuits?  

This is the second of Abbott & Costello's "Service Pictures", although I don't have a copy of their third, where they go into the Air Force.  Geez, they bounced from one branch of the military to the other, and nobody seemed to mind.  I don't think you can do that in real life, though - once you pick your branch, that seems to pretty much be it.  I don't know of anyone who served in both the army and the navy, for example.  

But there's no real correlation between what goes on in the real military, and the movie military.  So, some writer just makes it up, and that's how you get the "Sons of Neptune" initiation rite, or the unbelievable plotline that a woman could wear a naval uniform and pass as a man on board a ship.  And apparently they eat just as many potatoes in the navy as they do in the army.  Well, at least "The navy gets the gravy", so they'll have something to put on those potatoes.    

They don't play dice in this one, but they do play a version of the "shell game", aka cups and balls, though they use lemons and a hole in the table.  They'll also have you believing that 7 times 13 is 28 before they're through. 

NITPICK POINT: Who let a couple of kids on to the navy base?  Or on that ship, for that matter?  Are these the captain's kids, or the children of an admiral?  They never say.  Great for comedy, but not so great for making any sense.  Meanwhile the Andrews Sisters start the fad known as "Gimme Some Skin" (later "Gimme Five") and are still obsessed with getting eight notes into every measure, for some reason.

Also starring Dick Powell, Claire Dodd, The Andrews Sisters (also carrying over from "Buck Privates"), Dick Foran (last seen in "My Little Chickadee"), William B. Davidson, Billy Lenhart, Kenneth Brown, Shemp Howard (again?). 

RATING: 5 out of 10 dance tickets 

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