Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


HIT THE DECK (1955). Director: Roy Rowland.

Young sailor Danny (Russ Tamblyn of Follow the Boys) is the son of rear admiral Smith (Walter Pidgeon). When Danny thinks that his sister, Susan (Jane Powell), a show business aspirant, may be taken advantage of by theater star Wendell Craig (Gene Raymond), he and his Navy buddies Rico (Vic Damone of Athena) and Bill (Tony Martin) break into his apartment where he sits with Susan and assault him. Their stupid actions result in the sailors being chased all over Manhattan by the shore patrol (including Alan King in an early role). Meanwhile Danny falls for Carol (Debbie Reynolds), who appears in Craig's show, and Ginger (Ann Miller) despairs that long-time fiance Bill will ever marry her. Rico's mother (Kay Armen of Hey Let's Twist) finds that her fiance, Peroni (J, Carrol Naish), may find her too old when he sees she's got a grown son. The "plot" is just an excuse to hang some songs and dance numbers on, so we've got Powell doing the snappy "Sometimes I Love You," Armen and the cast doing "Sing, Hallelujah!" and other numbers. Miller is typically saucy, Martin and Powell can sing, but Naish, Armen, and especially Gene Raymond make the best impressions. The silly  picture aspires to funniness but never quite gets there.

Verdict: More widescreen Technicolor twaddle. **.


angelman66 said...

I really need to see some of these obscure musicals you introduce me to, Bill. Growing up, if it didn't have Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire, I just wasn't I am gaining an appreciation of all the other hardworking musical entertainers of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, particularly the handsome and athletic Mr. Russ Tamblyn in this one! He was hot!!

William said...

Russ was a cutie, definitely. I take it the charms of Tony Martin are lost on you, LOL! Anyway, "Hit the Deck" is silly but colorful and there's some good dancing and singing.