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The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, War | 29 December 1960 (USA)
During WW2, Lt. Rip Crandall, who was a yachtsman before the war, takes command of the USS Echo, a sailing ship, for a secret mission in waters patrolled by Japanese warships.

Director:

Richard Murphy

Writers:

Richard Murphy (screenplay), Herb Margolis (screen story) (as Herbert Margolis) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jack Lemmon ... Lt. Rip Crandall
Ricky Nelson ... Ens. Tommy J. Hanson
John Lund ... Lt. Cmdr. Wilbur F. Vandewater
Chips Rafferty ... Patterson
Tom Tully ... Capt. McClung
Joby Baker ... Josh Davidson
Warren Berlinger ... Radioman 2nd Class A.J. 'Sparks' Sparks
Patricia Driscoll Patricia Driscoll ... Maggie
Mike Kellin ... Chief Mate Jack MacCarthy
Richard Anderson ... Lt. Dennis M. Foster
Alvy Moore ... Seaman J. Johnson
Joseph Gallison Joseph Gallison ... 'Cameo' (as Joe Gallison)
Teru Shimada ... Maj. Samada
George Shibata George Shibata ... Capt. Shigetsu
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Storyline

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 A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WACKY IS THE WORD FOR IT! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

29 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wackiest Ship in the Navy See more »

Filming Locations:

Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original name of the boat in the movie was the "Fiesta". She was built in Hong Kong in 1932 entirely of teakwood. She was a 72 foot gaff-rigged schooner and came with a 165hp auxiliary diesel engine, weighed 28 net tons, drew 8 feet of water and could make 7.5 knots under power. She was also equipped with 3 tiled heads (bathrooms), two of them with showers, 1400 gallon fresh water tank, a 19 cubic foot deep freezer, and a 24 cubic foot refrigerator. Prior to the movie the Fiesta was owned by Martin J. Vitousek and his wife the former Beatrice Leiseder. (Source: The San Francisco Chronicle Sept. 14, 1952). See more »

Goofs

The two ships that nearly run "Echo" down as she is leaving harbor for Port Moresby appear to be the USS Epperson (DE later DD 719) launched in 1945, three years after the "Echo's" mission. The second ship appears to be the USS Renshaw (launched in late 1942 most likely not in theater in Mar 1943). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY...................IN THE ARMY? See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: City Limits (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
(uncredited)
(c) 1947
Lyrics by Edgar De Lange (as Eddie De Lange)
Music by Louis Alter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lemmon rules the waves
29 August 2006 | by benbrae76See all my reviews

I've just watched this movie again (and taped it), and found it just as amusing as when I first watched it 40 odd years ago (just after it's release in fact). Jack Lemmon never fails to impress, but after all this time I now realise that Ricky Nelson (although a great loss to the music world) wasn't the greatest of actors. However his naivety in this department somehow added charm to this movie.

The WWII storyline based on true events couldn't be simpler. An American naval officer/ex-yachtsman Lt Rip Crandall (Jack Lemmon), and a young Ensign Tommy Hansen (Ricky Nelson), are ordered to sail an old sloop, the "USS Echo", with an unexperienced crew across the Great Barrier Reef to Port Moresby, where (although Crandall doesn't know until later) the boat is to be used to convey an Aussie coast-watcher to his destination, with a different crew. Crandall doesn't like the change-over so steals the mission. End of plot...almost.

The only real down side of this movie was the awful "Austroylian" accent of Irish actress Patricia Driscoll. Almost as bad as Dick van Dyke's Cockney accent in "Mary Poppins". Almost, but not quite. Although lovely to look at, it's a blessing Patricia only had a minor role. However I find it strange that the part couldn't have been given to a genuine Aussie.

All in all, I always found this movie very entertaining, and strangely enough, for a war film, and rather like "Mr Roberts", no violence worth worrying about. Which rather pleases me now, for my grandkids love it.


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