Friday, August 9, 2013

It's a great job to be a gob...

All right, kids. Last installment in the series, you ready?

Hit the Deck (1955)

This is one of my favorites. I know, I know. I say that about practically every movie I talk about on here. But if it isn't one of my favorites, then why bother? I bought this one because a boxed set that included Kismet (1955) was on sale and I'd wanted that movie for years so I snatched it up. The boxed set also included this one. I had heard about the movie only once from watching That's Entertainment! where they showed the finale. I remember watching it and thinking, "Ann Miller? Debbie Reynolds? Jane Powell? Together? What? I've got to see that!" and then I pretty much forgot about it. I bought the boxed set and watched Kismet for about a week before finally looking at the other movies I had acquired. I was, at the time, in a bit of a Vic Damone phase (I'm always in a Vic Damone phase) so when I saw his name on the cover, I was sold. I fell in love. I watched the movie and then, at ten o'clock at night, called my mom and asked if she was up for a movie, and then I went over to her house and watched it all over again. It's so cute!

The plot focuses on three sailors on leave in San Francisco. When one of the sailors, Danny (Russ Tamblyn) finds out that his sister, Susan (Jane Powell), is going out on a date, he and his pals, Bill and Rico (Tony Martin and Vic Damone, respectively) crash the party and fight with the date. After Susan's boyfriend (Gene Raymond) reports the three sailors, the pals spend their leave hiding from the Shore Patrol. But don't worry, they set some time aside for falling in love too. Bill has his fiancee, Ginger (Ann Miller) that he has to woo, Danny finds a cute actress, Carol, (Debbie Reynolds), and Rico falls for Susan! It's all fun and games until someone gets caught and then it's up to the three girls to save their men!

I'm going to warn you right now: most of the guys in this movie are pretty ridiculous. I mean, they're not the sharpest tools in the shed. They jump to conclusions and all of them are a little old-fashioned. Fortunately, they're all pretty good-looking, so that helps. What really saves the plot from being frustrating is that the girls are all totally awesome! They're clever, they're spunky, and they're all sorts of fun. The scene where Rico's Italian mother talks to the Shore Patrol is hilarious! But, I'm getting ahead of myself. The movie is basically about an over-protective brother who makes a hasty and ill-planned decision and his sister has to help him get out of the ensuing mess. Fun times!

The songs in this one are a little mismatched. They're all by Vincent Youmans but I think the lyricists are all different. The songs wind up having little to do with the actual plot, but they're fun songs anyway. And, to be honest, I'll forgive any song that Vic Damone sings because I just melt at the sound of his voice. Anyway, moving on... this movie is not the most famous or popular of '50's musicals but it's a lot of fun. I highly recommend checking it out if you have the chance! In terms of trivia, I've got nothin'. On IMDb, I read that Ann Miller's character is named Ginger after Ginger Rogers because the movie is based on Follow the Fleet. If that's the case, it's a very, very, very, very loosely based plot. There are sailors in it. Okay, so there are a couple of similarities, but very few. Anyway, I've tried to learn more about the making of this movie but it's really hard to find stuff on it. I've read Vic Damone's autobiography and I've looked at Debbie Reynolds' and it seems as though Damone was pretty much wrapped up with Pier Angeli at the time and Reynolds was busy falling in love with Eddie Fisher. So, neither had a whole lot to say about it. If you know anything, please let me know! I'd love to know more about this movie!

And that concludes the series! Did you like it? Would you like to see more of these types of posts? What was your favorite of the movies I discussed?

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