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Navy Blues Reviews

Despite the solid talents of Sheridan, Haley, Oakie, and Raye, director Bacon (who had helmed the non-Busby Berkeley sections of 42nd STREET in 1933) couldn't lift the weak script of NAVY BLUES off the ground. Oakie and Haley play two dimwitted sailors desperate to snare a superior marksman on their ship for the upcoming gunnery trials. The boys have a lot of money wrapped up in the contest and go to great lengths to keep Iowa-born-and-bred gunner Anderson from wandering off before the big day. To ensure that they won't lose Anderson, whose term is up, the gamblers employ the lovely Sheridan to seduce the kid into reenlisting. She does so, but then falls in love with the farm boy. To further muddle the action, Raye, Haley's wife, is in hot pursuit of her husband who has been dodging her efforts to connect. The comedy bits are forced and unimaginative, the musical numbers lack spunk, and the whole production lies there like a dead fish not responding to the cast's efforts to revive it. Director Bacon was capable of much better (KNUTE ROCKNE--ALL AMERICAN, 1940, ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC, 1943), though cinematography buffs may be interested in the dance sequences photographed by James Wong Howe. Songs: "In Waikiki," "You're a Natural," "Navy Blues," "When Are We Going to Land Abroad?" (Arthur Schwartz, Johnny Mercer).