Production Company: Warner Bros.
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Top Billed Actors: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Gloria Stuart
IMDb Rating: 6.5
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 0 Oscars
Nominated for 1 more:
Plot: A hothead joins the Navy just so he can get even with another guy. He then proceeds to date that guy's sister.
The movie did feature a lot of interesting naval equipment and vehicles, however. It is a treat to see the USS Arizona in action and to see one of the largest airships in the world as well. Some of the scenes that utilize the equipment and vehicles are exciting, especially the conclusion of the film. The music, when it occurs, is also excellent. The Anchors Aweigh theme is always good and the in-movie trumpets give the viewer a sense of being on the ship itself.
The negatives, however, far outweigh the positives. Cagney is a very annoying cocky character. The delivery of his lines seems rather forced as lengthy dialogue comes spewing from his mouth in the various altercations he has with O'Brien and Stuart. I had high hopes as Cagney is a well respected actor, but the inaugural movie in my personal viewing history shows a lot to be desired. Also, the plot is a mess. The animosity between Cagney and O'Brien is very contrived as is the running gag for Frank McHugh's mother's dentures. Just like Cagney's lines, the story forces itself along and doesn't seem to go anywhere. The 87 minutes felt more like 130 minutes due to this lack of direction. The comedy is also very outdated. Using McHugh as comedy relief is old hat by now. The Thin Man (1934) did comedy right. This film, however, did not. Whereas the former movie had me laughing out loud, the latter just had me shaking my head throughout.
Overall, there isn't much to grasp onto for this picture. Cagney fails, the plot fails, and the gags are just dumb.
My Score: 4/10