The Wackiest Ship in the Army

The title gives all the information needed from a strict Navy standpoint. A schooner, U.S.S. Echo, manned by sailors who do not know the ropes, under directive of Gen. MacArthur in early 1943, fortunately skippered by an able yachtsman.

The mission is to land a coast watcher on New Britain ahead of a Japanese convoy.

Murphy’s remarkably precise and detailed work covers all the bases.

A recondite film expertly conveyed as very funny comedy, very dry performances and top-notch filming carry it through, from the skipper’s initial reluctance to a willingness, in spite of everything, to consider further assignments from Adm. Hathaway, “hear what he has to say.”

The reference is no doubt to Hathaway’s You’re in the Navy Now on entirely different lines (Preminger’s In Harm’s Way has “Poverty Row” up against the Yamato four years later).

All of this was “a familiar formula” to Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who generally had an aversion to the sea. “Passable”, says Time Out Film Guide, which could not follow the plot.

Halliwell’s Film Guide reports, “effect rather muddled.”