Don\’t Give Up the Ship Film Details
Overview: During the 1950s, a military panel grills Junior Officer John Paul Steckler to find the whereabouts of a Navy destroyer that he temporarily commanded during WWII and is missing.
Tagline: The Funniest Story of High-Seas Hilarity Ever to Set Audiences Adrift in Helpless Hysteria!
Review: Directed by Norman Taurog, this Jerry Lewis comedy also includes the lovely Dina Merrill. If you’ve never seen a Jerry Lewis film before, this is a pretty good example of one. Most folks either love, or hate his brand of humor; there’s not a lot of middle ground. If you love him, you’ll enjoy his antics in this film which gives him ample opportunity for clowning, mugging – goofy faces, “hoo hawing” – exclamations, physical comedy – pratfalls, and otherwise being silly. If you don’t, you’ll probably be annoyed every time he changes his normal tone of voice to a nasal-sounding one. The story, which serves as a backdrop for the comic’s gags, is about a Navy Lieutenant (Lewis) who’s charged with finding the ship he lost at the end of World War II, some years earlier. Coincidentally, the Navy catches up with him on his wedding day, before he and his bride (Diana Spencer – ha!) have had a chance to begin their honeymoon. Merrill plays a Navy Ensign named Benson, who helps him. The film begins with a couple of mildly humorous montages which show the previous naval exploits, really failures of one John Paul Steckler and his namesake heirs. Lewis plays all three including the current version, John Paul Steckler VII. It then jumps to a congressional hearing being run by Congressman Mandeville (Gale Gordon – The Lucy Show). Mandeville is quizzing the Navy’s Vice Admiral Bludde (pronounced “blood”, played by Robert Middleton) about a missing WW II destroyer support ship. The congressman wants to know what has happened to the $5 million vessel before he allows his committee to approve the Navy’s proposed $4 billion budget. Bludde promises to get to the bottom of it right away, and is given 10 days to find out. Of course, Bludde finds out that the last person responsible for the ship was Lewis’s character, Steckler VII, though he assumes it might have been stolen. Cut to Steckler, who is seen celebrating with his bride Prudence (Spencer) on their wedding day; his mother-in-law is played by Mabel Albertson. Mary Treen appears, uncredited, at the festivities. After a few funny moments, the newlyweds depart the proceedings but their car is pulled over by an official Navy automobile. Claude Akins plays the Lieutenant Commander who informs Steckler of his orders to report to Washington, D.C.. Thinking he’s going to receive a long overdue medal, Steckler convinces his bride to go with him – they can have their honeymoon there. Of course, once he’s there, he finds out that he’s responsible for a valuable, missing piece of government property, which he must find immediately else he’ll be brought up on charges and jailed. Learning of his nuptials, Bludde has Steckler forcibly removed from his hotel room and put up in the bachelor’s officers quarters. Fritz Feld appears, uncredited, as the room service waiter. This frustrates he and his bride, who still haven’t consummated their marriage. No progress is made until Steckler is ordered to report to a Top Secret department where Ensign Benson (Merrill) is assigned to assist him. She puts him under a sort of hypnosis so that he can relate the events on the Kornblatt, the name of the ship, in the final days of the war. Steckler is shown to be a bumbling Ensign when news of the war’s end is heard such that every officer who can, resigns, until no one’s left to command but Steckler. So Steckler, assisted by Sergeant Wychinski (Mickey Shaughnessy), barely manages to get the Kornblatt underway, from Pearl Harbor, and on its way back to the mainland. Shortly thereafter, they run aground on a reef near an unchartered island. Steckler and Wychinski go ashore where Steckler gets lost and then captured by some Japanese, who have yet to hear about the end of the war. He’s almost executed before they do, and then the entire battalion surrenders to Steckler. And that’s all he remembers until Benson brings him out of it and Steckler mentions he’d heard that Wychinski had taken the Kornblatt to San Diego. This leads Benson and Steckler on a trip to Florida to find, now professional wrestler Wychinski. Naturally, this will lead to a misunderstanding by his bride and mother-in-law, who had traveled to Washington to stay with her daughter, when they learn that Benson is a woman and that he and she returned from Florida in the same overnight train compartment. But never fear, everything works out in the end with a surprise, though not entirely unexpected, twist.
Duration: 89 min
Also known as: O Jerry Lewis thalassolykos,Thalassolykos san ton Jerry,Don’t Give Up the Ship,Keiner verläßt das Schiff,Capitão Sem Barco,E a Canoa Furou,Opgi’ ikke skibet, Jerry!,Adiós mi luna de miel,Flottisten,Tiens bon la barre matelot!,Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn, fluchte der Leutnant,A Canoa Furou,C’era una volta un piccolo naviglio,Alla tiders flottist,Now Hear This,船を見棄てるナ,Gemimi Terkedemem,O Capitão Sem Barco,El capitán sin barco,Nu preda nava,Jerry tunaroi laivastossa