Ship Ahoy

Overview

This musical -- a concoction of comedy, songs, dancing, and war-time patriotism mixed together with a spy spoof plot -- opens with Tommy Dorsey and his band swinging through "Hawaiian War Chant" while Eleanor Powell taps away. Powell, it turns out, is Tallulah Winters, the band's official tap dancer, and she and the orchestra are taking an ocean liner to Puerto Rico for their next gig. Also on board are some enemy agents, anxious to secretly and safely transport their stolen plans, which include a prototype ...
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Overview

This musical -- a concoction of comedy, songs, dancing, and war-time patriotism mixed together with a spy spoof plot -- opens with Tommy Dorsey and his band swinging through "Hawaiian War Chant" while Eleanor Powell taps away. Powell, it turns out, is Tallulah Winters, the band's official tap dancer, and she and the orchestra are taking an ocean liner to Puerto Rico for their next gig. Also on board are some enemy agents, anxious to secretly and safely transport their stolen plans, which include a prototype magnetic mine that can make play a big role in the war. Utilizing a plot device from a novel by Merton K. Kibble (played by Red Skelton), the enemy agents pretend to be working for the U.S. government and enlist Winters to help them with their plans. A series of misunderstandings and confusions ensue, including a baggage mix-up that leaves Kibble unwittingly in possession of the mine. Eventually Winters discovers that she has been duped and works to set all things right. Ship Ahoy takes advantage of the talents of its musical stars -- including Frank Sinatra and Jo Stafford -- to offer a nice spread of musical numbers, including "Last Call for Love," "I'll Take Tallulah," "Poor You," and "On Moonlight Bay."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Forget about plot and chances are you'll enjoy Ship Ahoy, a frothy but incredibly empty little musical. While definitely a lesser entry from the masters at MGM, Ahoy has moderate entertainment value thanks to the magnetism and charm of its stars. Indeed, this is definitely a film where the cast really is the picture, for the story is simply an excuse for musical numbers and comedy bits; it's the kind of screenplay that was put together rather than written (and put together haphazardly, at that). Much of the comedy (or comedic style) has dated, and the score is pleasant and hummable rather than shimmering and thrilling, but the on-screen talent pulls out all the stops to keep things interesting. Chief among the film's assets is delightful Eleanor Powell, in fine voice and absolutely sensational terpsichorean shape. Those legendary gams and her uncountable taps dance up a storm of excitement that is simply riveting. Red Skelton's humor may have lost something down through the years, but he's still good for some laughs; even better are Bert Lahr, turning in a sidesplitting turn, and Virginia O'Brien, deader of pan than ever. A very young Frank Sinatra and Jo Stafford demonstrate their vocal prowess to good effect, and Tommy Dorsey and company are first rate. And the "challenge" sequence between Powell's taps and Buddy Rich's drums is not to be believed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/1/2011
  • UPC: 883316395950
  • Original Release: 1942
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 28,753

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eleanor Powell Tallulah Winters
Red Skelton Merton K. Kibble
Virginia O'Brien Fran Evans
William Post Jr. H.U. Bennett
Jimmy Cross "Stump"
Eddie Hartman "Stumpy"
Stuart Crawford Art Higgins
John Emery Dr. Farno
Bernard Nedell Pietro Polesi
Philip Ahn Koro Sumo
Mariska Aldrich Waldo's Mother
Barbara Bedford Mrs. Loring
Gladys Blake
Hillary Brooke
Mary Currier Secretaries
John Dilson Dr. Loring
Ralph Dunn Grimes
Connie Haines
Russell Hicks Capt. C.V. O'Brien
Carolyn Hughes
Tsui Siu Keung
Bobby Larson Waldo
Moroni Olsen Inspector Davis
Nestor Paiva Felix
Otto Reichow Waiter
Grandon Rhodes Lt. Cmdr. Thurston
Addison Richards Agent in Puerto Rico
Jo Stafford
William Tannen Flammer
Natalie Thompson Girl
Tommy Dorsey & His Band Themselves
Mary Treen Nurse
Grant Withers
The Pied Pipers
Bert Lahr "Skip" Owens
Buddy Rich Himself
Frank Sinatra Singer in Tommy Dorsey's Band
Technical Credits
Edward N. Buzzell Director
Leo Arnaud Score Composer
George Bassman Score Composer
Irving Brecher Screenwriter
Matt Brooks Original Story
Harry Clark Screenwriter
Bobby Connolly Choreography
Jack Cummings Producer
Tommy Dorsey Score Composer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Robert Kalloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Bert Kalmar Original Story
Harry Kurnitz Screenwriter
Harry McAfee Art Director
Sy Oliver Score Composer
Robert Planck Cinematographer
Blanche Sewell Editor
Leonard Smith Cinematographer
George Stoll Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Axel Stordahl Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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