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  • "Hey there, mister! You'd Better Hide Your Sister, 'Cause the Fleet's In!" That is the vivacious opening of a film that captures the spirit of an era fondly remembered by those who lived it. I remember the film specially since it was one of the first I ever saw. I saw it as a teenager when it came out, and enjoyed it greatly. There were laughs, which would sound rather dated now, perhaps, but charmingly innocent. William Holden as an innocent young sailor is a wonderful contrast to the roles he played later. In spite of the impression left by the words of the opening song, the sailors were very polite, and the film is a romance as well as a comedy. The high point for me was an extraordinarily beautiful vocal by Betty Hutton, in a serious vein, of the song: "It's Somebody Else's Moon Above, Not Mine." Dorsey's orchestra is fine, and Helen O'Connell, but Betty Hutton's heartbroken rendering of that moving song steals the show. A winner.
  • This is a slight, inconsequential little Paramount musical that somehow manages to be whimsical & appealing.

    Directed by Victor Schertzinger (his last movie), it boasts a good cast of rising stars at Paramount: Dorothy Lamour as the Countess of Swingland, a glamorous nightclub hostess who entertains sailors on leave; Betty Hutton as Lamour's impetuous roommate Bessie; William Holden as Casey the shy sailor who intends to win a bet so he can kiss the Countess; Eddie Bracken as the eccentric shipmate of Holden; and a very young and upcoming Barbara Britton.

    While Lamour and Holden are the leading stars in this slightly erratic war-time entertainment, it is actually Betty Hutton's star-making show. She made her feature debut here. She literally steals almost every scene she's in, with her wacky comic acts. And her rapport with Bracken was a delight in its self.

    Some scenes drag pretentiously, especially the routine comic acts performed on stage to entertain the soldiers. Still, the songs and numbers are quite enjoyable in their own whimsical sort of way, especially Hutton's delivery of "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry."

    Nice Fun and worth a catch, if you like this sort of musicals.
  • Typical 40s musical nonsense without a real plot, but this one is fun and boasts an interesting cast.

    Gorgeous Dorothy Lamour stars as The Countess of Swingland, a singer at a local dance spot (and she's excellent). She rooms with Bessie (Betty Hutton in her feature film debut), who provides comic relief. Along come a coupla sailors: shy William Holden and geeky Eddie Bracken. Through a series of errors the guys on the ship think Holden is a major Romeo so they bet a bundle that he can't thaw out The Countess--a famous iceberg.

    Lots of songs and variety numbers enliven this silliness plus the stars are all good. This is the film that introduced "Tangerine" here sung by Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly (in Jimmy Dorsey's big band). Lamour and company also sing the very nice "I Remember You," which was remade into a semi-hit by Frank Ifield (I had the record). Hutton sings the comic "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry." Cass Daley (I had never seen her before) is sort of a cross between Martha Raye and Judy Canova but can sure sing. Lots of familiar faces here with Dave Willock, Leif Erickson, Robert Warwick, Jack Norton, Barbara Britton, Betty Jane Rhodes, and the odious Gil Lamb (a B version of Ray Bolger). And then there's a dance specialty called Lorraine and Rognan--very funny.

    Certainly worth a look for Lamour, Hutton, and Holden.
  • This was one of Paramount's biggest grossers of 1942, and it gave Betty Hutton the chance of a lifetime. She is a powerhouse here with great chemistry with her co-star, Eddie Bracken. They were to go on to greater heights in MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK. It's almost everything the audiences of wartime 1942 wanted: bright and bouncy music done by the top talent of the day, a star, Dorothy Lamour, who never looked better, and a silly escapist plot to lighten one's mood. The only drawback: it was filmed in black-and-white, when it screamed for Technicolor. Still, this is a musical that should be on DVD and NOW! What's not to sell? It has a young William Holden, Dorothy Lsmour, Betty Hutton's dynamics, one of the top Big Bands, Jimmy Dorsey, and the singing talents of Bob Eberle and Helen O'Connell. Priceless nostalgia.
  • I can never understand why this Musical isn't as highly rated as others. It really is a musical comedy due to the characters. Excellent character actors/actresses and it has great songs....just about every one of the songs is memorable. William Holden is so good, you really think he is Casey Kirby. Dorothy Lamour is funny and has some good songs to sing. Betty Hutton and Eddie Bracken are as funny as ever. If you've seen the Miracle of Morgan's Creek and enjoyed it, you will love this movie too. See the song list for this movie...great songs like "I Remember You" and "Tangerine" Songs written by Johnny Mercer and with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Maybe because there is more of a story it is not highly regarded. I love the story...

    Why do the critics call this a slight inconsequential musical!!!!! Says who?!!!!! I hope you are able to find it somewhere; it really is worth watching.
  • The Fleet's In is a wonderful wartime musical that was the last effort of director Victor Schertzinger. You can't really go wrong with a film that stars William Holden, Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, and Eddie Bracken. That together with one of the most popular bands of the era Jimmy Dorsey's Orchestra with vocalists Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell.

    It's a really slim plot to hang a lot of nice songs on. William Holden is a shy sailor, the type that Frank Sinatra would play over at MGM in a few years. He gets a picture taken with movie star Betty Jane Rhodes while he was just asking for an autograph. Immediately he gets the reputation of a wolf. And a challenge comes with it, to see if he can get to first base with 'The Countess' as USO entertainer Dorothy Lamour is known for her unapproachable demeanor. A lot of money is riding on this including money from Holden's pal Eddie Bracken.

    If you don't know where this is going you haven't seen too many musicals. But the plot's not important here, just sit back and enjoy the numbers.

    William Holden after his war service which started next year looked to get out of parts like this which he described as his 'Smiling Jim' roles. It's hard to believe this is the same guy who is the opportunistic Joe Gillis from Sunset Boulevard, the cynical Sefton from Stalag 17 or the resourceful Shears from The Bridge on the River Kwai. Yet at the beginning of his career these nice kid roles were all that his two studio masters, Paramount and Columbia, saw him in.

    Director Victor Schertzinger died suddenly right after completing this film in 1941. It was not released until the following year. Note there are no references to any war per se. Schertzinger not only was a film director, but a talented composer. He may have done his best work however in this film in collaboration with lyricist Johnny Mercer. Besides the numbers here he wrote One Night of Love for Grace Moore for that same titled film which he directed and he wrote for Dorothy Lamour in The Road to Singapore, The Moon and the Willow Tree. He directed both The Road to Singapore and The Road to Zanzibar and learned early on to just let Crosby and Hope have a loose rein.

    Betty Hutton got her first notice in this film with the song Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry. This was her first feature film role and she was a star after The Fleet's In. She was paired with Eddie Bracken and I've no doubt that Preston Sturges saw them together and had the idea to team them again for The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.

    Jimmy Dorsey had one of the best bands of the era and this may have been his best showing on the big screen. The band sang Amapola which was already big hit for them, but also they introduced Tangerine and I Remember You from this score. Tangerine was very popular in its day, a big hit for Jimmy Dorsey and his band singers Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly. But I Remember You has had a lasting popularity down to this day. If you remember it was used as the theme song for James Caan's character in the Bette Midler film, For The Boys. I think The Fleet's In is worth watching for the Dorsey band alone.

    But if you like all the other performers in it so much the better. Though The Fleet's In is not one of those films that Bill Holden would have liked to have been remembered for, still seeing him as 'Smiling Jim' is something different than most. And seeing Betty, Dotty, and Eddie in the same film is also a blessing.
  • It has all the winning elements – romance for the ladies, fighting Navy men for the guys, and great music, singing, dancing and acting for everyone. Credit for music lyrics went to Johnny Mercer. The fleet is in and naturally, the males are pursuing their favorite sport of trying to charm the females. Through a series of misunderstandings, a very young William Holden is thought to be a lady's man. The fleet is betting he can get the Countess (played by Dorothy Lamour) to kiss him in public. She is the top singer at a San Francisco nightclub and has the reputation of being unapproachable. William Holden is convinced to give it a try by his buddy (played by Eddie Bracken) who will get beat up by Spike if he loses the bet. Thus, the story line is set and goes on from there as a musical comedy based on love-hate relationships. The acting was all top-notch. Dorothy Lamour was about 28 years old in this movie and very beautiful, her acting superb. William Holden was about 24 but somehow seemed to possess more maturity. Remember him playing the jet pilot in Bridges of Toko Ri? In real life, his younger brother was a Navy pilot killed in WWII. He was voted one of the 100 sexiest stars in a magazine and was best man for Ron and Nancy Reagan. Betty Hutton had a sizable part but I would like to have seen even more of her. Now there - is a blonde bombshell exploding with energy, talent and appeal. She came through as cute, cute, cute and used expressive eyes to demonstrate her own style of comedy while singing and acting. She is a rare talent we have not seen since, nor will we likely see repeated in today's array of actresses. Her boyfriend in the movie was played by Eddie Bracken, always a very capable funny man who was not afraid to play the self-effacing, bumbling types in films. In real life, he was married for over 60 years then he and his wife died within 3 months of each other. I also enjoyed seeing him in "Hail the Conquering Hero" opposite another beauty, Ella Raines. I like to look beyond the first row of stars and see who is hiding there. One of the sailors was Rod Cameron being miscast with dialog for someone of slighter build. In later years, he is better remembered playing tough guys in cowboys and other TV and movie works. In real life he divorced his wife and married her mother – now I've heard of loving your mother-in-law, but wow! Gil Lamb played Spike who was also miscast as the guy going to beat up Eddie Braken. Gil Lamb reminds one of Ray Bolger if you get the idea. It would have been better to give Rod Cameron his speaking parts and switch Cameron's to Lamb. No complaints otherwise. Gil Lamb did much character work on TV and in the movies. Cass Daley played a singer and comedian who resembled and reminded me of a combination of Martha Raye and Mary Wickes. There is a slight coincidence from the film in that both Cass and William Holden died as the result of a fall and laceration – Cass to the throat and William to the forehead. Pretty Barbara Britton had a small part in this and she will be remembered as Mrs. North in Mr. & Mrs. North and the Revlon Girl for 12 years. Most people don't know that she also played Laura Petrie in the pilot of The Dick VanDyke show that eventually went to Mary Tyler Moore. Then there was the great music of the Dorsey Band with Helen O'Connell singing and vocalist Bob Eberly and the dance routine of Lorraine and Rognan. If you have an opportunity to see this one, I do not think you will be disappointed.
  • It took almost 65 years from my first viewing of this musical to the recent viewing when I managed to acquire a DVD of "The Fleet's In". Can't think of another musical in which such disparate performances of classics appear in the same movie. "Tangerine" was identified with Helen O'Connell for her entire career. "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry" was never associated with anyone but the irrepressible Betty Hutton. Although Dorothy Lamour was not as closely identified with the classic "I Remember You", it was the third standard that emerged from this low budget musical. The marvelously funny Lorraine and Rognan were to appear in only one more performance recorded on film ('Salute For Three' in 1943)

    Gil Lamb may not have been a believable threat to Eddie Bracken but his many and varied comic abilities were superlative such as his 'harmonica' routine. Enough of his work was included to make the 'trip home' delightful. (You CAN go home again for old movies) If the opportunity ever arises, leap at the chance to see this WWII movie.
  • First of all, let me say it is a crime this movie is not available on DVD. Is anyone listening? A very early effort for William Holden and he is right on target as the good looking but shy country boy who is asked by his buddies to help them win a bet by seducing the untouchable "Countess",beautifully played by the gorgeous Dorothy Lamour. It was this movie,not the Bob and Bing road movies, that made me fall for Dorothy. The movie is full of laughs and good songs from the 40s. This movie came out just after the beginning of WWII and in time to bring a little humor to an America that would soon grow war-weary. If you like 1940s musicals, this is one of the best. Just as a note,the movie was later remade for Elvis Presley, given an army slant instead of navy, and called "G.I. Blues".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a rather typical romantic, musical comedy with a good number of Paramount's stars, established or on the ascend -- Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, William Holden. The plot barely merits description, a bit of froth like those of the Astaire-Rogers musicals.

    Okay. The fleet arrives in San Francisco. Bets are made on whether a shy Quartermaster, Holden, can get the notorious Ice Princess who sings at Swingland, Lamour, to kiss him. Arrangements are made for them to meet and they fall in love, but every time Holden tries to take the relationship a step farther, somebody tells her more about the details of the bet and she misunderstands Holden's intentions.

    Holden is boyishly handsome. Lamour is a glamorous and sexy mezzo-soprano. Betty Hutton is on afterburners throughout and provides much in the way of barbaric humor, but not nearly as silly as some of the vaudeville numbers we witness. Maybe the most amusing performance comes from the ordinarily irritable and fustian Leif Erickson trying to be happy-go-lucky. Every time he laughs and make a wisecrack I expect him to shatter and fall to the floor like a broken ice sculpture.

    What raises this musical effort above the average is the introduction of two tunes that were to enter the Great American Songbook, both with tunes written by the director and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. "Tangerine" is memorable as a puncturing of female vanity. "I Remember You" is a wistful love song that reappears from time to time. Mercer was a talented guy with a face that, with only a few daubs of make up, could easily have been turned into a clown's. Memorable tunes seem to turn up in unlikely venues. "I'll Remember April" is from an Abbott and Costello movie, "Star Eyes" from a Red Skelton comedy.

    I didn't find the plot so enthralling but, as with Astaire and Rogers, it must be taken lightly, I guess. Just let your mind drift. It's only a movie.
  • "Hey there, mister, you better watch your sister, 'cause the fleet's in". That song sticks in your mind long after you have seen this little early 40's movie. It may not be to all tastes and was a vehicle for actors that would go on to bigger and better things....William Holden, Betty Huttton, Dorothy Lamour,etc. But it is fun. Some of the supporting players, although popular in their day, don't play as well now...Cass Daley and the irritating Gil Lamb. The music of Jimmy Dorsey and the singing of Bob Eberley and Helen O'Connell make it worth watching if for no other reason. Eddie Bracken is great,as usual and a lot of familiar faces show up...Dave Willock, Robert Warwick and Rod Cameron (before his cowboy roles). If you are a fan of "B" musicals that make you smile and go away humming, then this is for you.
  • Between "Golden Boy" and "Sunset Boulevard," William Holden was stuck at Paramount playing light leading man parts. Here he's teamed with exotic Dorothy Lamour in a WW II musical, "The Fleet's In." Holden plays a sailor who is mistakenly believed to be a real Lothario - in fact, he's anything but. The rest of the sailors bet that he can't score with "The Countess," a club singer (Dorothy Lamour). If the plot sounds familiar, it was recycled for Elvis in "G.I. Blues." This plot is merely an excuse for some great music and performances. It's the film debut of vivacious Betty Hutton, who plays Bessie, the Countess' roommate.

    Pretty Helen O'Connell, whom I remember from an early interview show in the '50s, "Here's Hollywood," was a marvelous singer who worked with Jimmy Dorsey. Dorsey's band performs here, as does his other singer, Bob Eberly. O'Connell introduces the song "Tangerine" to audiences. Lamour sings the lovely "I Remember You." Hutton has the comic "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry." All three songs have Johnny Mercer lyrics, as do the numbers "Not Mine" and "If You Build a Better Housetrap" performed by several of the singers.

    Wonderfully entertaining, though not as well remembered as many other musicals.
  • The Fleet's In is a wonderful musical comedy that viewers will find irresitable. The star studded cast keeps you laughing throughout the entire movie and with Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra backing the singers how can anyone help but singing along to the catchy songs? Over all I'd say that the Fleet's In will endear it's self to anyone who watches it.
  • THE FLEET'S IN deserves to be mentioned with the greatest movie musicals ever. While it cannot compete in glamour with the MGM super-productions or in elegance with the flawless Astaire-Rogers movies at RKO, this spirited musical is nearly as good as the very best of those films with a wonderful cast, good comedy, and incredibly timeless songs. Dorothy Lamour stars as a beautiful nightclub singer who has a reputation as an ice princess whom no sailor can crack but that doesn't stop lovestruck William Holden from trying. Dorothy is gorgeous, the very young Bill is endearing and wacky ingénue Betty Hutton adorable and priceless in her feature film debut as Dot's best friend. And the songs!! "I Remember You"!! "Tangerine"!! THE FLEET'S IN is one of the most delightful films from it's era and worth repeated viewings.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Delightful musical comedy with William Holden, as a shy sailor, beginning his illustrious career in films. After dazzling two women, sailors on the ship wager that he can conquer and defrost the Countess, well played by Dorothy Lamour, especially in a court room scene where she pulls out all the stops as a vamp.

    Bette Hutton and Eddie Bracken are along for the ride. They provide real comic antics while accidentally constantly derailing the budding romance between the Holden and Lamour characters.

    Benny Goodman is on hand with his band and the songs are delightfully staged- Tangerine, I Remember You and others. There is even a delightful comedy ballet in between.

    That court room scene and the brawl on the dance floor during a Conga dance are memorable.
  • Uriah4329 January 2013
    This movie is a pure joy to watch. Filmed during the onset of the American involvement during World War II, an American sailor named "Casey Kirby" (William Holden) is accidentally mistaken for a ladies' man and bets are taken aboard his ship as to whether he can get a certain woman named "The Countess" (Dorothy Lamour) to kiss him in public. The problem is that the Countess is famous throughout the fleet for her ability to resist the charms of men and Casey doesn't really know much about dating. Anyway, what makes this film so special is the innocence of Casey pitted against the suspicious nature of the Countess. Likewise, the music of Jimmy Dorsey and his band was tailor-made for this film. That said, I especially enjoyed the singing of Bob Eberly and the beautiful Helen O'Connell. Additionally, Betty Hutton (as "Bessie Dale") and Eddie Bracken (as "Barney Waters") were very amusing as well. The only things I didn't like about this film were the skits involving "Lorraine & Rognan" and "Cissy" (Cass Dailey). But even so, the good parts of this movie certainly outweighed the bad. In short, if a person is looking for a good, clean comedy then this film is definitely worth viewing.
  • Overall, not much of a movie - the plot is predictable, dialogue is drippy, comedy is corny. The basic premise of the movie is that a sailor (William Holden) has been "tricked" into a bet by his shipmate (Mr. Eddie Bracken - outstanding, as usual). The object or conquest - try to get a "beautiful" but very unapproachable night club singer (Dorothy Lamour) to kiss him while he's in town on a weekend leave. To be perfectly honest, by the time the movie is 90% complete, one doesn't care if he wins the bet or not!! The cast includes so many unknown "featured" acts that, I'm sure, were funny at the time. The only problem is, their particular style of performing doesn't withstand the test of time. And the humor falls flat with a resounding THUD! THE main reason for watching this movie can be summed up with two words - Betty Hutton!!! This was her very first picture for Paramount and, despite being featured only as a "supporting" player, literally walks away with the film. Her boundless energy and all-out frenetic performing style is refreshing and magical!! Her voice is smooth, her comedic wit is sharp, and her genuine love of entertaining is infectious!! (Oh so apparent as she sings "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry" -WOW!!) In other words, unless you are a "dyed in the wool" Hutton devotee or enjoy watching the comedic sparring of "Betty vs. Bracken" - bypass this movie. A better evening could be spent watching the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis remake entitled "Sailors Beware" (with a cameo by Betty Hutton).
  • writers_reign14 September 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    See this for the score, one of the best scores ever for an original as opposed to a Broadway show adapted for the screen. A dozen years later Seven Brides For Seven Brothers gave it a run for its money and stone me if THAT didn't have lyrics by the same Johnny Mercer that supplied these. Victor Schertzinger was a double threat, a fine composer who was also a dab hand at directing. It took seven people to come up with the story which may as well have been cobbled together by the seven dwarfs but the cast is something else beginning with Jimmy Dorsey then at the peak of his popularity and complete with his two great vocalists Bob Eberley and Helen O'Connell. Throw in William Holden, Dorothy Lamour, Cass Daley and Betty Hutton and standout numbers like Not Mine, Tangerine, I Remember You and the title song and what's not to like.
  • Casey Kirby (William Holden) is a nice guy sailor who is very, very slow with women. However, after a female starlet grabs him and kisses him as part of a publicity stunt, the other sailors think he's some sort of stud. Later, the sailors all have a bet that he'll be able to get a kiss from a pretty singer called 'the Countess' (Dorothy Lamour). However, Casey doesn't care about the bet and behaves like a gentleman when he goes out on a date with the Countess. However, when her friend Bessie (Betty Hutton) finds out about the bet, she tells the Countess who becomes furious with Casey--even though Casey's done nothing wrong nor did he have any evil intentions. What's to become of Casey and the Countess? Will he kiss her and will they fall in love after all?

    While the plot to this film is agreeable fluff, the film is hindered by being too packed full of songs. Every time the plot starts gaining momentum, there are several songs to derail the movie. Now the songs might have worked if it wasn't for the fact that they were all inserted in as production numbers and were naturally integrated into the film-- but they weren't. It also didn't help that Lamour's character went from being a nice lady to an angry jerk like the drop of a hat! On top of that the film is hindered by having Betty Hutton--a very brash and obnoxious actress whose appeal I have never understood!! Subtle, she ain't! And, practically every time she delivered a line, she screamed it!! It also didn't help that her character was also so broadly written that I practically hated every scene in which she appeared! Had they killed Hutton and eliminated a few songs, the movie would have been a cute little romantic comedy. But, as it is, it's not one of Holden's finer moments. In fact, I'd probably skip this one.

    By the way, the only actor in this film who actually came off well was Holden. He was agreeable and pleasant--unlike practically everyone else.
  • hcoursen15 November 2009
    This is an awful film. Usually, the thin thread of a musical comedy plot links up with an Astaire, a Ginger, an Eleanor Powell, an Alice Faye. This one, with a plot even more gossamer than most, leads to some excruciating exhibitions of non-talent. The harmonica sequence and the parody ballroom dance performance are radically unfunny. Holden has nothing to do but be yanked like a puppet on the strings of Dorothy's sudden changes of mind. She plays a profoundly self-interested performer who, of course, falls in love with the puppet. The other women -- the raucous Hutton and the over the top Dailey play insulting stereotypes. As, of course, the rest of the sailors are. But some good sailor flicks do exist -- 'Follow the Fleet' and 'On the Town' for example. We do get to see Helen O'Connell, who towers over Dorsey and Eberly, and do, too briefly, hear Jimmy on the clarinet. He was one of the best clarinet players in an era that featured Goodman, Shaw, and Barney Bigard. At one point, Jimmy's band appears in a sudden pavilion on the street below Dorothy's aerie. How'd they get there? At the end, the four couples are all in a taxi getting married. How'd they get there? The film, made before Pearl Harbor, was already an anachronism when it was released (with Holden believing that his enlistment was just about up just as his battle wagon heads for Pearl). Robert Osborne on TCM said that he'd been trying for years to get the film on TCM. Never would have been too soon.
  • DOROTHY LAMOUR never looked more alluring and WILLIAM HOLDEN never looked as impossibly youthful as he does in THE FLEET'S IN. His acting as a shy sailor shows a natural talent right from the start.

    It's a "cute" minor musical from the studio that nurtured the talent of BETTY HUTTON, who plays Lamour's roommate. Lamour is a frozen ice queen called "The Countess," known for being "hard to get." When Holden plants a kiss on a pretty society gal that's seen by his Navy buddies and another on a movie star for publicity purposes, his team decides he's a regular sea wolf and place bets on how soon he gets to kiss "The Countess."

    The slim plot gets interrupted--sometimes for too lengthy a time, by musical comedy acts. GIL LAMB and CASS DALEY are a bit too strident for my taste but BOB EBERLEY and HELEN O'CONNELL can do no wrong when they sing some catchy songs with Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra. EDDIE BRACKEN provides the chief comic relief and does it well.

    A dancing duo by the name of LORRAINE and ROGNAN do a wildly funny dance act in a nightclub scene. The Johnny Mercer songs include "I Remember You," "Tangerine" and "The Fleet's In." Good escapist fun that lifted the morale of the service men during WWII.