15 February 2007 | inspectors71
"Get away from my ship!"
There was a time that I would watch any war movie I could find. A Saturday afternoon on KHQ in Spokane would have either the "Creature Features" or something else innocuous and old, like Away All Boats, a movie that boasted being the most expensive film ever made by its studio or Hollywood, back in 1956.
Having read the book and seen the movie (probably a dozen times), it would be fair to say that it's one of my favorites, the story an attack transport in the Pacific War, captained by a man who wants to command a real warship, but is willing to pay his dues first.
It's all so vanilla, with every darn stereotype you can imagine, only on a big, lumbering freighter instead of in a foxhole. The skipper is wound too tight, the XO can't figure him out, the officers and men hate him, and they're all up to the task when the Kamikazes show up and turn the Belinda into a big, lumbering piece of almost scrap iron.
It is fun watching and identifying all the character actors who man the guns in this classically antiseptic, very '50s, WWII shootemup. The special effects are pretty impressive, what with a lot of the ships the US Navy lent to the film makers still in service. Modern kiddies might groan at the matte photography of Japanese Zeroes hurtling in to smash the Belinda into a blazing hulk, but I still have an image burned (pun intended) in my memory of Jeff Chandler screaming at the oncoming plane, waving as if he could by force of will make the crippled plane and its Jihadist pilot miss, "Get away from my ship, get AWAY from MY ship!"
That scene made Away All Boats step up a rung on the quality-meter and makes me recommend it to you, if you can find it in the "classics" section of your larger video store.