6 April 2010 | MartinHafer
Pleasant enough as a time-passer, but nothing more...and like a British version of "McHale's Navy".
Despite being in the Royal Navy, the Lieutenant (David Tomlinson) spends all his time toying with his home-made rockets--with very disastrous results. In fact, he's been bounced from base to base in an attempt to get rid of him. Finally, in a last effort to get him out of the way, he is given his first command...of a ship which is in mothballs. However, what he doesn't know is that during the two years that this aging ship has been without a commander, the crew have run amok--and behaving very, very unlike British sailors. The leader of the commanding officer-less ship has been the CPO (Peter Sellers). The crew are quite reminiscent of the later American TV show "McHale's Navy"--as they scheme, steal and even raise livestock on the boat! Yet, because Tomlinson is pretty daft and focused on his rockets, the crew think that, perhaps, they can continue their wayward ways without his discovering that they're all a group of slackers.
While this is a pleasant enough film, I found one thing a bit annoying--the bouncy soundtrack that was ever-present. It seemed to try very, very hard to create a silly mood--and I don't need the music to keep reminding me this way that it's a comedy--sort of like having a laugh track. Perhaps others won't find this so noticeable, but I sure did.
Tomlinson was nice in the lead as was Sellers, though his performance was more subdued than usual--though the more of his films you see, the more you'll see that he did perform quite a few of these sort of roles in the 1950s.
As for the film, it's not particularly good though it isn't a bad time-passer if you haven't got anything better to do. The plot is a bit far-fetched and silly (not in a good way) and the ending too kooky. But otherwise it's harmless enough. But don't assume that because this is a British comedy of the 1950s that it's anything close to the quality of an Ealing film! Yes, the Brits did manage to make some mediocre comedies during this era and this is one of them.