The Wackiest Ship In The Army

The Wackiest Ship in the Army

Richard Murphy (1) (1961)

U Certificate


Our Score
A good idea - a broken-down boat is used as a decoy in the Second World War - suffers from a crippling uncertainty of tone - is it meant to be funny, or isn't it? - in this misfiring comedy. As a screenwriter, Richard Murphy worked on some really interesting films for 20th Century-Fox, including Broken Lance and Compulsion. Here, for Columbia, he proves to be less than the ideal director for his own material, despite the services of an attractive cast headed by the genial Jack Lemmon. Sadly, teen idol Ricky Nelson shows that underplaying is no real substitute for acting ability. The use of CinemaScope is exemplary and the supporting cast is full of welcome faces, but, overall, even though it later spawned a TV series, the film simply doesn't work.


A naval officer is given the command of an old sailing ship to undertake a very important mission - to transport an Australian agent into enemy waters so he can spy on the Japanese. However, he finds the ship is falling apart at the seams and is manned by a crew that does not know how to sail her. Second World War comedy, with Jack Lemmon, Ricky Nelson, John Lund, Chips Rafferty and Tom Tully.

Cast & Crew

Lt Rip Crandall Jack Lemmon
Ensign Tommy Hanson Ricky Nelson
Commander Vandewater John Lund
Patterson Chips Rafferty
Capt McClung Tom Tully
Josh Davidson Joby Baker
Sparks Warren Berlinger
Maggie Patricia Driscoll
Chief Mate MacCarthy Mike Kellin
Lieutenant Foster Richard Anderson
Johnson Alvy Moore
Director Richard Murphy (1)
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video