October 13th, 2013: Anchors Aweigh

Anchors Aweigh

What It’s About: Sailors Joe Brady (Gene Kelly) and Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra) are out on a four-day shore leave in Los Angeles. Brady is all set to meet his hot date, Lola, but the inexperienced Clarence begs Joe to teach him how to pick up girls. This little diversion somehow winds the boys up at a police station, where a young runaway, Donald Martin (Dean Stockwell), is refusing to tell the cops his name and address. Donald wants to join the Navy, just like his late father, and Joe and Clarence agree to help. Donald eagerly tells the men where he lives, but when they take there they find his Aunt Susie (Kathryn Grayson) out. When she arrives, Joe assumes the worst, but Susie is actually working as an extra in Hollywood to support her orphaned nephew. Her dream is to become a singer. Clarence immediately takes a shine to Susie. Joe reluctantly agrees to help Clarence get a date with her. Joe’s lie of getting her an audition with pianist and conductor Jose Iturbi lead to more adventures as Clarence and Joe attempt to get her a real audition, while Joe slowly realizes that he himself is falling in love with Susie….

Why Watch it Today?:  The U.S. Navy came out of the Continental Navy, established by the Continental Congress on this date in 1775.  As a light-hearted musical, Anchors Aweigh might seem like a strange choice, the film features the Navy’s anthem in several of its musical numbers and is a fun, if sleight, wartime tribute to the service and its sailors.  Read our full review.

The big Navy number:

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