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Stand by for Action (1942)

Passed | | Action, Drama, War | 14 February 1944 (Sweden)
During WW2, two Navy officers take command of an obsolete, World War I-vintage, destroyer that is assigned to convoy-escort duty in the Japanese-controlled waters of the South Pacific.

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Laurence Kirk (suggested by a story by), Harvey S. Haislip (original story) (as Captain Harvey Haislip) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... Lt. Gregg Masterman
Charles Laughton ... Rear Adm. Stephen Thomas
Brian Donlevy ... Lt. Cmdr. Martin J. Roberts
Walter Brennan ... Chief Yeoman Henry Johnson
Marilyn Maxwell ... Audrey Carr
Henry O'Neill ... Cmdr. Stone M.C
Marta Linden Marta Linden ... Mary Collins
Chill Wills ... Chief Boatswain's Mate Jenks
Douglass Dumbrille ... Capt. Ludlow
Richard Quine ... Ensign Lindsay
William Tannen ... Flag Lt. Dudley
Douglas Fowley ... Ensign Martin
Tim Ryan ... Lt. Tim Ryan
Dick Simmons ... Lt. (jg) Royce
Byron Foulger ... Pharmacist's Mate 'Doc' Miller
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Storyline

U. S. Navy Lieutenant Gregg Masterman (Robert Taylor), of THE Harvard and Boston Back Bay Mastermans, learned about the sea while winning silver cups sailing his yacht. He climbs swiftly in rank, and is now Junior Aide to Rear Admiral Stephen Thomas (Charles Laughton). In contrast,Lieutenant Commander Martin J. Roberts (Brian Donlevy), enlisted in World War I, and worked his way up gradually. He retired in 1935 but has been recalled as Executive Officer of the destroyer "Cranshaw." Impressed by Roberts' vigor, the rear admiral raises him to command of the destroyer "Warren,", an over-age World War I ship that has been recommissioned. Master laughs at Roberts' new command, only to have the Admiral assign him as the Executive Officer of the "Warren," under Roberts. The ship is to join a convoy which has already left Hawaii, bound for the United States. The Flagship of the convoy is the cruiser, "Chattanooga,' with Admiral Thomas in command. On the way, a lifeboat is sighted. From it are... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

RIP, ROARING ACTION WITH UNCLE SAM'S FLEET WITH FOUR RED-BLOODED KNOCKOUT STARS! (Print ad- The Post, ((Ellicotville, NY)) 27 January 1943) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1944 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

This Man's Navy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television showing in Seattle Friday 10 May 1957 on KING (Channel 5), followed by Honolulu 17 May 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), by Philadelphia 24 May 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by New Haven CT 31 May 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), by Altoona PA 7 June 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by New York City 5 August 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2) , by Chicago 17 August 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Tampa 15 September 1957 on WFLA (Channel 8), by Minneapolis 18 September 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), by Hartford CT 22 September 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), and by Los Angeles 15 November 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); in San Francisco it was first telecast 10 May 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

In the navy "aye-aye" is used to acknowledge an order. In this film it's used when "yes sir" would have been the proper response. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Robert Taylor (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

A Life on the Ocean Wave
(1838) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Russell
Lyrics by Epes Sargent
Sections played during the opening credits
Reprised later in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly entertaining WWII story with 1st rate performance by Charles Laughton
7 February 2006 | by tresabejasSee all my reviews

What at first blush appears to be a throw-away Navy propaganda film, released in Dec 1942, turns out to be a very easy-to-watch tale of war at sea with some moments of excellence, particularly the scenes with Charles Laughton as the crotchety Admiral Thomas.

The commissioning of the destroyer Warren includes a rousing speech by Laughton in which he inspires the new crew with a dramatic re-telling of the story of John Paul Jones giving his "I have not yet begun to fight" speech aboard the Bon Homme Richard. Off-beat plot twist includes the Warren finding a life raft filled with babies and pregnant women. The final act of the movie is an exciting depiction of the bravery of the Warren in single-handedly sinking a Japanese Battle Ship to save an entire convoy (naval convoys and battle are somewhat dated but still interesting and earned an Academy Award Nomination for special effects). Robert Taylor turns in a passable job as our hero, the spoiled LT. from Harvard. Brian Donlevy is also good as the seasoned CPT from whom Taylor learns much and later becomes his friend. Appearances by stalwart actors Chill Wills and Walter Brennan. Second half of the movie has lots of sea-battle action.


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