The Navy Comes Through (1942)

80-82 mins | Drama | 30 October 1942

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Pay to Learn and Battle Stations . The opening credits feature a foreword that reads: "The Navy comes through has been such an established fact that it is now taken for granted. As a result, we do not realize that the backbone of the Navy is not ships, planes and submarines--BUT MEN." According to the DV review, Borden Chase's short story "Pay to Learn" was the only story ever to be published twice by SEP . A HR news item notes that this production marked the studio's first use of a new radio signal trademark that spelled out the word "victory." Prior to this, the studio's radio signal trademark spelled out "RKO."
       According to pre-production news items in HR , Eddie Albert was slated for the role of "Thomas Sands" until a scheduling conflict prevented his appearance. The role was then assigned to Randolph Scott, who was later replaced by George Murphy. Another pre-production news item in HR credits Robert Stevenson as director. This picture marked Islin Auster's debut as a RKO producer and Lee Bonnell's last appearance before joining the Coast Guard. News items in HR note that art director Carroll Clark and Albert D'Agostino developed a special sky and horizon machine for this film that created the effect of water motion against the horizon. The HCN adds that the sea shots were filmed on land using rocking arc lamps that projected waves upon an acre of muslin. The guns in the film were built from junkyard materials, according ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Pay to Learn and Battle Stations . The opening credits feature a foreword that reads: "The Navy comes through has been such an established fact that it is now taken for granted. As a result, we do not realize that the backbone of the Navy is not ships, planes and submarines--BUT MEN." According to the DV review, Borden Chase's short story "Pay to Learn" was the only story ever to be published twice by SEP . A HR news item notes that this production marked the studio's first use of a new radio signal trademark that spelled out the word "victory." Prior to this, the studio's radio signal trademark spelled out "RKO."
       According to pre-production news items in HR , Eddie Albert was slated for the role of "Thomas Sands" until a scheduling conflict prevented his appearance. The role was then assigned to Randolph Scott, who was later replaced by George Murphy. Another pre-production news item in HR credits Robert Stevenson as director. This picture marked Islin Auster's debut as a RKO producer and Lee Bonnell's last appearance before joining the Coast Guard. News items in HR note that art director Carroll Clark and Albert D'Agostino developed a special sky and horizon machine for this film that created the effect of water motion against the horizon. The HCN adds that the sea shots were filmed on land using rocking arc lamps that projected waves upon an acre of muslin. The guns in the film were built from junkyard materials, according to HCN . The film's world premiere was held on Navy Day at the Treasure Island Naval Base in San Francisco, CA. This picture received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects. In Jan 1943, the story was dramatized on "Anchors Away," a government-sponsored radio program broadcast over the Mutual Network. Henry Fonda, who was in the Navy at the time, played the part of Thomas Sands in that production. Pat O'Brien and George Murphy reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 3 May 1943, and O'Brien played his role again in a second Lux broadcast on 29 Nov 1943. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Oct 1942.
---
Daily Variety
14 Oct 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
15 Oct 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
27 Jun 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 42
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Oct 42
p. 957.
New York Times
12 Nov 42
p. 30.
Variety
14 Oct 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Pay to Learn" by Borden Chase in The Saturday Evening Post (14 Jan 1939).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Pay to Learn
Battle Stations
Release Date:
30 October 1942
Premiere Information:
World premiere at Treasure Island Naval Base, San Francisco, CA: 27 October 1942
Production Date:
2 June--late July 1942
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
6 October 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11717
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80-82
Length(in feet):
7,357
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8509
SYNOPSIS

At a Navy court of inquiry in Washington, D.C., Chief Gunnersmate Michael Mallory testifies that the negligence of Lieutenant Thomas L. Sands caused a lethal explosion aboard their ship. Protesting his innocence but unable to clear his name, Tom resigns his commission and renounces his sweetheart, nurse Myra Mallory, who happens to be Mike's sister. When war is declared after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Myra enlists as a Navy nurse, while her brother is given command of a gunnery crew assigned to protect a Merchant Marine ship on its voyage across the Atlantic to Belfast. Tom, who has rejoined the Navy as an enlisted man, is assigned to Mike's crew. Other crew members include Joe "Babe" Dudson, an eager young seaman; Tarriba, a Cuban who feels a debt to the U.S. for liberating his country; Richard "Dutch" Kroner, an Austrian violin virtuoso who is wanted by the Germans; and Berringer, a former boxer. Once they are settled in their quarters, the men begin to gossip about Tom's dubious past. Soon after leaving port, the ship is attacked by a German submarine, and James Bayliss, one of the recruits, is wounded. Because the ship has no medical facilities, the captain signals for a medic from the hospital convoy, and Myra accompanies the doctor on board. As a thick fog spreads, the ship receives a report of a German battleship in nearby waters. With danger imminent, Myra insists upon seeing Tom. Mike delivers her message, but warns Tom that Myra will never be happy until she forgets him. Consequently, when Myra tells Tom that she still loves him, he makes up a ... +


At a Navy court of inquiry in Washington, D.C., Chief Gunnersmate Michael Mallory testifies that the negligence of Lieutenant Thomas L. Sands caused a lethal explosion aboard their ship. Protesting his innocence but unable to clear his name, Tom resigns his commission and renounces his sweetheart, nurse Myra Mallory, who happens to be Mike's sister. When war is declared after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Myra enlists as a Navy nurse, while her brother is given command of a gunnery crew assigned to protect a Merchant Marine ship on its voyage across the Atlantic to Belfast. Tom, who has rejoined the Navy as an enlisted man, is assigned to Mike's crew. Other crew members include Joe "Babe" Dudson, an eager young seaman; Tarriba, a Cuban who feels a debt to the U.S. for liberating his country; Richard "Dutch" Kroner, an Austrian violin virtuoso who is wanted by the Germans; and Berringer, a former boxer. Once they are settled in their quarters, the men begin to gossip about Tom's dubious past. Soon after leaving port, the ship is attacked by a German submarine, and James Bayliss, one of the recruits, is wounded. Because the ship has no medical facilities, the captain signals for a medic from the hospital convoy, and Myra accompanies the doctor on board. As a thick fog spreads, the ship receives a report of a German battleship in nearby waters. With danger imminent, Myra insists upon seeing Tom. Mike delivers her message, but warns Tom that Myra will never be happy until she forgets him. Consequently, when Myra tells Tom that she still loves him, he makes up a story about being in love with someone else. The next day, as Dutch plays a waltz on his violin, German dive bombers attack the ship and Myra is knocked unconscious by some falling debris. Tom leaves his post to carry Myra to safety, but when Berringer, the only man who can attest to Tom's motivation, is killed in the attack, the others accuse him of cowardice and abandoning his post. Soon after the attack, Babe, an amateur shortwave radio operator, unscrambles a German radio message from a submarine on its way to rendezvous with a German supply ship. Mike convinces the captain to intercept the ship, and after the Americans fire a shot across the ship's bow, the Germans surrender. Mike and his crew then board the German ship, but Tom, suspicious of the ease with which the Germans surrendered, cautions Mike to hold the crew on board as insurance. This frightens one of the Germans into confessing that a torpedo has been set to explode. After disarming the torpedo, Mike asks Tom to navigate the ship to Belfast. As an alternative, Mike suggests arming the torpedoes and delivering them to the German subs to detonate. Donning German uniforms, the Americans sink several subs until their ruse is discovered. Attacked by two submarines at once, the American gunners sink one of the boats when the ship's magazine catches fire. After Tom risks his life to pull Mike from the flames, the Merchant Marine ship comes to the rescue and sinks the other submarine. Tom's courage forces Mike to realize that he has misjudged him, and Tom is reinstated as an officer when the ship reaches land. After he and Myra reconcile, Tom says goodbye at the Naval base, and then marches off with Mike on a new mission. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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