Expertly showcasing the comedic talents of Danny Kaye in his first film starrer, Up in Arms is a filmusical that’s expensively mounted in Technicolor and in the best Samuel Goldwyn tradition of elaborateness.
Character portrayed by Kaye is a wacky hypochondriac who’s inducted by the army for a series of wild misadventures. At start, before Kaye is drafted, yarn [based on Owen Davis’ play The Nervous Wreck] introduces him as reticent suitor for Constance Dowling, while Dinah Shore has designs on snagging Kaye and Dana Andrews is in love with Dowling.
While Kaye and Andrews go into service together, the girls enlist as army nurses. On transport going to the South Pacific, quartet are thrown together for further episodes to hold thread of yarn together, with main routine on shipboard being a wild chase evolving from Kaye’s efforts to hide stowaway Dowling.
Kaye has great sense of timing in putting over his comedy for maximum effect. He also smartly delivers three song specialities especially written by Sylvia Fine (Mrs Kaye) and Max Liebman.