The misadventures of a group of landlubbers in charge of a navy craft is rib-tickling filmfare as presented in U.S.S. Teakettle. Richard Murphy concocted his screenplay from a New Yorker article by John W. Hazard.
Gary Cooper is a 90-day wonder assigned to a craft to conduct trials with an experimental steam engine. He’s given the chore simply because he studied engineering in college years before, not because of any nautical knowledge, of which he has none. Crew of the craft, with the exception of Navy vet Millard Mitchell, is in the landlubber class.
String of incidents developed around such a situation are run off smartly and help to disguise fact that there’s practically no plot.
Cooper does excellently by his assignment, sharpening up the entertainment values. Jane Greer, as his wife, who joins the WAVES, doesn’t have much footage but makes what she does have very pleasant to view. Mitchell’s boatswain’s mate chore is chuckful of salty humor that he plays to the hilt. Eddie Albert, Jack Webb, Richard Erdman, Harvey Lembeck, Henry Slate, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin and Jack Warden are among the motley crew.