The Navy Lark, based on a click BBC radio series is the oldie about a ‘forgotten’ naval base on an island off the South Coast of Britain. They’re having a high old time feathering their nests with illicit smuggling and other rackets. The skipper’s involved in fishing. His No. 1 yen is a pretty Wren officer’s blonde charms. Suddenly higher authority decides that the minesweeping unit is redundant and from then on chaos breaks out as they scheme to avoid being posted elsewhere.
Only occasionally does the comedy creak. Then director Gordon Parry has the good fortune to have on hand some skilled performers who hold the fort. These include Cecil Parker, a master of the art of bumbling; Nicholas Phipps, as the probing senior officer constantly on the receiving end of indignity; Ronald Shiner, who boisterously can play a wily petty officer in his sleep; Cardew Robinson, extremely good as an over-diligent war correspondent, and Leslie Phillips, as a philandering second officer.
On the distaff side there are a number of comely femmes who are mostly around to decorate the scene. Elvi Hale, as a Wren officer who causes the love light in Phillips’ eye, has the brightest opportunity.