One wonders how America won the war in the Pacific, if the exploits of Lt Cmdr Quinton McHale and his PT-boat crew were typical of that dark period in US history. But then, McHale’s Navy, a full-length feature version of Revue’s successful telepix series, doesn’t attempt to prove any point.
Edward J. Montagne, producer and sometimes-director of the vidpix, handles both chores in this longer color rendition and pulls out all the stops.
Like its original TV counterpart, action here depends upon outlandish situations in which McHale and his crew, who do things the ‘McHale’ way first and the Navy’s way second, get involved. In the present case, it’s getting out of debt, first for getting themselves deeply in the red by restaging Australian horse race results for excitement-hungry Marines from week-old-but-track-fresh news sheets flown in, and again for dock damages inflicted by their runaway PT-boat.
Where pic is longest on yocks is the clowning of Joe Flynn, as Capt Wallace Binghampton and McHale’s immediate superior, and Tim Conway’s hamming – there’s no other word – as McHale’s own exec and as naive a gent as ever fell down a ship’s ladder.