Anchors Aweigh is solid musical fare. The production numbers are zingy; the songs are extremely listenable; the color treatment outstanding.
Two of the potent entertainment factors are the tunes and Gene Kelly’s hoofing. Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn cleffed five new numbers, three of which are given the Frank Sinatra treatment for boff results.
In the dance department Kelly sells top terping. There is a clever Tom and Jerry sequence combining Kelly’s live action with a cartoon fairy story. Kelly also combines three Spanish tunes into another sock number executed with little Sharon McManus. His third is a class tango.
Kathryn Grayson, one of the three co-stars, figures importantly in the score with her vocaling. Jose Iturbi plays and conducts Donkey Serenade, Piano Concerto and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 for additional potent musical factor.
Sinatra and Kelly are sailors on liberty. They come to Hollywood. Sinatra is a shy Brooklynite who’s being instructed in the art of pickups by Kelly, the traditional gob with a gal in every port. [Screenplay was ‘suggested’ by a story by Natalie Marcin.]
1945: Best Score for a Musical Picture.
Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Gene Kelly), Color Cinematography, Song (‘I Fall in Love Too Easily’)