The Fleet’s In (1942)

There’s something so inherently charming about the classic, sailor musical. For the American public, World War 2 had become such a part of their daily lives that it even began to infiltrate the typically happy world of musicals. It’s a subgenre that’s essentially impossible to recreate at any other moment in history—they’re inherently of their time, and I love the sweet kind of optimism and escapism that typically exist, despite the aspects of reality encroaching in. TCM focused on a specific subset of “sailors on leave” pictures a few nights ago, and I caught one that I had never seen: The Fleet’s In, starring Dorothy Lamour and William Holden.

Hit the Deck (1955)

I was delighted to spot this one coming up on my Rare Musicals list for October, as the sailor musical has quickly become one of my shortcuts to making my movie selections. I was particularly interested in Hit the Deck because of the stellar cast, as well as the fact that it’s both a late-stage MGM musical and late-stage for sailor musicals in general–coming nearly 10 years after the end of WWII.

Dynamic Duo: Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra

I recently got into a bit of trouble with a joke I made in my review for Anchors Aweighin which I’d cheekily noted that my favorite film genre was “Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra as girl-chasing sailors on leave.” Of course, this is a “genre” that spans exactly two films–Anchors Aweigh and On the Town–so I felt bad when someone eagerly commented seeking a watch-list of other films they thought they had overlooked.