FLEET, THE (director: George W.
Hill; screenwriters: from a story by Frank W. Wead &
Byron Morgan/Richard Schayer; cinematographer: Ira H. Morgan;
editor: Blanche Sewell; music: David Mendoza/William Axt;
cast: Ramon Novarro (Tom Winslow), Ralph Graves (Steve
Randall), Anita Page (Anita Hastings), Alfred Allen
(Admiral), Sumner Getchell (Kewpie), Gardner
Edward J. Nugent
(Dizzy), Carrol Nye (Tex), Claire McDowell (Mrs. Hastings);
Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George
W. Hill; MGM; 1929)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The story was written by Lieut. Commander Frank Wead, U. S. N., the first of many of his stories that were used by the movies. The retired naval man, known by the nickname Spig, slipped down his house stairs and broke his neck and then turned himself into a writer. George W. Hill ("The Big House"/"Min and Bill'/"Buttons") directs this crowd-pleasing meller that tells about naval pilot air exploits and blends in a love story between two friendly rival pilots trying to win over Miss Perfect.
On the eve of their
graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis,
six close friends are overcome with nostalgia for
their four years as midshipmen and all make a vow to
become airmen and always stick together. But after
partying all night, one of the six middies, Dizzy
(Edward Nugent), is caught by an officer as he
stumbles drunkenly into the barracks after curfew and
is expelled from the academy. Then Specs (Gardner James) fails
to pass the pilot eyesight test. At the U.S. Naval Aviation
Training School in Pensacola, Florida, Kewpie (Sumner Getchell)
and Tex (Carrol
Nye) fail to
pass muster and are given the boot. Finally the six U.S. Naval Academy buddies
are reduced to only two who made the grade as airmen:
Novarro) and Steve (Ralph Graves).
The climax has Steve undertake a flight from San Diego to Honolulu and is rescued by his buddy Tommy.
Romance comes into the
picture when both Tommy and Steve fall madly in love
with the beautiful and classy Anita
Hastings (Anita Page), and use any means
to win her heart.
authentic looking plane stunts and test pilot
sequences make the film a winner, as the tepid romance
Navy fully co-operated in the making of the film.
REVIEWED ON 3/13/2012 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ