Lt. Rip Crandall (Jack Lemmon) is a naval officer during WWII who is given command of the USS Echo (an old sailing scow) to undertake a very important mission – to transport an Australian agent into enemy waters so he can spy on the Japanese.
However, he finds the old schooner is falling apart at the seams and is manned by a crew that does not know how to sail her.
The use of CinemaScope is exemplary and the supporting cast is full of welcome faces, but, overall, even though it later spawned a TV series, the film simply doesn’t work.
Teen idol Ricky Nelson shows that underplaying is no real substitute for acting ability.
Lt. Rip Crandall
Ens. Tommy J. Hanson
Lt. Cmdr. Wilbur F. Vandewater
Radioman 2nd Class A.J. ‘Sparks’ Sparks
Chief Mate Jack MacCarthy
Lt. Dennis M. Foster
Seaman J. Johnson