|Away All Boats/B-,B-|
Good Times/1956/114m/Cropped 1.33
| Away All Boats serves up standard World
War II action on a ship. It features some exciting Kamikaze attacks as US naval and ground
forces move toward Okinawa in the push to Japan. There's a hard-nosed skipper on the newly
commissioned Belinda, an APA ship whose job is to carry troops close enough to the beaches
and last them in boats. Is the skipper merely another ambitious martinet determined to use
this command to advance his career. Arduous training exercise results never prove up to
Captain Hawks' tough standards. To compound matters, the officers and crew are
overwhelmingly inexperienced sailors with little or no combat experience. But Hawks molds
a crack crew out of the Belinda and along the way falls in love with his ship.
The emotions on the voyages of the Belinda are played at a relatively subdued level. Some of the conflicts are poorly established thereby robbing the resolutions of much meaning. There is even an unfortunate section in which one of the officers is transported back to his wife through sense memory as he reads a long awaited letter. It seemed like this segment was thrown in to add some sense of a female presence, but it simply stops throws the voyage into a dead stop.
Jeff Chandler is pretty
one-dimensional as Captain Jedediah Hawks. This is the kind of role that John Wayne could
have made a lot more interesting. While Chandler does have a strong screen presence, he
lacks the power that pops off the screen. Lots of familiar faces offer support. George
Nader has the chief duties as Lt. Dave MacDougall. Nader has even less range than Chandler
and certainly less charisma. Former Tarzan Lex Barker does fine as the Executive Officer
with a polished smile. Richard Boone hasn't quite found his acting range as one of the
officers and tough Charles McGraw bares his chest quite a bit.