Seven Days Ashore (1944)

Seven Days Ashore (1944)

A harmless piece of wartime escapism directed by John H. Auer and featuring Wally Brown and Alan Carney one of the least funniest duo ever to “star” in B movies. They made about a dozen films together and this one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack at least chronologically. Quality-wise I’m still waiting to screen one that makes me laugh or even chuckle. When one of the “gals” in this picture makes the crack “the two of you don’t add up to a single personality” she’s got it about right. Fortunately there is some other entertainment however average that fills a lot of this movie’s 74 minutes running time.

Monty (Brown) ‘Handsome’ (Carney) and Dan Arland (Gordon Oliver) are shipmates on a merchant marine vessel commanded by Captain Harvey (Emory Parnell uncredited). Dan’s got a girl in every port three in San Francisco which is where “the boys” are about to get you guessed it “seven days ashore”. His girl’s are vacuous headed musicians though we never see them play Carol (Virginia Mayo!) And Lucy (Amelita Ward). Because of Dan’s association with these two he let the real prize Annabelle (Elaine Shepard pretty with a great voice) get away. However his parents (Alan Dinehart & Marjorie Gateson) haven’t given up getting Dan and Annabelle back together. So they arrive at the ship where Dan is also greeted by Carol & Lucy with a reluctant Annabelle in tow.

Of course Dan will end up “pawning” two of the girls off on his pals Monty & Handsome which is actually enabled by Annabelle who schemes with Carol & Lucy to teach Dan a lesson. Ian Wolfe appears uncredited as a process server in this part of the film. In the course of improbable events three quickies weddings are the result (OH! I hope I didn’t spoil it for you). The romances between Monty & Carol and Handsome & Lucy begin when “the boys” pretend to be millionaires to draw “the gold-diggers” off of Dan so that he can pursue Annabelle again. But the real sparks don’t fly until Carol & Lucy dump Monty & Handsome out of their canoes and into the lake which of course is always good for love especially when it brings out the mothering compassion in the women. There seems to be no screen credit for a third wheel Annabelle’s fiancé that shows up briefly late in the film.

The additional entertainment is provided by Dooley Wilson (that’s right piano playing Sam in Casablanca (1942)) Freddie Slack and his orchestra Freddie Fisher and his comedy band and Marcy McGuire who sings and dances quite acrobatically. Cinematography Russell Metty sixteen years before he was to win an Oscar for Spartacus (1960) and/or editor Harry Marker (The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)) seemed enamored with Slack’s grinning face for all the times we are shown it. Also Margaret Dumont of Marx Brothers fame appears uncredited as a philanthropist wannabe singer.

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