A patriotic film from 1943, Destroyer stars Edward G.
Robinson and Glenn Ford as two members of
a newly commissioned destroyer who go to war against each other while
get the ship into the thick of things against the Japanese. While the movie is sort of surprises or plot
twists, the cast is so good that it's a lot of fun to watch.
Steve "Boley" Boleslavski (Edward G. Robinson)
served on the John Paul Jones during WWI with honor (earning the Navy
and after that conflict was over he became a dock worker.
When the original Jones is sunk at the
beginning of WWII, Boley is proud to be assigned to build the John Paul
II. He inspires the other workers into
doing their best to make a superior vessel, constantly reminding them
man's life my ride on how well a rivet is placed.
Once the ship is finished, Boley reenlists in the Navy and
requests a berth on the ship he just constructed. Much
to his chagrin, he's deemed too old to serve
on a fighting ship and ends up training recruits instead.
Just before the John Paul Jones launches for
its shakedown cruise, Boley appeals to an old friend who happens to be
Jones' captain and manages to get the position of chief bosun's mate,
that irritates the pervious bosun's mate, Mickey Donohue (Glenn Ford).
Once on board, neither Boley nor the new ship has an easy
time. Boley isn't used to the new
technology that the Navy has incorporated and gets more than a few
wrong. He's also hard on the men who
soon grow to despise him. Things are no
easier on the ship, which has frequent breakdowns and can't complete
voyage without returning to base for repairs.
Soon both Boley and the new John Paul Jones are laughing stocks,
everyone thinking that neither will amount to much nor help the country
I really enjoy WWII era war films. Yes,
they're predictable and wave the flag a
bit too much, but Hollywood
did do a great job inspiring the country at that time, something that
never really attempted to do before or since.
This film is a good example of how they got people to rally
flag in those dark years. And it's not
as easy as one might think.
Robinson is always great as a tough guy, and here he plays
his role just slightly over the top, but not so much that it hampers
picture. Glenn Ford, is a decidedly
supporting role is good, but he could have used more screen time. Bowery Boys fans will enjoy seeing Leo Gorcey
as a wise alec member of the crew.
The film boasts some nice scenes of ships at sea, so military
buffs will have a lot to look at, but there's also a good amount of
works quite well. At a USO dance one
lady asks a sailor what he is going to do with his extra combat pay,
replies "Spend some of it on beer, some of it on women. The rest on
foolish, I guess." Overall a fun and
The film comes with the original mono soundtrack, and it
sounds fine. The dialog is easy to hear
and the music is forceful for a film from the 40's.
Nothing to complain about here.
The full frame black and white image looks very good for a
film that hasn't been restored. The
print is in excellent shape, no scratches or dirt that I noticed, and
contrast and detail are both excellent.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the way this film looked.
Just a trailer, which is in worse shape than the feature.
A fun and inspiring WWII era film, the movie is a bit
predictable but the actors do a great job and the patriotic aspects are
even today. This gets a strong