FRANCIS IN THE NAVY (1955)
Article 2483 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-21-2008
Posting Date: 5-30-2008
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Featuring Donald O’Connor, Martha Hyer, Richard Erdman
Peter Stirling has to rescue Francis the Talking Mule from being sold as surplus by the Navy. Unfortunately, he looks exactly like a sailor who steals his identity. The Navy mistakes Stirling for his lookalike, and he has to convince them they have the wrong man.
Once more into the breach! To its credit, this movie tries to avoid regurgitating the same Francis plot that most of the other movies followed. However, the creation of an identical lookalike doesn’t really give us a lot of variety to the humor; just how many laughs can you get having one person mistaken for another? Once again, it’s the actors who show up in the supporting cast that are the real novelty; there’s Jim Backus, Martin Milner, David Janssen and (hold onto your hats) Clint Eastwood. Somehow, I have visions of one of the movie companies putting out a Clint Eastwood DVD set and including this one. Make no mistake; if the movie was in public domain, we’d be seeing copies of this all over the place with Eastwood’s face on the cover.
This was almost the end of the line for the series. By the time the next one rolled around, Arthur Lubin, Donold O’Connor and Chill Wills had departed.