Opened: March 4, 1955
Directed by: Roy Rowland
Starring: Jane Powell, Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Vic Damone, Gene Raymond, Ann Miller, Russ Tamblyn, J. Carrol Naish, Kay Armen, Richard Anderson & Jane Darwell
A later musical from many of MGM’s golden stars, Hit the Deck is light and fun but doesn’t have much depth.
Navy men William (Tony Martin), Rico (Vic Damone) and Danny (Russ Tamblyn) are on a two-day leave in San Francisco. When they get in a scuffle with Susan’s (Jane Powell) – Danny’s sister – date Wendell (Gene Raymond), they must avoid shore patrol.
The characters aren’t fully developed. Debbie Reynolds plays actress Carol Pace and she barely fits into the storyline other than as a romantic interest for Danny. There are times it’s hard to remember what’s happening with each sailor as well.
However, the singing and dancing is great. Ann Miller continues to shine with her stellar tap dancing, and the final number, “Hallelujah,” shows off 1950s musicals at their best.
Final say: Stay for the music. ★★★★☆