Editorial review of Anchors Aweigh (1945) courtesy of Amazon.com
Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra teamed up for their first of three musical comedies in this frothy confection of sailors on leave in Hollywood, with gawky, shy young Sinatra tagging along with his worldly buddy Kelly, who promises to show him the ropes. Overlong at more than two hours, this meandering production is light on story, and more than a little sentimental, but full of first-rate entertainment. Sinatra croons “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and “What Makes the Sunset,” chirpy costar Kathryn Grayson sings “All of a Sudden My Heart Sings,” classical pianist JosÃ© Iturbi provides a little highbrow interlude, and Gene Kelly dances with cartoon mouse Jerry (of Tom and Jerry fame) when not chasing dames. Somewhere in the midst of this, little Dean Stockwell makes his film debut as a runaway orphan who melts the heart of self-centered Kelly. This big-budget Technicolor extravaganza, directed by MGM stalwart and musical specialist George Sidney (Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate), was one of the studio’s biggest hits in 1945. –Sean Axmaker
Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra): You saved my life, so you owe me something.
Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly): Oh, it was I who saved your life, so now I owe you something! Hey look, have you gone crazy?
Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra): Look, I didn’t ask you to save my life, but you did. So now I feel you are responsible for me.
Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly): Well I don’t!
Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra): Well, what’s the good of having a life saved when you can’t have any fun with it?