Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra team up in this frothy confection of two sailors on leave in Hollywood, with gawky, shy, young Clarence Doolittle (Sinatra) tagging along with his worldly buddy "Sea Wolf" Joseph Brady (Kelly), who promises to show him the ropes. Sinatra croons "I Fall in Love Too Easily" and "What Makes the Sunset," chirpy co-star Kathryn Grayson sings "All of a Sudden My Heart Sings," classical pianist José Iturbi provides a little highbrow interlude, and Gene Kelly dances with cartoon mouse Jerry (of Tom and Jerry fame). Somewhere in the midst of this, little Dean Stockwell makes his film debut as “Aunt Susie’s” nephew 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.
Title: Anchors Aweigh
Release: July 14, 1945
MPAA Rating: G
Writer: Natalie Marcin (story) & Isobel Lennart
Director: George Sidney
Produced By: Joe Pasternak
Distributed By: MGM
Run Time: 143 minutes
Anchors Aweigh is a charming, Academy award-winning musical/romantic comedy that stars two of Hollywood’s greatest men: Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in their first film appearance together although it certainly wasn’t their last! Because Sinatra and Kelly were such giants in the movie and music business, their co-star (and love interest in the film) Kathryn Grayson could have easily been overshadowed but she held her own with both her acting and singing abilities (although I really don't care for that operatic style) but the kings of dance and croon do dominate the film and is what you remember from it later.
I just loved this musical! It was the first time I had ever seen Frank Sinatra in a film before. Boy, was I shocked at how young he looks but he still has a gorgeous voice. You can tell that Gene can dance better than Frank and that Frank can sing much better than Gene. Which is why there are only a few musical numbers with them together but the ones there are happen to be some of my favorites in the film.
This is a musical filled with duets, dances, and incredibly music sequences but the one that really stands out in the whole picture is Gene Kelly's dance with Jerry the mouse because it's amazing and it really looks like they're interacting with one another. Although it wasn't really necessary for the story, it became the most famous part of the whole film! Jerry’s part was originally supposed to be Donald Duck (or Mickey Mouse as some stories go) but Disney decided against it which really is a shame! I thought Jerry became quite the little dancer with Kelly's help and if by the end of this great film you aren’t saying, “Look at me, I’m dancin’!” I’d be completely amazed.
As usual, Wikipedia and imdb.com have wonderful, informative articles on this film but by far TCM.com has the most interesting ones including a complete script of the film and publicity photos.
"I Begged Her":
Gene and Jerry: