Skirts Ahoy!

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  • Approved
  • 1952
  • 1 hr 49 min
  • 5.7  (556)

Skirts Ahoy! is a 1952 musical-comedy film directed by Sidney Lanfield, and starring Esther Williams, Joan Evans, and Vivian Blaine. As a typical musical-comedy, this film is full of entertaining dance routines and catchy musical numbers. The story follows a group of young women who join the US Navy’s Women's Reserve, known as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). The film is set during the Korean War and centers around a training program at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where the WAVES learn to do all sorts of military tasks, such as radar operations, coding, and piloting.

Joan Evans plays the character of Susan, a rookie WAVE finding her way in the male-dominated military world. She initially struggles to fit in and almost drops out due to pervasive sexism in the Navy. But then, she meets the two senior WAVES, Lt. Molly (Esther Williams) and Betty (Vivian Blaine), who take her under their wings and teach her how to assert herself and excel in her training.

Lt. Molly is an expert in Navy maneuvers and a swimming champion, who does a spectacular performance in a swimming pool during a musical number. Her character is smart, resourceful, and confident, and she becomes a role model for Susan. Betty, on the other hand, is more interested in the social side of Navy life, and she sets her sights on finding a handsome sailor to marry.

Throughout the film, the three WAVES face various challenges, such as dealing with a mean drill instructor, confronting their male counterparts’ skepticism, and managing their personal lives outside of the military. The romantic plotlines are present as well, with Susan falling for a Marine instructor, and Betty engaging in a love triangle with two sailors.

One of the highlights of the movie is undoubtedly the musical numbers, which range from swing jazz to romantic ballads. Esther Williams shows off her swimming skills in a spectacular underwater dance routine, which is a visual delight. Vivian Blaine offers a vibrant interpretation of the classic song "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and Joan Evans sings a moving song called "Why Am I So Gone?" that reflects her character’s emotional turmoil.

The film stands out for its portrayal of the WAVES' bravery and patriotism, and it presents a refreshing perspective on women's roles during wartime. While the movie does not shy away from the gender stereotypes and limitations imposed on women at that time, it also celebrates their resilience and ingenuity.

Skirts Ahoy! is a fun and entertaining musical-comedy that showcases the talents of its cast and offers a glimpse into a unique – and often overlooked – aspect of American wartime history. Fans of classic Hollywood musicals will certainly enjoy this film, which is a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era of glamour, romance, and catchy tunes.

Skirts Ahoy! is a 1952 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.

Skirts Ahoy!
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 49 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (556)