Stand by for Action

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"The mightiest naval drama of all time!"
  • NR
  • 1944
  • 1 hr 49 min
  • 6.5  (725)

Stand by for Action is a 1942 war drama directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Robert Taylor, Brian Donlevy, and Charles Laughton. It takes place during World War II and follows the story of a Navy officer and a shipyard worker who team up to build and launch a new vessel to support the war effort. The film opens with Lieutenant Gregg Masterman (Robert Taylor) arriving at a shipyard in San Francisco to oversee the construction of a new ship, the USS Maddox. He quickly clashes with the shipyard's foreman, Jimbo (Brian Donlevy), who believes that Masterman's strict rules and regulations are slowing down production.

Masterman soon learns that Jimbo has his own reasons for being so tough. He is a seasoned shipbuilder who has lost multiple ships and friends in the war, and he is determined to ensure that the Maddox is built to exact specifications to avoid any future disasters. After some initial tensions, the two men begin to work together and form a strong bond.

As the Maddox nears completion, the Navy orders the ship to participate in a daring mission to rescue American soldiers trapped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. The crew must navigate perilous waters, evade enemy fire, and overcome numerous obstacles to complete their mission and make it back home safely.

The film also explores the personal lives of the characters. Masterman is engaged to a woman named Susan (Marilyn Maxwell) who works as a nurse in a military hospital. While she is supportive of his military career, she worries about his safety and the strain that their long-distance relationship puts on their engagement.

Jimbo is a widower who lost his wife and son in a shipwreck years earlier. He has since dedicated his life to building ships and keeping sailors safe. He takes a fatherly role with the ship's cooks and mess attendants, treating them with kindness and respect.

Perhaps the most notable performance in the film comes from Charles Laughton, who plays Admiral Thomas. He is a highly-decorated Navy officer who is tasked with leading the mission to rescue the soldiers in the Philippines. Though he appears stern and commanding, he also shows flashes of vulnerability and doubt as he faces the heavy responsibility of sending men into harm's way.

Stand by for Action is a classic wartime drama that delivers on multiple fronts. It features thrilling action sequences, strong performances, and a heartfelt story about the bonds of brotherhood and resilience in the face of adversity. It is a testament to the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served in World War II and a tribute to the power of human connection in even the toughest times.

Stand by for Action is a 1944 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.

Stand by for Action
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 49 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (725)