Thursday, September 22, 2011

All Hands on Deck (1961)

Who hasn't wanted to spend an Easter with Pat Poone?  Especially since All Hands on Deck seems so festive in spirit, complete with traditional Easter imagery, like a midshipmen who has evidently tripped on something and Citizen Kane's Xanadu in the background.  I'm not entirely sure if the person standing behind Barbara Eden is a man or a woman, but whatever is going on, she seems pretty frightened of Buddy Hackett wearing what appears to be a tomahawk cap and clapping. I would be frightened of archaic representations of Native Americans too (according to IMDB, Hackett's character is named Shrieking Eagle Garfield).  Did 20th Century Fox accidentally think that Easter was the holiday with Indians? All of this is framed within the subtle suggestion of gang rape -- the "gang of gobs" who were caught with the lone maiden below the decks.  Pat may be crooning with androgynous enthusiasm (or doing his best Andy Dufresne impersonation), but his pose uncannily resembles a desparate undignified cadet eager to hide the evidence from his superiors. All in the name of Easter spirit!

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