According to this film life aboard a Navy ship is a case of controlled chaos. It was not intended to be a full out comedy but ends up being one due to the circumstances portrayed. The film is based on the Navy's real-life testing of a steam engine in World War II. I am sure that during its day the film was seen a funny, but today it just seems a little too dated. I am also doubtful whether the story behind this film was enough to base a whole film on. The cast for the film is a decent one with a good number of young actors who would go on to be big stars (Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Ed Begley, Jack Webb) making their first film appearances. For me, surprisingly enough, the weakest link in the cast is actually Gary Cooper. He was good in Westerns, but I am not sure that comedy is his thing as he often looks awkward and out of place.
Lieutenant John Harkness (Gary Cooper – High Noon, The Pride of the Yankees) is named captain of a naval ship with the only problem being that he has no experience running a ship. To further complicate matters for Harkness, an experimental engine is being tried out on his ship. Harkness soon realizes that he got a bum assignment but is determined to make the best of it.
-Fox Flix: trailers for Back Door to Hell, Decision Before Dawn, Destination Gobi, and Immortal Sergeant