Karl Dane - "Navy Blues"
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Navy Blues (1929)

"Navy Blues" was an early Talkie, and the fifth pairing of William Haines and Karl Dane. It also appeared to be a troubled production. Shooting started on January 31, 1929, with "Slide Kelly Slide" director Edward Sedgewick at the helm. Production shut down on March 2, 1929, and started up again on July 3, 1929, with Clarence Brown replacing him. It finally finished production with a third uncredited director finishing retakes, in October 1929, 16 days behind schedule. "Navy" was actually partially filmed on location aboard a destroyer in San Pedro and San Diego, and also at an ostrich farm in Lincoln Park! Karl was filming this at the same time as the Dane & Arthur comedy, "China Bound."
Kelly (Haines) squares off with Sven "Swede" Swanson, a tough gob newly transferred to his destroyer.
After deservedly being socked by Swede at their first meeting, Kelly proceeds to make Swede's life aboard ship a living hell. Here he tricks poor Swede into dirtying his own laundry on wash day, much to Swede's consternation.
Swede loads torpedoes for Kelly during the ship's target practice exercises.
The ship wins a high efficiency rating due to the crewman's hard work. Their "reward"? A mandatory dinner sponsored by the "Ladies Uplift Society"! Kelly and his pals are less than jubilant.
On second thought, the dinner turns out to be not so bad after all! Here, Swede puts the moves on a lovely Alice (Anita Page). However, she only has eyes for Kelly, and the two quickly fall in love.
After bringing Kelly home to meet her folks, a family row ensues, and Alice is forced to leave home. She desperately needs money for a hotel room, and Kelly happens upon Swede dining at a coffee shop. Kelly is angling for the five bucks in Swede's hand, but the big guy is not as gullible as Kelly hoped.
Much later, Kelly finds that Alice assumed he had deserted her, and becomes a hardened dancer-escort girl at a snooty club. Kelly enlists the now game Swede to help rescue her. Here he rips the chandelier out of the ceiling which he will launch as a weapon against the club's haughty patrons.
"See this?" WHAM! Karl performs his trademark move: asking his target to gaze at his left hand while proceeding to sock him with his right. In the background, Kelly tries to console Alice, who has mixed feelings about being "rescued" by the man she thought had jilted her. All ends happily, though, and the lovers are reunited.
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Last modified: February 19, 2007