Cast & Crew
As the fleet is about to arrive, the sailors' sweethearts all crowd the beauty parlors. Sally Gilroy is especially nervous, as she is about to marry her sailor, Danny Malone, but her girl friends, Myrtle and Georgine, tell her there is nothing to worry about. Aboard the USS Dakota , meanwhile, Scrappy Wilson, Danny's best friend, is informed by the division officer that a court order has pulled his pay in lieu of back alimony. Scrappy, sour on marriage, plots with their friend, Goofer, to save Danny from a similar fate by slipping a fire nozzle in Danny's duffel bag. Discovered by Chief Mulcahy, Danny is arrested for stealing Navy property. On shore, Scrappy tells Sally that Danny will be in the brig for a month, but she insists he will get to shore somehow. Rodney, another sailor who is sweet on Sally, tries to convince her to drop Danny for him. Danny manages to get ashore on the next boat, and he and Sally go to their new house. Danny thinks the house is too expensive, but Sally has an even greater surprise: she has a baby. It seems a friend and her husband were killed in an automobile accident, and Sally has decided to adopt their baby, renaming her Margaret Lane "Skipper." Danny is none too keen on this "second-hand family," but Sally is insistent. Miss Purvis, their priggish neighbor, arrives, and tells Sally that she has been put in charge of "Skipper's" case by the juvenile court. The shore patrol then arrives, and arrests Danny for leaving ship with another sailor's pass. Sally goes to Danny's commander, Captain Roscoe and tells him that they are already married and Danny only came ashore to see his "sick child." At the mast, Roscoe not only dismisses the charges against Danny, but gives him a promotion. Back at their home, Danny arrives to find Rodney playing with "Skipper." A fight almost breaks out, but Father McGann arrives to cool things off. He suggests to Danny and Sally that they hold a party for Miss Purvis to get on her good side. Danny puts Scrappy in charge of the party, which goes well until Scrappy's friend, Barnacle, arrives. Barnacle starts a fight with Danny, which causes Miss Purvis to leave in hysterics. Sally breaks up with Danny, after which Rodney proposes to Sally, telling her she needs a husband in order to keep "Skipper." Sally agrees until Danny returns and they make up. When Danny learns of Rodney's proposal, a fight breaks out, which tears the house apart. Miss Purvis, seeing the fight, calls the shore patrol, and the two sailors are carted off. Realizing she is about to lose "Skipper," Sally gets aboard the Dakota and leaves the child in the chief's room. The fleet sets sail for naval war games as Sally is brought before the juvenile court by Miss Purvis for refusing to turn over the child. Aboard ship, "Skipper" is discovered with a tag stating she is the responsibility of "the First Division." Roscoe questions the sailors, and Danny tells the whole story. Danny, Scrappy and Goofer are put in charge of "Skipper" until the baby can be returned home. When the Dakota commences firing its guns, "Skipper" begins crying. The ship's doctor informs Roscoe he must stop firing or the baby may receive permanent injury. Roscoe, feeling his promotion to Real Admiral slipping away, stops firing, only to learn that "Skipper's" problem is a loose safety pin. However, Roscoe is congratulated by his superiors for the correct timing of his "cease fire." At the Church of Good Sheperd, Danny and Sally are finally married, and upon seeing Sally with "Skipper," one woman remarks, "About time."
Charles D. Brown
William B. Davidson
William Conselman Jr.
J. Anthony Hughes
Claire Du Brey
William H. Anderson
Lieut. Comdr. A. J. Bolton U.s.n.
Frederick Hazlitt Brennan
Sol M. Wurtzel
Peggy Ryan (1924-2004)
Born Margaret O'Rene Ryan on August 28, 1924, in Long Beach, California, Ryan began dancing professionally as a toddler in her parents' vaudeville act, the Dancing Ryans, and was discovered by George Murphy when she was 12. Murphy arranged for young Peggy to dance with him in the Universal musical Top of the Town (1937). She would go on to make a few more film appearances over the next few years - the most striking of which as a starving, homeless girl in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940) - yet for the most part, she was hardly noticeable apart from a few dance numbers.
Her luck changed when Universal cast her opposite another teenage hoofer, Donald O'Connor in What's Cookin'? (1942). From then on, they teamed in a series of innocuous musicals that were low on production values, but high on youthful pluck. Just check out some of their titles: Private Buckaroo, Give Out, Sisters!, Get Hep to Love (all 1942); Top Man, Mr. Big (both 1943); Chip Off the Old Block, This Is the Life, and Bowery to Broadway (all 1944). They may have not been high art, but jitterbuggin' kids loved it, and given the low investment Universal put into these pictures, they turned quite the profit.
Her career slowed down after the war. In 1945, she married songwriter James Cross, and didn't return to films until 1949, when she made two minor musicals that year: Shamrock Hill, There's a Girl in My Heart. She divorced Cross in 1952 and met her second husband, dancer Ray McDonald, in her final film appearance, a forgettable musical with Mickey Rooney, All Ashore (1953). Tragically, McDonald died in 1957 after a food choking incident, and the following year, Ryan moved to Honolulu after marrying her third husband, Honolulu Advertiser columnist Eddie Sherman. She kept herself busy teaching dance classes at the University of Hawaii, but in 1969, she found herself back in front of the camera as Jenny Sherman, secretary to Detective Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) on the long-running show Hawaii Five-O,. She played the role for seven years, remaining until 1976.
Eventually, Ryan relocated with her husband to Las Vegas, where for the last few years, she was teaching tap dancing to a whole new generation of hoofers. She is survived by her son, Shawn; daughter Kerry; and five grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Peggy Ryan (1924-2004)
The working title for this film was Sweetheart of Turret One. According to Twentieth Century-Fox press releases, the original story for this film was purchased by Samuel Goldwyn. Goldwyn sold the screen rights, as well as the contract of actor Jon Hall, to Twentieth Century-Fox in a package deal. This was Jon Hall's first film performance after a thirty-six months absence from the screen. His previous film was The Hurricane. During that time, he remained on full salary at Samuel Goldwyn's production company. Press releases also state that sixty-seven babies were tested for the role of "Skipper." Bruce Hampton, who won the role, was the son of a publicity man at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Twentieth Century-Fox press releases further note that actor Dana Andrews was under a shared contract between Twentieth Century-Fox and Samuel Goldwyn. For this film, his first under this arrangement, Twentieth Century-Fox bought fifty percent of his contract with Goldwyn, with each studio paying the actor's full salary when in use and splitting his salary when he was idle. A press release also notes that college football players were recruited to play extras in this film. During filming, a kissing contest was held among the extras, with Jim Slatter of USC coming in first, Jack Cohn of UCLA, second, and Amby Schindler of UCLA, third.