There are so many movies written and filmed decades ago which I’ve never seen. These are considered classics, and although people don’t watch them readily in theaters now, they are considered classics for a reason. Tonight, I decided my new thing would be found in something old. I took my chances that Turner Classic Movies (TCM) would have something worth watching tonight. I was not disappointed.
The Fleet’s In is a movie musical from the 1940s. I missed the beginning of it, but was able to catch on in the middle of the movie and watch it to the conclusion. Unlike many movies of today, this one didn’t seem to have any politiical messages. No warnings of societal ills. No underlying cultural commentary. It was simply a fun movie that provided people a relief from life. The movie was released as Americans were dealing with World War II and patriotism was high. This story’s characters reflected that as the males were naval sailors.
I don’t make it a habit of watching old, classic movies. A raging, liberal feminist like me has a hard time watching females characterized as “buxom beauties” and “damsels in distress” as can be found in so many of these. However, it is interesting to view the differences between movies then and now. As long as one doesn’t try to take the stories and their characters too seriously, it’s easy to find the entertainment value.
So much of the acting was found in facial expressions. It was exaggerated, but that was how the comedy was derived. The dancers became almost caricature-like which provided humor. In some of the musical acts, the acting looked similar to mime because the message was told through actions rather than words. Specifically, one portion of the movie features Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra in a variety-type show for a crowd. The dancing acts featured these exaggerated expressions and choreography for humor.
This was a light-hearted musical featuring entertainment from an era gone by. The music reminded me of the weekend evenings I would visit my grandparents as a little girl and The Lawrence Welk Show would be on television. It was nice to know I wouldn’t have to switch the channel if D and E were to walk into the room because of no nudity or cursing. Additionally, it is interesting to see how the nation’s events of the day impacted its entertainment such as movies featuring patriotism and men in the military.