Don't Give Up the Ship (1959) Movie Script

In the glorious addles of the United
States Navy have been many unsung heroes.
Among them, John Paul Steckler I.
Who, in the face of the British, uttered
the immortal words, "Follow me, men. "
Follow me, men!
Fortunately, no one followed.
In the most famous naval
engagement of the Civil War
another Steckler came to the fore.
It was John Paul Steckler IV.
Aboard the iron clad
who first saw the Merrimac approaching
through the darkness.
Someone had to bring this news
to the captain immediately.
Someone did.
But not Steckler.
For years there were no
Stecklers in uniform
and everything went
pleasantly for the navy.
Then, John Paul Steckler
VII came along.
And, wow!
Admiral Bludde.
You're quite certain this officer was
last in command of the U.S.S. Conblatt?
No doubt about it, sir. A
young fella named Stickler.
Uh, Steckler, sir.
Uh, Steckler.
Now, Congressman
getting back to our appropriations
for the coming fiscal...
In a moment, Admiral.
And did this Steckler sign out for
the Kornblatt at the end of the war?
Yes, sir. Now...
about our budget.
A 17 hundred ton, 306 foot
destroyer escort missing?
Well, if he signed out for it, where is it?
Uh, let's see, uh...
I'll tell you where it is. It's missing!
Gone. Vanished from the face of the earth.
Well, I'm sure we'll locate it, sir.
You don't just lose a destroyer escort.
I don't have to tell you that if this
is a sample of naval housekeeping.
It may have considerable effect on
the forthcoming appropriations bill.
Will ten days be sufficient to find out?
Oh, plenty, sir, plenty.
We'll get right on it, sir.
Meet adjourned.
We're in trouble.
If we don't find the Kornblatt, that...
Where's this officer stationed?
Fourth naval district, Akron.
Get him here right away.
And don't tell anyone what its all about.
Aye, aye, sir.
Look at that face, Joe.
Behind those soft baby
eyes, that friendly smile
there could lurk the cunning
brain of a master criminal.
Oh, just wait til I get my hands on...
The happiest man in the world today.
Poochie pie.
Sweetie face, to us.
Mr. Steckler is a lieutenant in the navy.
Really very nice.
My daughter couldn't have done better.
Our first wedding cake.
For Judge Whipple, poochie.
Yes, darling, for Judge Poochie Whipple.
Isn't this fun?
Some day you'll get married, too.
I hope it's someone like
you, Admiral Steckler.
Admiral. The child called...
A lovely wedding.
A lovely wedding.
And Prudence is a beautiful bride.
Just beautiful.
Uh, oh, uh.
Should we sneak out now, ducky poo?
I think this would be a perfect time.
Plus the fact I can't wait
til we're alone, sweetheart.
Just think...
two weeks alone at Lake Wanapawawa.
Fishing, canoeing, rowing.
- John.
- Mother.
John, take care of my little girl.
I will, Mother. I'll take care of her.
Just like her father took care of you.
That monster! Don't mention his name.
- I'm sorry. Goodbye, Mother.
- Why, when I think of that...
Goodbye, Mother!
Have a happy honeymoon, darlings!
Happy honeymoon!
All swords!
That's our man! Follow him!
Lieutenant Steckler?
Yes, sir, the seventh.
I'm Lieutenant Commander Farber.
I hate to do this to you,
old man, but you're wanted
in Washington immediately.
Red phone call, special orders deliver
you no later than 15 hundred today.
But you can't! We're just
leaving on our honeymoon.
Wait, sweetheart, let me explain.
I don't think you
understand, Commander, you
see we were just married.
We're going on our honeymoon.
- I'm on leave!
- It's been canceled.
- Who canceled?
- Admiral Bludde.
Admiral Bludde.
His plane is waiting for
you at the airport.
But, we've got the honeymoon cottage
at Lake Winnepawawa for two weeks.
Wait, sweetheart Prudence,
please dear, let me handle this.
Commander, what would the
Admiral want with me?
I don't know, but here are your orders.
- It is the Admiral.
- What does he want?
Well, it doesn't say, but
that's his signature.
Gee, my old commander.
- The top destroyer...
- Lieutenant, I hate to rush you.
Yeah, well!
Bludde or no Bludde, Admiral or no.
Although, it might be a decoration.
- You know, there was that skirmish...
- Can't he mail it to you?
No, dear. If I'm going to
get a medal I think the
least we can do is go to
Washington and pick it up.
A medal.
My hero.
Now, we can have our
honeymoon in Washington.
Just like George and Martha.
Lieutenant, if you will.
Mission accomplished, sir.
- Lieutenant John Paul Steckler?
- The seventh.
This way, please.
Lieutenant John Paul Steckler
VII reporting as ordered, sir.
So, you're the man.
I guess so, sir.
How did you do it?
- Oh, it was nothing.
- Nothing?
- Well, what I mean to say, sir...
- Tell us, son.
Did you do this on your own?
Or, were there others?
Well, sir, uh...
Is anyone ever really on their own?
I mean what I'm trying to say, sir, is...
Doesn't everything always depend on...
the men you serve with? Their
cooperation, their loyalty?
See what I told you, Joe? Nerves of steel.
We're lucky there's only one missing.
So, you admit you had help.
Oh, yes, sir. In everything I did, sir.
After all, I had a shining inspiration.
I served under Admiral Bludde.
Are you trying to pin this on me?
Oh oh, no sir. I thought you
were going to pin it on me.
As a matter of fact, I wish you
would because my wife is...
Excuse me, sir.
Are you mad at me?
Mad at you?
All I want is a full confession!
As representative of the
Judge Advocate General
I request Lieutenant Steckler be formally
advised of the charges against him.
Did he say charges?
Why do you think you were called?
To receive a medal?
Well, very honestly sir,
I did think I was...
Maybe a little one.
I've never seen anyone like him.
Go ahead commander, read the charges.
- Lieutenant John Paul Steckler.
- The seventh, sir.
Lieutenant John Paul Steckler VII?
My brother was supposed to be the seventh,
but he turned out to be my sister.
- See, they were expecting a boy...
- Read the charges!
during World War II, some government
property charged out to you
and for which you're therefor
responsible, was not turned in.
It's still missing.
Well, just a minute, Commander,
sir, I never took anything in my...
What's the matter, Lieutenant?
Nothing. Nothing, sir.
It's just that I, I never
thought it'd be missed.
Everyone was taking souvenirs.
Weren't they?
Wouldn't you say you went just
a little too far, Lieutenant?
No, I don't think so, sir. I
mean, it wasn't important stuff.
Well, it was my compass, sexton...
and patented Spam opener.
Wasn't there something else, Lieutenant?
Alright, I'm not gonna lie.
I'm guilty and I think the best
thing for me to do is just
pay up and get this thing over with.
So, if you'll tell me how
much it is, I'll pay.
Tell him, Commander.
The total amount comes to...
Five million, four hundred and fifteen thousand,
nine hundred and twenty five dollars.
I think he's trying to ask you something.
What did I take?
One fully equipped...
sea-worthy and battle-ready...
destroyer escort.
Oh, come now, son.
Your government doesn't
want to be tough on you.
But, just tell us...
what did you do with the U.S.S. Kornblatt?
I didn't take it.
I didn't take her.
I haven't got her.
Pinky swear. Scout's honor.
Where would I ever...
I didn't...
Frisk me!
Five million dollars.
How can I ever pay five million dollars?
Even if they took...
thirty dollars a month it would take...
nine hundred and fifty thousand months.
Thirty dollars into nine
hundred and fifty thousand...
Oh, I forgot to carry the one.
Five million into...
Thirty, even if they start with
this month, the thirty dollars...
I don't think I have enough.
It's twenty nine dollars
for the bus tickets...
Let me see how much...
Five million..
Hear that?
He thinks he's got five million
dollars in small change.
Oh, the old "insanity" gimmick.
- Well, he's not going to get away with it.
- Shall we question him again, sir?
Lieutenant Steckler.
The seventh.
Yes, sir.
I must confess that until
this moment I thought
you might have snatched the Kornblatt.
That behind the facade of innocence was
the shrewd, calculating brain of a crook.
Or a master spy in pay of some foreign...
Oh, just a minute, sir. If you
don't mind, sir. I am not a spy.
I mean I've goofed and all
that, but I am not a traitor.
I mean the navy is my whole life.
Before I was in the navy I was just...
John Paul Steckler.
The meatball.
But now, Lieutenant John Paul Steckler!
The meatball.
I'm beginning to feel sorry for you.
Thank you.
I've seen enough scared
young men to know that...
you're another.
- But, you're in a way of a lot of trouble.
- Yes, sir.
Nobody really wants to
kick you out of the navy.
Throw you in jail.
See you wind up in disgrace.
But, the last name the Kornblatt was checked
out to was enson John Paul Steckler.
We've got to pin it on somebody.
How about him, sir?
Give up the ship!
I haven't got her, sir.
- Well, then find her!
- Yes, sir.
- You've got ten days.
- Yes, sir.
- And you better come back with something.
- Yes, sir.
- Commander.
- Yes, sir.
Get the duplicate records
of all ships turned in.
Pacific fleet 1945 to date.
All of them?
Yes, sir!
I want you to spend the next 12 hours
sifting through those records.
We've got to find the Kornblatt!
And we're starting tonight.
Tonight? But, I had plans tonight sir!
- Cancel all plans!
- Yes, sir!
If we don't come up with the Kornblatt
inside of ten days, the navy
stands to lose four billion
dollars in appropriations.
This is vital, Steckler. As America's
first line of defense, I...
Who's ducky poo?
Hello. Everything comfy cozy, dear?
Ducky poo, I've been waiting three hours.
And I can't wait to see you, sweetie face.
I don't speak to everyone that way, sir.
I hope you don't think so. Just my wife.
Hang up that phone!
I'm a have, I'm a have, I'm a
have to hang up now, dear.
Tell me you wuv me.
Wuv you, wuv you, wuv you, wuv you.
- Hang up!
- Yes, sir!
Wuv you.
- The records, sir.
- Good.
Thank you.
Steckler, get at those right away.
Yes, sir. I will, sir.
Oh, I'm sorry, sir. Excuse me.
I'm very sorry, sir.
My cap, sir.
Thank you, sir.
And be back here at 0900 tomorrow morning.
Yes, sir! 0900 tomorrow morning!
That's a tough break, sir, having this
happen right in the middle of his honeymoon.
He was married this morning, sir.
Oh, no. The honeymoon will have to wait.
See that he's checked into the bachelor
officer's quarters for the night.
I'll arrange it sir.
Alright, gentlemen, that's all.
Will there be anything else?
Oh, you'd better bring
another bottle of champagne. Pink.
Pink. Yes, madam.
- Did you miss me, honey?
- Yes.
- Oh, darn it.
- What in the world?
Now I've got the San Diego D.E.'s all
mixed up with the Bremington C.E.V.'s.
What are these, ducky poo.
Oh, Admiral Bludde gave them to me.
Instead of a medal?
- There is no medal.
- No medal?
No and there's no Kornblatt, either.
What's a Kornblatt?
Honey, don't you remember
I used to tell you
about during the war I commanded
the U.S.S. Kornblatt?
Well, that's a Kornblatt.
And it's missing, and...
they said I took it.
You? What would you do with a battleship?
What would anybody do with a battleship?
No, honey, she's not a battleship.
It's a destroyer escort, you see.
And, although I didn't take it...
I'm responsible for it.
Well, let's not worry
about a silly old boat.
Not tonight, anyway.
Not tonight.
Should I wear the white
pajamas with the black
stripes or the black pajamas
with the white stripes?
Oh, either one sweetie.
Alright, I'll mix them up.
Who needs Lake Winnepawawa?
Anyplace is heaven when
you're with your poochie pie.
You're absolutely beautiful.
It's about time you noticed.
Well, I noticed right from
the start, sweetheart. I
just didn't want you to
think that I was stuck on you.
Oh, champagne.
Caviar. Pheasant under glass.
Oh, is this a way to spend a wedding night.
Wait til you see the dessert.
It's not over there, Lieutenant.
- I love you, Prudence.
- I love you, darling.
But, I'm in big trouble.
You are if you turn that light
on again, my itsy bitsy baby.
Well, now to worksy worksy.
Worksy worksy?
Yes, sweetheart. I promised the Admiral
that I'd go through these records.
On our honeymoon?
Well, I'm going to help you.
It's a wife's duty.
Yes, you help, dear.
Now, let's see. I might...
I might as well start back in 1945.
Oh, here's...
Here's something very interesting.
106,210 tons of ships in dry dock.
Oh, you have the cutest little ears.
Ears in dry... Darling I can't concentrate.
- Honey, I've got work to do.
- Oh, you certainly have.
Let me explain, dear. You see there's
this Congressman Mandeville.
Now, he's the head of the House
Appropriations Committee.
- Oh, you say the sweetest things.
- Well...
The Navy needs money for
money for new ships, see,
and he's looking for an
excuse to turn them down.
Now, the Korn...
Now, if the Navy can't keep
track of the ships that it has
then he's not going to let Congress give
the Navy any more money to buy new ships.
And that's why Admiral
Bludde is out to drink mine.
You are in trouble.
Yeah, very big trouble.
That's why I feel so bad
bringing you all the way
to Washington thinking I
was going to get a medal.
The night's young yet.
Maybe you still will.
- I love you, Prudence.
- I love you, darling.
What's that?
I didn't hear anything.
Oh, it's the champagne.
I can hear it fizz.
It's the waiter with more champagne.
More champagne.
More champagne.
I hope it's pink champagne!
It is!
Goody, goody, goody!
What'd he say?
Goody, goody, goody.
- Lieutenant Steckler?
- The seventh.
But, this room is occupied.
Here you, man, just a minute!
You're out of bounds!
Orders from the Admiral, sir.
Got a staff car waiting.
- You're to come with us.
- Come with you?
Wait just a minute, darling.
I'll take care of this.
I don't think you understand, gentlemen. You
see, we were just married this morning.
- Lot's of luck.
- Thank you.
Sir, now if you'll get ready,
sir, we'll drop you off at B.O.Q.
- B.O.Q.?
- Bachelor Officer's Quarters, ma'am.
Is this all the Navy has to do? Run
around breaking up honeymoons?
Why aren't you men out sailing ships?
Darling, please. I'm sorry, but
they're just following orders, that's all.
But, you're not a bachelor. Tell them.
Well, technically I am. I, no I'm
not a bachelor! There, I told them.
Sorry, Mrs. Steckler. Orders are orders.
And you wasted all this time talking.
Well, honey. I mean, no, she's honey.
Sweet, I'll tell
sweet... Would you wait?
I'm... Honey! Just, I'm... Excuse
me, men for a sec, I...
Let me explain, dear. Is it my fault
that the Kornblatt is missing?
- We've got to snap it up, sir.
- And on the double! Yes, sir!
Here we go! Honey, really, bear
with me, dear. This is a prob...
Thank you very much, dear. Please, honey. I'm
awfully sorry, but this is not my fault.
- These are orders, dear.
- Oh, honey!
Oh, don't feel bad sweetheart, because
this is something that just has to be.
You just relax and I'll
call you at eight bells.
Keep it on ice.
I'm stumped, Steckler.
I don't really believe you could
lose a ship like the Kornblatt.
Because I don't believe you would ever
be put in command of the Kornblatt.
But, if you were, then you could.
Oh, I was, but I didn't.
You didn't what?
I mean I didn't, sir.
We're not giving up.
Report to the office of Naval
Intelligence immediately.
I've assigned one of the best
young officers to help you out.
Yes, sir.
Enson Benson.
Yes. Crackerjack mind. Smart as a whip.
Remember, Steckler. We have
only nine days. No more.
Alright? Now, batten down the hatches.
Full speed ahead.
Batten down the hatches,
full speed ahead. Yes, sir!
Oh, excuse me, sir.
May I make a call? I
promised the little woman...
- Shove off!
- Yes, sir.
How did we ever win?
Top secret area.
What is it?
Who are you?
Come, come, man, speak up!
Lieutenant Steckler repor...
I told you it was a secret.
The enson is expecting you.
This way.
How do you do, Lieutenant?
En-Enson B-Benson?
That's right.
Lieutenant John Paul Stellman...
Paul John Stallet...
Paul Paul Stalfer.
- Steckler.
- Steckler, that's it! Harry Steckler. No!
Sit down, Lieutenant. Please
make yourself comfortable.
Thank you.
They let you keep secrets?
Of course. Why?
Oh, oh nothing.
It's, it's just that you look like
a girl that has nothing to hide.
No, I don't, what I
mean to say is, that if the Korn..
Kornblatt were built anything like
you they'd a never lost it.
Uh, no, what I'm trying to say is...
I don't know what they're putting
together over there in Russia
but whatever it it, we're
way ahead of them.
Lieutenant, I know you're the victim
of one of the biggest boo boos in the
history of the U.S. Navy.
Yeah, I am.
I've looked over your
record and it's spotless.
You've always had the utmost
concern for government property.
Well, well I always did try my best.
Except maybe just that one time
when I painted my sea bag all red.
And cut the two holes in
the bottom for my feet.
Your feet?
Well, it was a Halloween party. You
see, I went as a skinless frankfurter.
As a... I see.
- Lieutenant...
- I won first prize!
- How nice.
- It was a case of skinless frankfurters.
- That was a coincidence.
- I was very lucky.
- Now, Lieutenant, let's review the facts.
- Anything!
We're going to be working pretty
closely together, and I...
That's all well and good, Enson, it's
very nice and I might like that, but...
I'm married.
I know! What I meant was...
How is Prudence?
- Who?
- Prudence. Your wife.
Oh, oh the one I'm married to. Oh,
Prudence, she's fine. Thank you.
Well, what I started to say was, we'll
be working pretty closely together
and I thought perhaps we might
dispense with the usual formalities.
Thank you very much, Enson.
That's a very good idea.
We can relax that way.
You can call me John.
And I can call you...
Enson Benson?
- Rita.
- Rita. Oh, that's nice.
I once had a parrot I called Rita.
It hated me.
It's real name was Frank.
Uh, say, Enson it's strange,
but how do you know
so much about my wife,
Prudence, and myself?
Oh, I know lots of things about you, John.
Practically everything.
Everything except what happened to
the Kornblatt. Why don't you fill me in?
Can we talk?
If I knew anything, wouldn't
you be the first to tell me?
Well, since you put it that way.
Well, we'll see. Now, if you'll just come
with me, Lieutenant we can get started.
- Where are we going?
- Operation Snaggle.
There now. Do you like waltzes?
Oh, yes, I love 'em, but
I'm too upset to dance.
This is therapy, John.
Just to soothe you, get you relaxed.
- Uh huh.
- Comfortable?
Yes, very.
You can take your shoes off if you like.
Oh, thank you.
I won't be as tall, though.
I just want you to be completely relaxed.
Now, stretch out.
Anything you say.
Not on the floor, John. On the chair.
On the chair. I'm sorry. Thank you.
You're very kind.
Hey, this is peaceful.
I've never been this comfortable before.
Relax, John!
- Yes.
- Relax.
How's that?
Oh, yummy.
Now, I want you to tell
me everything you can
remember about the Kornblatt.
- Now, concentrate, John.
- Yeah.
- Go back.
- Back.
Far, far back.
Far, far back.
Yeah, I'm going back.
Back, back.
Back, very far, far, far back.
What ship are you on?
I'm on the good...
- ship...
- Yes.
Lollipop. I'm in a bathtub.
Mommy, my boat went down the dwain!
My boat went down the dwain, Mommy!
Not that far back.
Far back.
Concentrate on the Kornblatt.
The U.S.S. Kornblatt.
I'll concentrate.
It's coming back to me now.
Yeah, I can see her.
The Kornblatt gliding
through the blue Pacific.
Trim and beautiful.
Bulging in just the right places.
No wonder she was known to us aboard
as the pinup girl of the fleet.
The U.S.S. Marilyn Kornblatt.
It was V.J. Day.
End of the war in the Pacific.
Kornblatt! Orders, orders! Kornblatt!
Who's he?
You remember, sir? Enson Steckler.
Came aboard about a month ago.
You said to put him to
work in the engine room.
Oh, yes.
Which he nearly blew up.
Oh, yes!
So, now he's helping out in
the communication's shack.
- What do you got there, mister?
- A message from Singpack, sir.
- Well, read it.
- Uh, yes, sir.
Tiddley boo, tiddley bang, clippety
clop chap clang. Poughkeepsie.
Not in code! Let me read that.
Now, hear this men. We're
to proceed to Pearl Harbor
where all officers and men
with enough points will
be flown to the mainland
for immediate discharge.
Very useful.
Now, what did you do that for?
We finally put in at Pearl Harbor
and lined up for final inspection.
As we stood there, everyone
had only one thought in mind.
Now hear this.
Men, I'm proud to have served
with every one of you.
I'd like to shake every man's hand.
But, that would only be
wasting precious time.
All reservists with enough points for
discharge, take off! And that's an order.
Well, I go where my men go.
Congratulations, Bill,
as the new commanding
officer of the U.S.S.
Kornblatt is all yours.
Joe, congratulations on your new job.
Who is going to sail the
Kornblatt to the mainland?
The Commander handed over the
ship to the Lieutenant Commander.
The Lieutenant Commander passed
her along to the Lieutenant.
The Lieutenant turned her
over to the Lieutenant J.G..
The Lieutenant J.G. passed
her on to Enson Roberts.
And Roberts gave her to Steckler.
And Steckler got stuck...
Alright you men!
Now, hear this!
I'm the new skipper of this ship!
Set the special sea and anchor detail!
Stand by and get under way!
Leave your quarters!
Say, say haven't we met someplace before?
Guadalcanal? Iwo Jima?
The Army and Navy game?
Wychinski, sir. Stan Wychinski.
I'm your chief
boat's mate. We just met
in the dock an hour ago.
That's right.
Uh, oh yeah, I'm sorry.
I never forget a face. I should've known.
Say, uh Chief, um...
how long you been in the Navy?
Over 20 years, sir. Ten years with the Flat
Tops, five years with the Battle Wagons
the rest of the time on D.E.'s.
Good, cause I'd like to ask you a question.
What's that, sir?
How do you back this thing out of here?
How do you back this...
It's alright, kid!
I mean, sir.
If you'll excuse me, sir, I have to go aft
to load the popsicles on for the snack bar.
What's this?
Well, you want to calibrate
the Sexton, don't you?
I have a better idea, Chief.
Uh, you calibrate the Sexton
and I'll load the popsicles.
Let's see if we know our
business here, it's a dry run.
All hands stand by to get under way!
You men aft forward taking the gangway!
You men aft, lifeboat practice
in the starboard lifeboats!
Wait a minute! Let's change that!
Men aft down in the lifeboats
men forward stand by, men
aft take in the gangway!
Ready to get under way!
That goes for you too
in the engine room.
Sea and anchor detail, stock to it!
Forward aft stations, men
aft forward stations!
No, no! Forward, forward aft! I
mean aft, aft, forward, forward!
You're still confused! Look! One of us
has to run this ship. I'm the leader!
I'm the leader?
Now hear this!
Now hear this!
I want a tight ship!
I want an efficient ship!
'Cause an efficient ship is a happy ship!
And a happy ship is a tight ship!
And I want everyone to be
efficient, happy, and tight!
There will be no drinking!
That's all!
Next stop San Diego!
All stations report in?
Engines manned and ready?
All stations report in.
All engines manned and ready, sir.
Stand by to answer all bells.
Stand by to answer all bells.
Engines ready to answer all bells, sir.
Right standard rudder.
Port engine add one-third.
Starboard engine back one-third.
Right standard rudder, sir.
Admiral Hawlsey couldn't
have done it any better.
All the stern one-third!
Oh, I missed the part about
taking in the lines.
We were finally on our way.
Ten feet out from Pearl Harbor and
only 2,327 miles to the mainland.
My worries were almost over.
So, there I was in command
of the Kornblatt.
I was doing everything by the book.
And the book was doing fine.
Then, on the third day out, I had to
take a sight to check our course.
Wychinski was waiting in the wheel house.
Now hear this!
Now hear this!
Stand by to change course!
35 degrees left rudder!
Waiting further orders, sir.
Yeah, yeah, yeah! Coming up!
Aw, there we are!
44 and a half degrees left rudder!
No, make that 44 and a third!
62 and two-fifths right rudder!
Are you sure of your readings, sir?
Diagonal obtuse of single
axle forward mark!
That doesn't sound right to me.
Maybe he knows a short cut.
We were sailing a straight and
true course for San Diego.
Well, almost a straight course. I
will admit we skidded a few times.
Well, things were pretty
mixed up for a while.
Lucky there wasn't much traffic.
Five days out we spotted land ahead.
An island uncharted on any map.
We had just made an important discovery.
We were lost.
I realized I had made a boo boo so I
named our discovery "Boo Boo Island"!
All engines ahead one-third.
What happened? I didn't say stop! I
said all engines ahead one-third!
That might be a little tough, sir.
You see we're on a reef.
On a reef?
Maybe we ought to radio for help, sir.
Radio for help?
And have a blot on our record?
No sir! Not on your life!
We'll sit right here and wait
for that tide to come back in!
That's it! Wait for the tide.
Could it have gone very far?
The tide? Do you think?
- Life jacket, sir.
- Life jacket?
But the tide didn't come back.
So I decided to investigate the island.
Maybe there were people on it and
they could tell us where we were.
It's awfully quiet here, ain't it?
Don't be scared, Skipper, the war's over.
C'mon, Brown you take the right
flank, I'll take the left flank.
I'll wait in the boat for you, fellas.
Make some noise, birdies, it's too quiet.
After all, what have we got to...
Help! Help!
Help! Help!
Help! Help!
Help! Help!
Help! Help!
What are you yelling about? I'm
the one that's in trouble!
Help! Help! Wychinski!
- That way, Chief.
- Well, go ahead, go ahead.
Thanks, fellas!
I never thought you'd get here.
Oh, thanks, Wychinski. Thanks, Brown.
Alright. Okay.
Here, here you are. Here it is.
No, you're making a mistake.
You don't understand!
Wait a minute! Will you wait and let...
Well, let me explain! You don't understand!
The war is over!
Here! Nobody's mad at nobody.
We're friends. You friend, me friend. How.
Wait a minute. What are you charging?
What does that mean?
Colonel wish to speak to you.
Well, what' he want to speak to me. They
don't understand that the war is over.
American sailor boy.
Welcome to Island of Yonukshma.
Well, thank you. It's a very...
You are prisoner of Colonel Ginzo Tagashi.
Well, thank you Colonel, but I
don't like to sound contradictory
but if anybody's prisoner of anybody, you're
my prisoner. You see the war is over.
Who win?
Who win? Well, I hope
you don't get mad, but
we win.
Who win, American sailor boy?
You win.
But, haven't you heard?
- The war is over.
- Silence!
When war is over we hear about it.
- Yeah, but I swear.
- You lie, American sailor boy.
Because you lie, you die!
Oh, ow! Wait!
I die?
You're making a mistake!
A mistake! The war is over!
You shouldn't kill a person when it's over!
I could swear it came from here.
Wait a minute. Here's some footprints.
Oh no.
Poor Steckler.
He was only and Enson, but underneath
it he was a really good Joe.
I don't see his body.
Washed out to sea.
He would've liked that.
Let's go back to the Kornblatt.
You didn't lie, told them the war
is over, but you gotta stay awake.
Oh, I'll stay awake.
I'm just have, let me
sleep just half asleep.
One. No, all the way. Alright.
I got
will power.
You gotta have will power.
Strong, be strong. You don't...
Oh, that wasn't very good will power.
Oh, tired. No I don't.
Noise will keep you from...
falling asleep.
Get some.
That'll keep.
Wake up.
Wake up!
Wake up!
Good morning.
Sunrise. Time you die.
Before breakfast?
Alright, alright.
Let me just get.
So, American sailor boy, you show
contempt for Japanese fighting squad.
Oh, no, I don't.
It's just I'm very...
What's-what's that?
Prepare the prisoner for execution!
Wait, the war is... you don't understand.
Hey, just a minute!
You're making a mistake!
I cannot kill a man in his sleep!
Wake up! Wake up!
War is over?
American sailor boy, you are right.
War is over. You are right.
Wake up. Wake up!
You right. War is over!
- You didn't shoot me?
- No.
- Are you gonna?
- No!
We lose, we surrender. We are prisoners.
Oh, well I don't want any prisoners.
Thank you very much.
The Kornblatt.
Give my regards to all your friends.
My ship!
Where's my ship?
Colonel Tagahashi!
We are prisoners of American sailor boy.
Colonel Tagahashi, where's my ship?
Surrender arms to American sailor boy!
No, wait, oh, whoa, whoa I
don't want any guns.
Wait, oh whoa, I don't want any arms!
Wait, I don't want, I
don't want any prisoners.
I just want... I want my ship.
Oh, it's gotta be around here someplace.
Colonel Tagahashi.
You're not Colonel Tagahashi.
You're too pretty to be Colonel Tagahashi.
Enson Benson.
Was that the last you saw of the Kornblatt?
I'm telling the truth, Enson.
I never saw the Kornblatt again.
Then, why did you sign out for her
one month later in San Diego?
For the simple reason that when I showed
up, I was signing papers for three days.
Everything and anything they put
in front of me, I was signing.
As a matter of fact, I'm still making
payments on a Quonset hut in the Aleutians.
You signed out for a ship without
even knowing she existed?
Who cared? The war was over. The
Kornblatt was decommissioned.
Don't you understand?
Anyhow, I should've gotten a
medal for capturing an entire
island all by myself. Single handed.
Then, when I went back to Pearl Harbor, I
heard Wychinski checked her in in San Diego.
- There's no record of that.
- There's no record of it?
It's 7 o'clock, could I go?
My wife is waiting.
Run along. We'll get
together in the morning.
Wh-what do you think? Do we have a chance?
Before we find the Kornblatt,
it seems to me we'll have
to come up with a bosun's
mate named Wychinski.
Yeah, we'll have to find him.
- Oh, Lieutenant?
- Yes.
If you get a chance tonight give
this matter some thought, will you?
If I'm lucky I won't get a chance.
Well, here we are.
And here we go.
I promised I would carry you across
the threshold and I keep my...
Oh, poochie.
In my pock... no dear
it wouldn't be there.
- No, try...
- No, not here, either.
Take those, dear. Try down
below, in that pocket.
- No, not here, either.
- Well, the other side.
- Do you feel anything there?
- No, no it's not here.
Well, just give me your arm, dear.
Try the back pocket.
That's it.
The-the back pocket.
- Do you have it?
- No, it's not here either.
Try the other side.
Oh, here it is! Here it is!
Oh, wait a minute.
Here it is! Yes!
Where is it dear?
- Here.
- Well, let me have it.
Honey, that's fine.
Just try and relax, dear,
because you're a little heavy.
- Alright.
- Here we go, dear. I got it now.
Well, darling.
Alone at last.
- Mother!
- What are you doing here?
Well, Prudence called and said you
were staying at some navy place.
I thought you'd be delighted to
have someone keep you company.
I am.
Now that you're here, mom...
- and now that we're here.
- Yes?
Here we all are!
Anyone for aspirin?
John, you don't look at all well.
I can't say married life
is agreeing with you.
I can't say it myself. I wouldn't know.
Well! I certainly didn't mean
to barge in on your honeymoon.
I'll just get the hotel to move me
to another room for the night.
Oh, no! I'll do it Mother! I'll run right
down and I'll talk to the room clerk.
You can phone him.
Oh, no, but I don't mind. The
exercise will do me good.
I'll talk to the room clerk
myself and I'll sign the names
so that we're sure that you have your room.
My head is just a little stuck.
I'll get it. The arm. Help me with the arm.
There we go.
- Lieutenant.
- Thank you.
- Across the hall from Ma's?
- I'm sorry, sir. It's all we have.
Well, it's better than having
her in the apartment with us.
There he is.
Let's tell him.
I hope he don't go into shock.
Thank you.
Oh, hi fellas.
You're a little early. I'm not
due at B.O.Q. til midnight.
Sorry, Lieutenant. That's been changed.
It's beddie-bye at nine.
Admiral's orders, sir.
But you don't understand. My
wife is upstairs waiting for me.
Yeah, I guess you oughta
say goodnight to her.
Mrs. Steckler, please.
But, why can't I go up and say...
Guess what?
Oh no!
But, duckie poo.
- This is our...
- Ru!
Your navy.
I'm a navy wife.
I understand.
Goodnight, darling.
They're taking him away again.
What are you crying about, child? I'm here.
There, there. Mother will
take care of everything.
I can tell you this, Congressman. We're
making remarkable progress. Remarkable.
As soon as we process certain
incontrovertable facts
and eliminate all dubious
inconsistencies, we'll be able to arrive
at an inescapable conclusion.
In other words you're right
back where you started from?
Well, you might put it that way.
I'll see you at the hearing.
Enson Benson, sir.
- Hello! Hello!
- She's here, sir.
Why aren't you out finding the Kornblatt?
Well, uh, as a matter of fact, sir,
we're making remarkable progress.
And we're now in possession
of certain incontrovertable
facts that eliminate all
dubious possibilities.
Oh, please! I've already
been through all that.
So, you don't know where it is, huh?
Well, no.
But we know where it isn't.
Oh, great.
This man is the shrewdest, cleverest
undercover agent we've ever been up against!
But, sir, I think he's too dumb to be
that smart to play it that stupid.
Say that again.
What I mean is his story is just
too fantastic not to be true.
I believe him.
Enson Benson.
I don't have to remind you
what's at stake here.
Navy pride, Navy honor.
Navy appropriations. Four billion
dollars, man, that's real Navy.
- For you, sir.
- For me?
- Excuse me, sir, something just came in.
- You found the Kornblatt?
No, but we found Wychinski.
Oh, great. Who's he?
Well, according to Steckler he's the man
who brought the Kornblatt into port.
We've located him in Miami, Florida
care of the Starlight Grove.
You and Steckler take my plane.
Contact him at once.
- Well, get moving!
- Aye, aye, sir.
I'll have the shore patrol
pick up Steckler, sir.
Sorry. Excuse me. I beg your pardon.
Excuse me, please. My key. I can't
remember the room. What room is my key in?
- 1105, Lieutenant.
- Yes.
But you don't need a key. I believe Mrs.
Steckler is waiting for you.
Oh, she is. Oh, thank you.
Thank you very much.
- Yes?
- I brought you the wrinkly cream, Mother.
Come on in.
Hey, what's wrong with you?
What are you doing?
Baby face.
Lovey doll.
Oh, honey.
Not again!
Sorry, sir. Admiral's orders.
Yeah? Well, I'm coming through!
No, I'm not going!
I'm not going!
I'm not going!
That's him!
That's Wychinski!
Hey, Wychinski!
You! It's you!
You remember me? John Paul Steckler.
The seventh! I thought you were dead!
I wish I was. We'd like to talk to you.
Yeah, any time, Lieutenant. Excuse me.
What's on your mind, pal?
Well, Stan there are some questions
that only you can answer.
- You see, now first of all...
- Excuse me.
- Let me have the rope, will you, pal?
- Oh, yeah. Here you go.
Thanks a lot.
You sure you ain't dead?
I mean what can I do for you?
Mr. Wychinski we're trying to find a
destroyer escort. The U.S.S. Kornblatt.
Yeah. Do you remember, Stan?
Stan! Wychinski!
We just want to find if you remember. Stan?
We want to know if you remember?
Hey, Stan, you remember
the Kornblatt, don't you?
Remember? How could I forget it.
Watch it will you? I'm
talking to my friends.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Wait, wait! Wychinski!
Wait. Wychinski.
Wychinski. Listen, Wychinski.
Do you remember signing all
of the decommissioning papers?
I think so.
Well, Wychinski, the big question is who
did you sign the Kornblatt over to?
Who did you...
Now I remember. We turned the
ship over to a Lieutenant J.G..
- Yeah, what was his name?
- Help us, Wychinski!
I forgot.
Hit him again.
Watch it!
That hurt!
Whose side are you on anyhow?
I'm on your side, Stan.
I was just telling...
Wait a minute!
- I just remembered!
- He remembers!
Wait! He's remembered!
- Who? You said you remembered.
- Now I forgot again.
He had it, he had it and
you made him forget.
Well, looks like a bad one.
The weather boys say
it's going to get worse.
Not a chance, huh?
No, I'm afraid you're grounded, Lieutenant.
Grounded? What for?
It's a beautiful night out.
There isn't a cloud in the sky.
Uh, there's a little breeze.
It's wet and damp a little
but I just got to get
to Washington tonight.
Isn't there any way...
No, not in the air.
Not in the air.
Well, there is a train leaving from
downtown in about, oh, 40 minutes.
It's generally pretty jammed, though.
Can you try to get us on it?
Well, sure thing. Uh, Peggy, see what you
can do about getting them on the train.
Yes, sir.
Uh, I'd like to call my wife.
May I use your phone?
- Sure, go ahead.
- Thank you.
Hello, operator.
I'd like to call Washington D.C., please.
Mrs. Steckler?
Yes, this is Mrs. Steckler.
Mr. Steckler calling.
Oh, put him on.
I just knew you'd get away
from bachelor quarters.
I never got to bachelor quarters, dear.
Where are you?
And I had Mother move into another room.
Honey, I can't...
There's a slight hurricane here.
A hurricane.
They're trying to get Benson and
me out on the train tonight.
You're all set, Lieutenant.
Oh, did you hear that, dear? I'm all set.
- You got the last available accommodation.
- Oh, that's swell. Thank you.
You and the Enson will
be sharing a bedroom.
Honey, Benson and I will be sharing...
Benson and I?
But, Benson's a...
Hello, Prudence? Prudence, you still
there, dear? Honey, can you hear me?
Why can't you share a bedroom with Benson?
Hello? Hello, operator?
I'm sorry, madam, your
party's been disconnected.
My party never got started.
Hello, operator? Operator?
She hung up on me.
No she didn't. Look, all
the wires are down.
You can explain it all to her tomorrow.
Right now we've got a train to catch.
Here, Lieutenant, take these.
- You'll need them.
- Thank you. Thank you.
We'll send them back to you all pressed
when we're through using them.
What's the matter, Lieutenant?
Can't you sleep?
Oh, yeah.
I'm waiting til she's undressed.
Just married?
Uh huh.
Oh yeah, but I mean no.
You don't understand.
Count to three, John. Then you can come in.
Think I better go out and count some more.
Get to bed, Lieutenant.
Don't be so concerned. We're Navy men.
Enson Benson?
I never thought I'd be
sharing a bedroom with you.
Uh, I mean...
I know what you mean.
Gee, and I had everything
perfectly arranged.
I was going to spend the
night with Prudence.
That's my wife.
I know.
Well, cheer up. You'll be back
with Prudence in the morning.
You know what's strange?
Here I am in my shorts.
That is strange.
No, no what I mean is
here I am in my shorts
with you before I'm in
my shorts with her.
- Oh!
- Oh, I'm sorry.
Well, well, I'm trying to explain, see?
Oh, never mind, John. Just
hurry up and get into bed.
Well, that's what I mean, see.
Here I am hearing
you say that before I
ever heard her say it.
You mean you never...
It just isn't fair.
Have this happen to a
sweet, decent guy like you.
I'm not so sweet and I'm not so decent.
I am human.
And I've taken just about all I can stand.
Now, remember, John we're Navy men.
- Do you know what I have on my mind?
- Navy men.
- Do you know what I would like to do?
- What?
I would like to just...
Walk into that hearing and tell
them all to go jump in a lake!
What's so funny?
Nothing really.
You know something, mister?
Your wife is a very, very lucky girl.
Now go to bed!
Seven o'clock folks. One
hour to Washington.
Yeah, Pru, I'm up, I'm up.
It's seven o'clock, John.
Seven o'clock.
Okay, Prudence, seven o'clock. I'm up.
She's not Prudence.
Oh, never mind. Here it is. I've got it.
Ducky poo!
Mom! Well, this is a pleasant surprise.
I didn't think you'd get up this early.
I haven't been able to sleep
a wink since you left.
So, you really were in Florida.
- Well, of course. Where did you think. I...
- John, I think the first thing we should...
Oh, this must be Prudence.
And her mother.
It must? I mean it must. It is.
Well, John, aren't you going to
introduce us to the lovely lady?
Oh, she's not a lovely lady.
She's an Enson.
She's Enson Benson?
Why, yes, sweetheart. This is the
Enson that was working on me.
I mean I was working on her... no, what I
mean to say is we were working together.
Well, it hasn't all been drudgery, has it?
So, you're Enson Benson.
John has told me so...
so nothing about you.
Well, he's told me a lot about you
and he'll be all yours before long.
I'll phone our report in to Admiral Bludde.
What has she got? A twitch?
Why does she keep winking?
Oh, honey, she's just being
friendly, that's all.
A good guy, that Benson.
Well, what do you say we
go have some breakfast?
Goodbye, Lieutenant.
It's certainly has been
a pleasure having you
and the misses aboard.
Misses? You mean you two
actually did share a bedroom?
Oh, sweetheart, let me explain. It was
the only accommodation we can get.
Don't you understand? This is a
top military project. We just...
Oh, when I close my eyes I can
see your father standing here.
But he never told me a pip like this!
- John, how could you?
- It wasn't easy!
I've heard quite enough, Prudence.
I'm going back to Akron!
- And I'm going with you!
- Prudence!
She was in a lower, I was in an upper.
I swear!
John, something terrible
has... has happened!
You're telling me.
Congressman Mandeville has found out that
the Admiral has been hiding you from him
and he's as mad as a hornet. He's moved
the hearing up to today. 10 A.M.!
Oh, what more could happen?
What more?
Now, son.
I'm taking Enson Benson's
word on your character.
Now, don't worry. I'll stick by you.
Oh, thank you very much, sir.
- But, it's not going to do you any good.
- No?
Mandeville's out for your blood.
During the war, he never
got higher than Ship's.
Cook 3rd class, and
he'll never forget it.
We better get inside, sir. Now,
Lieutenant, one last briefing.
Yes, sir.
When you face the committee whatever you
do, don't get flustered and don't panic.
Oh no, sir, I won't. I can handle it.
I won't pluster or fanic.
Easy, son.
Face it like a man.
Remember, you're Navy.
Yes, sir, I'm Mavy and I won't pluster
or fanic. How do you say that?
Oh, it's simple. Pluster or fanic.
Fanic or plust...
Never mind how you say it, just don't.
- No, I won't, sir.
- Let's get in there.
Good luck, John and keep a stiff upper lip.
Yeah, I will. I can't talk too good that
way, but if that's the way you want it.
I'm sorry, but the key isn't here.
Have you called the room?
I called the room and
there's no answer. I'm
telling you I gotta talk to Mrs.
Pardon me a moment.
Mother, I know I'm making the
wrong decision. John loves me.
If he did he'd have followed you here.
There she is now with her mother.
Oh, thanks a lot.
- Mrs. Steckler?
- Yes?
I'm Stan Wychinski. I was with your
husband on the ship that's missing.
The Kornblatt?
Uh, yes ma'am. That's what he came
down to Florida to see me about.
Then it was Navy business.
Oh, you bet.
Only last night, I couldn't
remember where it was.
And then when I did remember, he had left.
So, I beat it up here and now they
won't let me in at the hearing.
What hearing?
Down at the Capital.
I figured you're his wife so you
could get a message to him. You see?
A message about what?
The Kornblatt. I think I know where it is.
Mr. Wychinski, you're a doll! C'mon.
Oh, the side door. This way.
The hearing will come to order.
First, I would like to point out that
this is not a trial nor a court Marshall.
It is merely an investigation
into the mysterious
disappearance of a United
States naval vessel.
A destroyer escort.
Or was it subversion?
A foreign agent threatening
our nation's security.
I ask you.
Is that the face of an honest man?
I ask you.
I ask you.
That is what we're here to find out
in free and democratic process.
Do you want to come clean, Lieutenant?
Gentlemen, I am convinced that Lieutenant
Steckler is telling the truth.
And that he's just the victim
of unfortunate circumstances.
Ms. Benson, are you
quite sure this is
the Navy officer talking
and not the woman?
Yes, sir!
Isn't it true that you
and Lieutenant Steckler
shared a compartment
coming back from Florida?
- What, yes, but what' that got to do...
- That will be all Ms. Benson.
I promise you Admiral, I won't rest until
I see this man, Steckler, behind bars!
Get rid of those things,
they're driving me crazy!
That's the way the ball bounces.
This is no laughing matter, young man.
I want the United States protected
from your kind of criminal negligence.
Now, see here Congressman.
Lieutenant Steckler is a Naval officer and
I want him treated as a Naval officer!
If the Chief himself hadn't ordered
me to cooperate with this committee
I'd have hung up on your
very first phone call.
Don't take my part, sir.
Are you sure that's where the Kornblatt is?
I think I'm sure.
I mean...
Well, what's the difference?
What have we got to lose?
It's a long shot.
A gamble.
But, you're right. What
have we got to lose?
- I'll see if I can get an adjournment.
- Good deal.
I consider it my sacred
duty to dig through
all the lies and evasion
until I get the truth!
I'd like to request an
adjournment for 48 hours.
Where are you going?
That's my wife.
I'd like to request an
adjournment for 48 hours.
Who let those people in here?
This is a crime!
This is my wife, Prudence.
An adjournment for 43 hours!
Forget it. Forget it. Forget it!
Shake her hand.
I'm sorry I asked.
Hearing adjourned for 43 hours.
All I remember is, this Lieutenant J.G.
says to me
they'll be using the old girl for target
practice. She's going to a watery grave.
Yeah, well according to these old bombing
records, we ought to be right in the area.
Say, Cockson, head due west.
I meant east.
Even if we do find a ship down there, we
still need evidence it's the Kornblatt.
Uh huh.
I'm dying!
What are you doing with
your head down there?
Get your head out of there!
Get your head out of there!
You are nuts.
The Kornblatt!
You tapped my shoulder.
Back to work.
Now wait a minute! Not!
Turn around! Turn around!
Octopus! Octopus!
Turn around! Turn around!
Turn around!
There's an octopus!
And I submit this bell,
gentlemen, as definite
proof that the Kornblatt
has been found.
Yes, it's all beginning
to come back to me now.
Congressman, may I borrow
your phone for a moment?
Oh, certainly.
I think the Chief himself might
know something about this.
Admiral Bludde, priority number 3-2-0.
Put me through to the Chief.
Chief? Lieutenant Steckler came through.
We found the Kornblatt.
Well, right where you left it, sir.
The deep six.
Chief, weren't you in charge of that
joint gunnery operation some years back?
Yes, I thought so.
What's that?
Yes, sir, just a moment.
Yes, sir.
- He wants to talk to you.
- Me? The Chief?
How do you do, sir? Lieutenant John
Paul Steckler VII on this end.
- How's everything on your end?
- Lieutenant.
Oh, he's laughing, sir.
Uh, yes, what's on your mind, sir?
Yes, sir.
Mandeville was?
He really was?
- He was what?
- I was what?
Well, yes, that is. That's
quite amusing, sir.
More or less as they say, "rib-tickling".
Yes, sir. Well, my very best to the family.
Yes, sir. Goodbye.
- And you, Congressman.
- Yes? Yes?
When you were in charge of the
Emergency Crash Committee in '46
you told the Chief to take just any old
ship and use it for target practice
and blow it up and hang the red tape.
Well, uh, yes now that you
mention it, I did say
something like that, didn't I?
Now, we wouldn't want this to get
out into the press, now would we?
- Oh, no!
- Oh, no.
And we don't want to cut Navy
appropriations, either, do we?
- Never!
- No.
Oh, say, by the way Admiral, uh,
you think four billion is enough?
Plenty, Lieutenant. Plenty.
Why don't we just tack on another
mil for contingency.
Oh, of course, of course.
Uh, the...
hearing is adjourned.
- Darling.
- Oh!
Sweetie face.
Poochie pie.
Here's the moment we've been waiting for.
Oh no!
Don't you worry, honey. Nobody's
going to stop us this time!
I guarantee you!
Not you guys again!
Just want you to know that the
Navy always takes care of its own.
- Sweetheart.
- Darling.
Champagne and caviar and
pheasant under glass.
Wait til you see the dessert.