"I was a big fan of Chandler as a boy in the 1950's. My personal favorites of his from then and as an adult are Pillars of the Sky and Yankee Pasha. As always with older films, you have to put them in the context of the time in which they were made as far as style, realism, etc. Believe me, this guy was handsome to the ladies and a man's man to the guys....tons of on screen magnetism.
The main thing I want to add about both Chandler and this movie is my experience watching this film as a Navy officer aboard a ship of the very same type during the Viet Nam era. The title of the film refers to the fact that the ship (the Belinda, as I recall) was an amphibious cargo ship, one which carries marine vehicles, anchors off the coast, lowers boats ("away all boats") into the water and drops the vehicles into the boats for the trip to the beach with U.S Marines who drive them ashore and onward. In the officers' wardroom aboard the USS El Paso in the early '70's, we watched this movie multiple times and loved it as well done and realistic.
We did get some big chuckles out of the casting comparing actors like Richard Boone ("Have Gun Will Travel") playing, I think, the First Lieutenant, and Lex Barker (Tarzan) as the Executive Officer and comparing these guys to our own counterparts. We all thought the film was "Navy" all the way, however. I'm not sure if these amphibious cargo ships are still in operation, but they were used through the first Gulf War.
This movie is realistic and an accurate depiction of a U.S.Navy amphibious ship during wartime. Chandler is certainly the main man in the story but does not dominate to quite the same extent as in some of his other films. He is good in the role, however, and this is an authentic depiction of Navy life and a good story."
Chandler gets my Vote any Day
kametamorphic | East Haven | 12/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"AWAY ALL BOATS is a great WWII film set in the Pacific. Jeff Chandler gives one of his best performances ever as the Captain. He was the best choice for this role because it brought out his best qualities. He is a thinking man's Captain in the best tradition of the genre. There is also a lot of WWII jargon that has been lost from films for many years now. They don't make them this way now days. Our loss."
Heroic story of a Navy Captain's love of ship and crew
Peter C. Nivling | 04/28/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"AWAY ALL BOATS is a heroic story of a veteran Navy Captain's love for his ship and crew. Jeff Chandler does a fine job as Jeb Hawk Captain of the troop assault ship the APA-22, known as the Belinda. Hawk is a former destroyer commander that takes command of a newly built ship and an almost totally new crew and starts right off teaching the "Navy Way" of doing things right. The movie is full of colorful characters each interacting to the exciting final sea battle ending. This movie is a great way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon."
A Study in Naval Leadership
Michael R. McCarty | Downingtown, PA USA | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a story of a ship, its captain and crew, as they are melded into one. Chandler is great (I agree with other reviewers: we lost him way too young), but it is the story that is fascinating.As the son of a WWII Chief Petty Officer, I was glad to see that the film captures the Chiefs as the "backbone of the Navy."It is a must have for a WWII film library."
Away All Boats
Peter C. Nivling | Pocasset, MA | 12/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm also a Navy Vietnam-era veteran and I do love this film. I had recorded it years ago and now can't find the tape so I am sure I will be getting the DVD here. This movie was filmed, in part, aboard the Amphibious Transport ship USS SANDOVAL APA (LPA) 194. I was stationed on this ship in 1968-69 until we decommissioned her. Watching the landing exercises in this film brought back many memories as I was part of 2nd Division which was the boat division and we were "graded" on our readiness. This has good acting and alot of adventure. The script was a bit hoaky at times but that can be overlooked. I highly recommend this film. Get it and Set Condition One-Alpha!"