The Baby and the Battleship (1956)
Battle of the Baby
Having arrived in Italy sailors Knocker White (Richard Attenborough - The Gift Horse) and Puncher Roberts (John Mills - Above Us the Waves) are enjoying themselves with a bit of shore leave when they find themselves looking after the baby of Knocker's girlfriend's brother. After things turn a bit wild with a fight in the city Puncher wakes up to find he still has the baby with him. Having to return to ship he has no choice but to take the baby back with him and with the other sailors help not only look after the baby but also keeping it hidden from the brass.
Whilst anyone who really loves movies will know the names John Mills and Richard Attenborough I wouldn't be surprised if few of those would have heard of the movie "The Baby and the Battleship". I say that because whilst it's amusing when you compare it to their impressive lists of movies they made this one is forgettable. Having said that for those who enjoy the British comedies of the 50s and the stars such as Bryan Forbes and Lionel Jeffries who frequented many of these movies then it is an entertaining distraction.
So "The Baby and the Battleship" is simple enough as we have John Mills and Richard Attenborough playing a couple of likely lad sailors full of comical chat and they end up with a baby on board a battleship. What follows is basically the comedy of not only sailors trying to feed and nurse this Italian baby but keep what they are up to hidden from the ships commanders. That is it and it is barely enough to make the movie as whilst fun it is forgettable fun.
The simple reason as to why "The Baby and the Battleship" works is down to the cast and the combination of John Mills and Richard Attenborough bring with it a lot of good will. They are both such likeable actors and work so well together that even though the storyline is slim that when they are sharing the banter you enjoy their double act. It also helps that alongside Mills & Attenborough you also have other familiar faces such as Bryan Forbes, Michael Hordern and Lionel Jeffries who all add a touch of comedy to the mix as well as their likeability.
What this all boils down to is that if you are fan of British comedies from the 50s and the likes of John Mills and Richard Attenborough then give "The Baby and the Battleship" as whilst it won't leave much of an impression it is an amusing distraction.
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