Away All Boats 1956


Away All Boats is a 1956 American war film produced by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Joseph Pevney and produced by Howard Christie from a screenplay by Ted Sherdeman based on the 1953 novel by Kenneth M. Dodson (1907–1999) who served on the USS Pierce (APA 50) in World War II and used his experiences there as a guide for his novel. He was encouraged in his writing by Carl Sandburg, who had read some of Dodson’s letters, written in the Pacific. The book (and film) is about the crew of the Belinda (APA-22), an amphibious attack transport.The book became a best seller.

Film rights were bought by Universal, whose president Edward Muhl said the movie version would be Universal’s most expensive of the year.

The first choice for the lead role was Clark Gable.

George Nader had twice taken roles that Chandler refused. This was the first time the two actors had worked together.

The armed services had not been pleased with their portrayal in From Here to Eternity or The Caine Mutiny. However the navy were worried about declining recruitment numbers and Universal received their full cooperation for the film, including an opportunity to photograph maneuvers and mock attacks in March 1955 in the Caribbean and on Vieques. The movie was filmed aboard the USS Randall (APA 224). It is most notable for its realistic and terrifying depictions of Japanese kamikaze attacks on U.S. Navy ships during the last year of World War II in the Pacific Theatre.

The Navy also granted a two-week leave of absence for Ralph Scalzo, a landing boat coxswain, who took part in filming in the Caribbean and was needed for added closeup shots in Hollywood.

Away All Boats is one of the few films made in VistaVision at a studio other than Paramount. The film made use of the Perspecta stereo process for its soundtrack.

Clint Eastwood’s role is a brief speaking one (with one line of dialog spoken by another actor), as a Navy Medical Corpsman assisting the ship’s captain after he is severely wounded while trying to save his ship.

The script, script revisions, and status reports dealing with the Department of Defense Film and Television liaison office is kept in the Georgetown University Library Department of Defense Film Collecti