review for Anchors Aweigh on AllMovie

Anchors Aweigh (1945)
by Craig Butler review

Anchors Aweigh is best known for the "King Who Couldn't Dance" sequence, a mixture of animation and live action that features Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry the mouse (of Tom and Jerry fame). This sequence deserves its reputation, for the blend is seamless and the dancing is captivating. Nothing else in the film really matches this segment, but it's still a light, quite enjoyable diversion. Kelly is in excellent terpsichorean form, whether dancing a charming duet with a little beggar girl or demonstrating his flair for acrobatics in the "La Cumparsita" ballet; he also does more than hold up his end of the dramatic chores, with one of his patented wolf-on-the-surface/creampuff-underneath portrayals. Frank Sinatra handles the ballads (including the lovely "I Fall in Love Too Easily") with aplomb, and Dean Stockwell is cute without being annoying. Kathryn Grayson (unflatteringly costumed by Irene) is bland but serviceable (although her fans will be delighted with her vocal performance), but her sweet and unaffected rendition of the simple "My Heart Sings" is noteworthy. Anchors' 139 minutes is too long for its very slight story (and the majority of José Iturbi's role could easily be cut with no damage), but the extra length doesn't detract from the film's modest but very real appeal.