It is said that producer Sam Goldwyn had a habit of addressing his new star of the 1940s, Danny Kaye, as "Eddie", confusing Kaye with Eddie Cantor. If true, it may be because Kaye's first starring film for Goldwyn, Up in Arms, was a remake of Cantor's Whoopee--which in turn was a musical version of that old theatrical chestnut The Nervous Wreck. Kaye plays Danny Weems, a hopeless hypochondriac who finds himself drafted into the army. While a passenger on an overseas transport ship, Danny is obliged to hide his girl friend Mary Morgan (Constance Dowling), who has stowed away on board, from the authorities. The plot (what there is of it) contrives to have Danny and Mary, together with Virginia (Dinah Shore), who's in love with Danny, and Joe (Dana Andrews), who's in love with Mary, arrive simultaneously on the same South Sea island. After numerous comic and romantic complications, Danny emerges as the hero of the hour by capturing a whole bunch of Japanese soldiers. The film shows signs of post-production tampering-an offscreen narration, an abrupt ending-indicating that, as yet, Sam Goldwyn wasn't quite sure how to package Danny Kaye for the screen. Despite its erratic editing and uneven scenario, Up in Arms contains some priceless moments, including Kaye's rapid-patter songs "The Lobby Number" and "Melody in 4F", both written by Sylvia Fine (Mrs. Kaye) and Max Liebman. There are also a few cute "inside" jokes referring to the illogical nature of the plotline and such esoterica as the out-of-nowhere appearances of the Goldwyn Girls (one of whom was Kaye's future leading lady Virginia Mayo).
by Hal Erickson synopsis