This U.S. Navy film “Smart Boy” encouraged World War II sailors to be just that — especially when it comes to enjoying shore leave. The film opens with a group of sailors in their off hours as they get ready to go ashore for liberty (or time off) in their enlisted dress blue uniforms. At mark 03:47, one of the sailors decides to swipe campaign ribbons from a sick crewmate’s jumper. The sailor’s misbehavior continues in town, disrespecting civilians and a junior officer. “The navy goes in for courtesy. Like saluting. It’s an order to an admiral the same as you,” his friend cautions him at mark 05:20. The sailor’s disrespect carries over to women, too. When set up on a blind date, he remarks of his shipmate’s girl at mark 06:45: “She’s not bad but I bet her girlfriend’s a dog — they always are.” Opting instead to spend time with “some broken down floozies,” the sailor adds additional campaign ribbons to his uniform and hits an array of watering holes, pounding down shots and beers in a drinking montage until he enters another drinking establishment at mark 09:00 and begins flashing his seven months of pay — a site that catches the eye of the bartender.
With a wink and a nod, he sends a well-dressed B-girl toward her mark and encourages him to buy her some drinks. “I thought you were a friend of mine. From the back you look just like him. He’s very well built, too,” she purrs. “I can say the same for you,” he replies as his eyes wander. The drinks and the flirting continues as the sailor relates a wild story of an invasion at mark 10:50 — one he only read about in a magazine. As his stories grow and his speech slurs by mark 11:05, he delights a growing crowd with more tall tales and high-priced drink purchases.
The morality tale starts at mark 11:45, when the blonde B-girl goes in for the kill … and lifts a wad of cash from the drunken sailor’s belt, passing off the cash to her bartender partner before he cuts him off and kicks him out. Stumbling out into the daylight at mark 13:30, he suggests they go up to her place. “What do you mean? If you think I’m some kind of round-heel tramp you’ve got another thing coming,” she snaps before storming off.
He returns to the diner where he left his friend at the start of the film, and realizes he’s been relieved of his dough. A not-too-sympathetic police officer steps in and at mark 15:15 delivers a message to all sailors: “That’s the trouble. These boys won’t do as they’ve been warned. They bring too much money ashore and flash it around and get drunk. First think you know they’ve been dipped, maybe by some cutie, or rolled. There isn’t much you can do for them. They can’t give enough information to make a case.”
As the film flashes to the drunken sailor’s buddy, enjoying domestic tranquility with his girlfriend and her attractive friend in the comfort of a perfect 1940s home, shore patrol enters the scene at mark 16:48, carrying the film’s unconscious star into jail to end the film.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com