The Navy Way

The Navy Way is a 1944 American film directed by William Berke concentrating on US Navy recruit training with many sequences filmed at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. The film had its premiere at the Genesee Theatre in nearby Waukegan, Illinois.[1]

The Navy Way
Directed byWilliam Berke
Produced byL.B. Merman (associate producer)
William H. Pine (producer)
William C. Thomas (producer)
Written byMaxwell Shane (original screenplay)
StarringRobert Lowery
Music byWilly Stahl
CinematographyFred Jackman Jr.
Edited byHoward A. Smith
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
March 1944
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States


Five men enlist in the navy: Frankie, who did it after finding his fiancée Agnes in the arms of another man; Malcolm, a millionaire; Billy, who has never left home and whose father died in World War One; rancher Steve, whose son died in battle; and boxer Johnny, who was drafted.

The five men are in the same company. Steve becomes a father figure to Billy but Johnny is resentful about his boxing career being interrupted. Johnny falls for Ellen, a WAVE.

Johnny wins a fight for his company with a broken hand, impressing the others, although he has constant discipline problems.

During a training exercise Johnny saves Steve from drowning. Frankie and Agnes get married and Ellen and Malcolm fall in love. Johnny finds out and goes on a drunken binge with Malcolm's ex, Trudy. Malcolm tries to get Johnny to come back to base before he gets in trouble but Johnny beats him up.

Johnny takes full responsibility and faces a court martial. Johnny's parents plead his case as does Chaplain Benson. Johnny is given a second chance and the friends go off to fight together.



In July 1943 Pine Thomas announced that Jean Parker and Russell Hayden would star and that the film would be shot at the Great Lakes Naval Training School.[2] In September William Henry had replaced Hayden as the lead.[3] Tom Keene signed to play a role under the name "Richard Powers".[4] Jean Parker made the film as the first of a new three-picture contract with Pine-Thomas.[5] The other male lead was given to Robert Lowery, who was signed by Pine Thomas to a long-term contract.[6]


The film had its world premiere in late March 1944 at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station.[7]


  2. "Russ Hayden and Jean Parker in Pic on Gt. Lakes Base". Variety. July 28, 1943. p. 4.
  3. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 7 Sep 1943: 20.
  4. SCREEN AND STAGE Los Angeles Times 14 Sep 1943: 21.
  5. New Contract The Washington Post 14 Oct 1943: 17.
  6. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Time18 Jan 1944: 23.
  7. 5 STARS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCHING 'THE NAVY WAY' Chicago Daily Tribune 21 Mar 1944: 20.

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