The Admiral Was a Lady


1h 27m 1950

Film Details

Also Known As
Once Over Lightly, Pick Up
Release Date
Aug 4, 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Roxbury Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,798ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

With their services as a combat crew no longer required, veterans Jimmy Stevens, Eddie, Mike and Ollie have become members of the "52-20 club," happily collecting twenty dollar assistance checks every week. At the unemployment office, the fellows meet former WAVE Jean Madison, whom Jimmy playfully dubs "The Admiral." When Jean learns that her fiancé Henry has abandoned her, Jimmy and his friends invite her to spend the day with them, unaware that she is being followed by a private detective. Jean is amazed by the energy the men put into avoiding legitimate work, and the ingenious ways they have devised for living comfortably on very little money. During lunch, the men receive a call summoning them to a meeting with Peter Pedigrew, a jukebox tycoon. Pedigrew, who hired the detective following Jean, instructs them to keep her in town so that she can marry Henry, who is due to arrive from Paris the next day, and threatens to give them all jobs if they do not cooperate. Horrified by the prospect of employment, the men intercept Jean as she is boarding a bus to go home to Walla Walla, and after telling her the good news about Henry, they bring her back to the former airplane factory that serves as their home. The next morning, Pedigrew calls the men to his office and tells them that Henry escaped with Shirley, Pedigrew's unscrupulous two-time ex-wife, whom he was planning to remarry, in part to recover the fortune he lost to her in the divorce settlements. Pretending to be a French airline employee, Jimmy calls Jean and tells her that Henry's flight has been delayed. That night at the theater, however, Jean sees Henry and Shirley in the audience and throws a bottle at him, and when she learns the truth the next morning, she storms out in anger. The men go to the hospital, but instead of Henry they find Pedigrew, who tells them that Shirley smuggled her lover out, but that Henry still loves Jean. Jimmy and his friends again take Jean off her bus and bring her back to the factory. That night, she and Jimmy give in to their strong mutual attraction and kiss. The next morning, Eddie announces that he has been offered a job as a decorator and needs $100 for the bus fare to Kansas City, but Jimmy angrily refuses to help. Eddie later tells Jean that he had lied about himself to impress his rich girl friend Lois and then, afraid of rejection, let her think that he had been killed when the plane he, Jimmy and the others were flying in crashed during the war. Determined to see Eddie take the job, Jean arranges for ex-boxer Mike to enter a prizefight, hoping to earn enough money for the bus fare. Although Jimmy warns that Mike cannot risk fighting because he has a plate in his head, shady fight promoter Marty Gruber refuses to cancel the match, so Jimmy agrees to take Mike's place in the ring, and is beaten senseless. Afterward, Jean confesses that she wanted the money for Eddie, but Jimmy tells her that Eddie will regain his confidence when he learns that happiness does not depend on money. When Eddie overhears this, he goes off to find Lois. Mike then tells Jean that Jimmy blames himself for the crash and feels responsible for his three buddies. Pedigrew shows up and takes them all to his country house, where Shirley and Henry have been staying. After promising to set Ollie and Mike up with their own health club, Pedigrew reunites with Shirley. Alone in the house, Jean and Jimmy hear Henry ringing the doorbell, but Jean locks the door and she and Jimmy kiss.

Film Details

Also Known As
Once Over Lightly, Pick Up
Release Date
Aug 4, 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Roxbury Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,798ft (9 reels)

Quotes

She keeps putting ideas about work in the minds of my men. She's... a labor agitator!
- Jimmy Stevens

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Once Over Lightly. In December 1949, Hollywood Reporter reported that the picture might be renamed Pick-Up, but this did not happen. The film opens with stock footage depicting various scenes from American history, narrated by Edmond O'Brien's character, "Jimmy Stevens," who explains that all of these past events conspired to ensure that he and "The Admiral" would eventually meet. The character of the private detective, played by Garry Owen, was identified as "Jones" in the CBCS and as "Watson" in the Variety review. Several reviews objected to the humorous portrayal of able-bodied veterans who preferred unemployment benefits to honest labor.