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Anchors Aweigh is a 1945 musical comedy live-action/animated film, directed by George Sidney in which two sailors go on a four-day shore leave in Hollywoodmarker, accompanied by music and song, meet an aspiring young singer and try to help her get an audition at MGM. It stars Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Kathryn Grayson, José Iturbi, Pamela Britton, Dean Stockwell, and Sharon McManus.



  • Main Title - MGM Studio and Orchestra
  • Anchors Aweigh - MGM Studio and Orchestra and Jose Iturbi
  • We Hate to Leave - Gene Kelly & Frank Sinatra
  • Brahms Lullaby - Frank Sinatra (Sang to Donald to come back again with Joe)
  • I Begged Her - Gene Kelly & Frank Sinatra
  • If you knew Susie - Frank Sinatra & Gene Kelly
  • Jealousy - Kathryn Grayson
  • What makes the Sunset - Frank Sinatra
  • (All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings - Kathryn Grayson
  • The Donkey Serenade - Jose Iturbi
  • The King who couldn't sing and dance - Gene Kelly
  • The Worry Song - Gene Kelly & Sara Berner (as Jerry the Mouse from the cartoons "Tom and Jerry")
  • The Charm of You - Frank Sinatra
  • The Mexican Hat Dance - Gene Kelly & Sharon McManus
  • Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Jose Iturbi
  • I Fell in Love Too Easily - Frank Sinatra
  • La Cumparsita - Gene Kelly
  • Waltz Serenade - Kathryn Grayson
  • Anchors Aweigh (Reprise) - Dean Stockwell
  • Anchors Aweigh (Reprise 2) - MGM Studio and Orchestra Chorus (THE END)

About the film

The movie was written by Natalie Marcin and Isobel Lennart and directed by George Sidney. It was the first in a series of buddy pictures teaming the cocky dancing Kelly with the (against type) shy singing Sinatra, which culminated in 1949 with On the Town. The production tried to mix some of the more successful story elements and set-pieces from earlier MGM musical hits, such as Meet Me in St. Louis.

It won the Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, which was received by the musical director Georgie Stoll. In 2001, Kevin Spacey purchased this Oscar statuette at a Butterfield & Butterfield estate auction and returned it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Anchors Aweigh was also nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gene Kelly), Best Cinematography, Color (Robert Planck, Charles P. Boyle), Best Music, Song (for Jule Styne (music) and Sammy Cahn (lyrics) for "I Fall in Love Too Easily") and Best Picture.

The movie is famous for an musical number where Gene Kelly dances seamlessly with the animated Jerry Mouse (voiced by Sara Berner). Tom Cat appears briefly as a butler in the sequence supervised by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Originally, the producers wanted to use Mickey Mouse for this segment. Some sources claim Walt Disney initially agreed to loan out Mickey, but Roy Disney rejected the deal. According to Bob Thomas's book on Roy Disney, the studio was in debt after World War II and they were focusing on trying to get their own films out on time. According to Roy, they had no business making cartoons for other people.

Gene Kelly and Jerry Mouse (MGM)

The film offers rare color glimpses of the wartime MGM studio, including the Thalberg Building, the frontgate, the backlot, the commissary, and one of the scoring stages, as well as an on-screen performance by real members of the MGM studio orchestra. There is also a memorable scene at the Hollywood Bowlmarker, where Sinatra sings "I Fall in Love Too Easily", after Iturbi and a group of young pianists have performed a spectacular arrangement of Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. In the audition scene with Iturbi, Grayson sings a special arrangement by Earl Brent for coloratura soprano and orchestra of the waltz from Peter Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. And Iturbi conducts the United States Navy Band for a patriotic rendition of the title tune. Many of the memorable scenes in this film were later featured in the That's Entertainment! tributes to MGM.

In popular culture

  • Paula Abdul was inspired by the scene of Kelly dancing with Jerry to create the video for her song "Opposites Attract", where she dances with an animated cat.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Road to Rupert", the character Stewie Griffin dances with Kelly in an attempt to rent a helicopter. To do so, the animators took the original footage, removed Jerry Mouse, and replaced him with Stewie. The dialogue was performed by Stewie's normal voice actor and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. However, Jerry's reflection can be seen below Stewie.

Awards and nominations

  • Winner: Academy Award, Original Music Score, Georgie Stoll (although the contributions of one of the first black composers and pianists in the MGM music department, Calvin Jackson, went uncredited, this was not uncommon even for white studio musicians)
  • Nominated: Academy Award, Best Picture
  • Nominated: Academy Award, Best Actor, Gene Kelly
  • Nominated: Academy Award, Best Cinematography (Color)
  • Nominated: Best Song, "I Fall In Love Too Easily" (Words and Music by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, Sung by Frank Sinatra)


On an aircraft carrier entering San Diego Harbor. Admiral Hammond in the name of the Secretary of the Navy awards Petty Officer Second Class Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly) and Seaman Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra) Silver Stars for actions on the USS Knoxville. When Doolittle is blown overboard, Brady dives in the water and saves his life.

The real USS Knoxville served only in the European Theatre of Operations, but never in the Pacific.


  1. Bob Thomas. "Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire." Eventually Disneys lent out their effects wizard Joshua Meador to spruce up MGM's 1956 Forbidden Planet.
  2. Clora Bryant & Steven Isoardi (1999), Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles, University of California Press, p. 68.

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