|USS VD: SHIP OF SHAME
|Copyright 1942 Paramount Pictures
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 10 October 2002
- Lieutenant McGregor - The destroyer's XO (Executive Officer). He thought that the Navy's worst enemy was the Japanese.
- Doc - I do not envy this man at all.
- Chicken - Nice guy, but he desperately needed that lay. Now he desperately needs antibiotics.
- Margaret - Nice girl who falls for Chicken and cries when she finds out her tunnel of love is infected. Whore! Whore!
- Windy - The man who knows it all. Unfortunately, his "aspirin prevents VD" hypothesis has a couple of holes.
- Domino - The faithful sailor with a wife and kid. All that he wants from strange women is a home-cooked meal.
- Cook - He contracts a venereal disease after using up all fifteen of his condoms. I would imagine that, for a few days, he could not distinguish the infected aching sensation from his already sore equipment. Fifteen!
- Tennessee - Big, cornfed kid from the state he is nicknamed after. He probably beat up Windy.
|I have to tell you, the military loves to show us (your friendly neighborhood Marines) training films that horrifically portray the results of sexually transmitted diseases. Ever see a man with what appears to be cauliflower growing off his privates? Been there, done that, though I refuse to wear the T-shirt. So, watching a movie from the World War II era, that was intended to educate sailors about STD's, is a real treat. Heck, the darn thing is even sort of fun until they start doing the same infected penis parade. What was used as a visual aid in the old days, before movies? "Spartacus, get up here and show the other legionnaires what that Greek tramp gave you."
DE 733 pulls into harbor with severe damage and a demoralized crew. The destroyer has obviously had a rough tour of duty. The newly appointed Captain, McGregor, is summoned so that whatever tragedy befell the warship can be avoided in the future. Mr. McGregor asserts that it was not a problem of design, nor the quality of the crew, which laid the destroyer low. He narrates us into a flashback.
The ship's crew is excited. The destroyer is arriving back at port and the sailors are being granted shore leave. Windy and his friends might be frothing at the mouth to get ashore and sink their anchors into a few scummy harbors, but Doc is nonplussed. The corpsman has seen what happens a few days after shore leave. He does not relish the prospect of treating a steady stream of sailors suffering from gonorrhea and syphilis. I do not blame him. To help drive the message home, Doc asks the XO to talk to the men, tell them about the dangers of VD and how they can avoid becoming victims. Reluctantly, McGregor does so, but his heart is not in the message. The corpsman provides government rubbers to anyone who asks.
The new guy is Chicken, who tags along with Windy once they get ashore. The older, more experienced sailor's taste in women leaves much to be desired. He manages to find a group of heavy old battleships who just love the Navy. Chicken wisely bails and meets "Rosie the Riveter" herself. Her name is Margaret. Over the course of one or two days they fall in love. Meaning, in 1940's talk, that their premarital sex is just innocent porking and not something crass. Some of the other crew members are seen in situations soon to degenerate into such debauchery. Ah, shore leave.
Back aboard ship, the sated sailors compare stories. Then the trouble starts; men complain of painful genitals and putrid discharges (not the kind that means you are getting out either). Yes, it is infected penises on parade and the destroyer's sole medical representative is treated to a firsthand view of every diseased John Thomas aboard. Doc's job SUCKS.
With rosters short due to the rampaging VD, the few healthy crewmen must pull double watches. To further compound the problem, the syphilis cases start showing symptoms. Now Doc has to inspect men who have open sores on their schlongs. He must hate his job. In fact, I would be watching out for Doc to have a psychotic episode. Compared to the guy who has to look at putrid male sex organs all day, the stressed-out postal clerk is second fiddle.
Chicken is among those who contracted syphilis. He agonizes over letting Doc notify the public health department. Finally, the lovesick fool caves in and tells all. Margaret is contacted by a curt lady who tells her to seek medical treatment immediately. The doctor tells her matter-of-factly about being a carrier of syphilis, then uses a scale model of a woman's groin area to illustrate his lecture. Perhaps the most disturbing part of the film was when he split the pelvis in half to show her the internal workings of her sex. Margaret sobs, "What will he think of me?" as the old physician consoles her.
It is certain that your lover boy will be thinking of you, Margaret. Every time that he takes a piss and it feels like napalm is burning through his urinary tract, I bet that you are foremost on his mind. Whore! Dirty whore!
Sorry, I am totally uninvolved from the situation, so berating the already emotional girl amuses me.
The DE 733 finally sees combat when a Japanese submarine attacks. Windy, who is suffering badly, but has denied any infection, contributes to the destroyer's failure. Heck, a number of the crew are performing at less than optimum due to swollen balls and tender bits. The flak gun crew saves the day by sinking the enemy boat with their weapon system. We fade back to the present for a summary by the very humble McGregor.
A casual observer will notice that the Japanese sailors were not suffering from the debilitating effects of VD. I guess that all those women impressed into "service" in brothels were pictures of perfect health. Either that or the submarine crew had not been on shore leave recently.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Navy messmen are jealous of your wife or mother's cooking.
- Overdosing on aspirin will not prevent syphilis.
- Your grandfather hated rubbers too.
- Put it on before you put it in.
- If offered, never split a group of prostitutes 50/50.
- Despite what girls may think, pickup lines have improved over the years.
- Nice girls do not get gonorrhea; they get syphilis.
- Having an STD impairs the ability to tell your left from your right.
- 1 min - Boy, that is one nasty hole. (Wondering, aren't you?)
- 12 mins - When you are a destroyer escort, uneventful is good.
- 15 mins - Look at that! The sailor on watch is armed with a rifle and standing vigilant. Motivating!
- 18 mins - I suddenly have newfound respect for the Navy.
- 21 mins - The roller skating rink has a barker to attract customers?
- 27 mins - Didn't need that...
- 30 mins - Didn't need this either!
- 34 mins - Doc's job universally sucks after they visit port.
- 41 mins - My nuts are killing me! Ohhhhh! Ahhhhh!
- 42 mins - Yet another scene I could have done without.
- Doc: "A creamy, yellow discharge. Shows up two to ten days after exposure. You have a burning, itching sensation when you take a leak?"
Sailor: "Yeah Doc."
Sailor: "Those are the symptoms of gonorrhea."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Windy: "We ought to have genuine doc aboard this ship instead of one of you chancre mechanics." |
Doc: "Well, if guys like you didn't keep the doctors busy with the clap, we'd have enough meds to go around."
||Sailor: "So what? So you get burnt. Clap's like a cold." |
Doc: "The only resemblance between the clap and a cold is that you catch both easily."
||Doc: "What did you use?" |
Sailor: "I douched my canal with whiskey."
Doc: "Well, whoever told you to do that?"
Sailor: "Well, that's way we do (it) back home."
Doc: "Well, that's a helluva use for good liquor."
||The Captain: "Mr. McGregor, this is your first time on a small ship, without replacements, where we need every man fit to fight. Well, they're not fit to fight. VD has stricken this ship in every department."
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Doc is up to his armpits in pus-filled tallywackers, but he is dealing with it pretty well. Considering the foul nature of his patients' ailments, I think that humor was probably his only real defense. |
In case you forgot: Doc's job SUCKS THE GREEN WEENIE.
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|Re: USS VD: Ship of Shame
Reply #17. Posted on August 08, 2009, 04:00:27 PM by Peter
I saw this film at an art-house theater in West L.A. back in the 1970s. The highlight for my girlfriend-of-the-day and me was when the sixtysomething woman sitting in the row in front of us shouted during the short-arm inspection (I assume that's the censored bit), "My God, there's not a Jew aboard this ship!" Both the film and that line are true classics.
|Re: USS VD: Ship of Shame
Posted on May 16, 2013, 06:22:46 AM by Trevor
I think it's movies like this one: no - specifically this one - that have kept me celibate for the past nine years.
|Re: USS VD: Ship of Shame
Posted on January 27, 2014, 06:08:04 AM by Trevor
|Re: USS VD: Ship of Shame
Ha!! I still have a 1969 Cruise book from USS Constellation which features various pictures of everyday life on a carrier, one is the sick call line. More faces are turned away from the camera and others are in obvious burning pain...No, we all have colds......
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