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Son of a Sailor (1933)

A smooth-talking sailor looking for a quick date meets the granddaughter of an admiral and finds himself in a house full of top Navy officers, along with a couple of spies interested in plans for a new robot-controlled flight system.



(screen play) (as Al Cohn), (screen play) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
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Sailor Handsome from the aircraft carrier Saratoga meets in San Francisco Helen, a relative of his admiral. Invited at his home he meets a friend from his ship who has invented an autopilot for the planes. Two spies are trying to steal the plans, as well as the autopilot that is already installed at a plane. Handsome tries to stop them from doing this... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Comedy


TV-G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cavando o Dele  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Scenes of flight deck musters of the ships' company were filmed aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3) during a joint exercise with the Army and the Navy simulating a carrier attack on Hawaii in January 1933.

During the exercise Saratoga and her sister ship Lexington successfully attacked Pearl Harbor at dawn on January 31, 1933 without being detected, almost nine years before the actual attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941. See more »


Anchors Aweigh
(1906) (uncredited)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles
Played during the opening credits
Also sung by sailors
See more »

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User Reviews

At Sea With Joe E. Brown
25 November 2003 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A brash & cocky seaman acts like a true SON OF A SAILOR as he stumbles from one mishap to another.

Comic Joe E. Brown literally dominates this funny little film, and that is not a bad thing. With his huge mouth and amusing body movements, Brown is a very humorous fellow to watch. He is given abundant opportunity here to display his talents. Whether successfully wooing a series of lovely ladies with only a pair of baby shoes as a prop, struggling with a spy in an open cockpit aeroplane, or finding himself stranded on a bombarded battleship, Brown always supplies plenty of laughs.

It's his costars who are given very short shrift. Frank McHugh plays the sailor stooge who idolizes Brown, but he disappears early in the proceedings (but not before a wonderfully uproarious scene in which Brown teaches him how to flirt). The very talented & tragic Thelma Todd plays a mysterious baroness, but outside of a great sequence where she attempts to keep Brown locked in her bedroom, she is shamelessly wasted. Pretty Jean Muir as an admiral's granddaughter and stalwart Johnny Mack Brown as a Navy inventor, are both merely used to move the plot along and their potential romantics is completely ignored.

Way down the cast list is Arthur Vinton, who does score nicely as a suave English butler who must use his considerable muscle to keep Joe from escaping the home of Samuel S. Hinds, who plays Miss Muir's grandfather.

Movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Ward Bond playing a suspicious cabby.

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