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Saps at Sea (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  3 May 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,656 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 8 critic

Oliver suffers a nervous breakdown as a result of working in a horn factory, but when he follows doctor's orders about sea air, he finds an ex-con is aboard.



(original story) (as Charles Rogers) , (original story), 7 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
James Finlayson ...
Cross-Eyed Plumber
Richard Cramer ...
Nick Grainger (as Dick Cramer)
Harry Bernard ...
Harbor Patrol Captain
Eddie Conrad ...
Prof. O'Brien


After working in the noisy horn factory, just the sound of one drives Oliver into a violent fit. Dr. Finlayson prescribes a long, restful sea voyage, so Stan and Oliver rent a boat and set sail, unaware that escaped killer Nick Grainger has stowed away onboard. To disable the crook, the boys prepare him a meal using string for spaghetti, sponges for meatballs and soap for cheese. But Grainger discovers their plan and decides to make them eat the stuff themselves. Written by Paul Penna <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


DON'T LOOK NOW! THEY'LL HAVE YOU ROLLING IN THE AISLES...with Laffs! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En croisière  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There are "QUIET PLEASE" signs posted all over the place in the noisy horn factory. :) See more »


Mrs. O'Riley shows Hardy her refrigerator/radio, which plays a brassy tune. Hardy, who is suffering from "Hornophobia", doesn't react to the music however, as he does throughout the rest of the picture whenever he hears horns. See more »


Oliver Hardy: [Referring to the ice bag] What have you got in this?
Stanley Laurel: Nothing.
Oliver Hardy: Well, what good is an ice bag without any ice?
Stanley Laurel: Well, we haven't any ice.
Oliver Hardy: [Exasperated] Well, go put some cold water in it, so I can put it on my... head.
Stanley Laurel: [Bewildered] Well, I didn't know.
See more »


References Punch Drunks (1934) See more »


Home, Sweet Home
Music partly composed, and arranged by H.R. Bishop from a Sicilian air
Played on trombones by Stan Laurel and Eddie Conrad
See more »

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User Reviews

15 January 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While the premise of the film is pretty lame (Ollie is diagnosed with "hornophobia"), the film is an amiable and enjoyable little flick. It's also a darn bit better than the films they went on to make after this one--probably since this was the last Hal Roach-produced Laurel and Hardy film. In fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea not to see ANY of their latter films, as the entire chemistry is lost in these films and the boys play their parts purely for pathos--something true Laurel and Hardy films NEVER would do. They had a bit of an edge that all the later films lack.

Stan and Ollie work at a horn factory. This sounds pretty funny, but it isn't. Not surprisingly with all the racket, Ollie is about to have a nervous breakdown and must take some time off work. The doctor (James Finlayson--in his last film with the team) recommends an ocean voyage. However, they don't like sailing and Stan has an idea of just renting a boat tied to the dock--then they can get all the sea air they want without all the bother! Once they are on the boat, a dangerous escaped criminal boards the boat and they all accidentally set out to sea. Fortunately, this portion of the film actually was well-paced and the very end worked out very well.

While not a great full-length Laurel and Hardy film, it was much better than many of them since it had no annoying and distracting musical numbers (like in THE DEVIL'S BROTHER or BABES IN TOYLAND). Additionally, there is still a decent amount of physical comedy--something you would see almost none of after this film. Part of this was due to the boys' declining health (and Ollie's increasing girth) and part of it was due to the overall insipidness of these later films.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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