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Saps at Sea (1940)

 -  Comedy  -  3 May 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,394 users  
Reviews: 24 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 and screen play by), (original story and screen play by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Saps at Sea (1940)

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Complete credited cast:


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:

Saps at Sea  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Within months of this film's release, both Ben Turpin and Charlie Chase passed away. Laurel and Hardy veteran Harry Bernard passed away approximately six months after the release. 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: Well, here's another nice bucket of suds you've pickled me in!
See more »


Referenced in Up in Smoke (1978) 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

Horns To The Right Of Me!! Horns To The Left Of Me!!! Worthy Hal Roach Swan Song For The Boys!!!!
22 August 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I've always enjoyed this film very much! The first time I saw it was on the Global Television Network in Canada when I was 12 years old back in 1976. They showed Laurel and Hardy features on Thursday nights that summer, and I got to see quite a few of their Hal Roach features, though sadly, I managed to miss "Sons Of The Desert" and would not get to see that wonderful film until about 1983.

Anyway, "Saps At Sea" is a Laurel & Hardy film that I have come to appreciate more as the years go by. I think that it really nicely sums up the friendship that the characters Stan & Ollie had with one another. They always stuck together through thick and thin (no pun intended!), and that dynamic is definitely evident here.

Sadly, this film was to be the swan song for both Ben Turpin (who appears briefly in a hilarious cameo as a cross-eyed plumber); and Harry Bernard, who does a memorable turn as a Harbor Patrolman. Harry would succumb to lung cancer in November, 1940 at age 62; and Ben Turpin would die on July 1st of that same year from heart disease at age 70.

Rychard Cramer as the antagonist Nick Grainger manages to be both menacing and hilarious at the same time! I was surprised to find out that five years earlier, he had appeared in a short titled "Dizzy & Daffy" (obviously about the famous Dean Brothers!). Kind of funny, considering he dubbed Stan & Ollie as Dizzy & Dopey!

I definitely agree with other reviewers who have stated that one's first Laurel and Hardy experience probably shouldn't be one of their latter day 20th Century Fox/MGM films, though some of those aren't all that bad for passing the time. Definitely avoid Utopia/Atoll K/Robinson Crusoeland (Yes, this movie has three titles!). Just the fact that Stan Laurel was so obviously appallingly ill, alone should be enough incentive to avoid this as your first Laurel and Hardy encounter. It will likely be your last!

Sorry I'm getting so off topic here. "Saps At Sea," in my opinion, is in many ways, the last true Laurel and Hardy film, and is certainly a worthy introduction for would be L&H fans!! (Mine was "Blockheads," another fine film).

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