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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


They'll Scuttle Your Blues To the Bottom of the Sea! 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?


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


In the scene with Dr. Finlayson's "lung-tester", just before the giant balloon is about to burst, the Klieg lights are visible reflecting in the stretched latex of the balloon. See more »


Oliver Hardy: [to Stan, feeling crazed from the incessant deafening cacophony of the brass instruments and Klaxon horns blasting off all around him, and unable to understand why Stan seems so calm and unaffected] Doesn't this noise BOTHUH you?
Stanley Laurel: [off-handedly] No, it doesn't... it just goes in this ear and out of the other one. Doesn't bother me a bit.
[lifts the trumpet he was working on and blows loudly through it]
Stanley Laurel: Hawwwwwnnnnkkkk!
See more »


Spoofs Souls at Sea (1937) See more »


The Sailor's Hornpipe
Partially played in the score twice
See more »

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User Reviews

Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy...with that, anything can happen.
6 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, as the other reviewers have already stated, this may not be vintage L&H but it's far from being their worst work as at 20th Century Stupid...I mean Fox. This film certainly has all of the basic ingredients for things to go wrong for the boys. But it's their serious approach and determination that makes them funny. They don't play it for laughs as other comedians might but they take their work and situation quite seriously and that is the essence of their eternal humor. In this film, they are faced with some basic issues that really might be encountered by any one of us today, namely job related stress. First, we would get checked out by a doctor and he would prescribe some much needed rest and perhaps staying by the sea. That's where the surrealness comes in to all of this. L&H always take a most plausible set of circumstances and exaggerate it but never to the point of being incredible, except maybe once in awhile. This makes us laugh because we can relate to their self caused predicaments and attempts at extrication. That's what makes Stan and Ollie universal in their appeal. In this film all those ingredients are presented in a delightfully artful and gracefully slapstick way. Not their best in comparison to their earlier work probably because this was the actual last film they did for Roach because he wanted to mirror the "big" studios and go into making features exclusively and also wanted to hurry up and finish their contractual obligation. BIG MISTAKE! They should have all stayed together and continued for maybe five more years. What the world may have missed in their not considering this as an option. Watch, laugh, and enjoy this as their last great performance.

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