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Three Cockeyed Sailors (1940)

Sailors Three (original title)
Passed | | Comedy, War | 4 July 1941 (USA)
Three British sailors find they've accidentally strayed on board a Nazi ship during WWII. They then proceed to take it over and requisition it for the Royal Navy.



(screenplay) (as Angus Macphail), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Trinder ...
Claude Hulbert ...
Carla Lehmann ...
Jeanne De Casalis ...
Mrs. Pilkington
Henry Hewitt ...
Prof. Pilkington
Brian Fitzpatrick ...
Harold Warrender ...
Pilot's Mate
Eric Clavering ...
John Glyn-Jones ...
Best Man
Julian Vedey ...
Resident of Tangier
German Captain (as Hans Wengraf)
Manning Whiley ...
German Commdr.


Three British sailors find they've accidentally strayed on board a Nazi ship during WWII. They then proceed to take it over and requisition it for the Royal Navy. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BRITAIN'S NEW FILM FUNSTER! (Australian poster - all caps)


Comedy | War


Passed | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

4 July 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Three Cockeyed Sailors  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the sailors go ashore on leave, you can see their shadows clearly against the back-projected 'sea' surrounding the small boat. See more »


Followed by While Nero Fiddled (1944) See more »


Sing A Happy-Go-Lucky Song
Music by Harry Parr Davies (as Harry Parr-Davies)
Lyrics by Phil Park
Performed by Tommy Trinder (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Typical music hall style British film
5 October 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The crew of a British destroyer are dispatched to search the Atlantic and sink a German destroyer doing great damage to the British fleet. After several luckless months at sea the ship docks in South America where three of the crew get a little distracted by one of the trio's sister, about to leave the area for England, and end up stranded and drunk when their ship sails. Drunkenly they row after it but accidentally board a different ship that is secluded near the port – unfortunately it is the very German destroyer they were looking for. After trying to blend in they are unmasked as British and locked up. However the brave spirit makes them look for ways to capture the ship themselves and sail it for England.

Opening with a musical number that is right out of George Formby's act this film sets itself out as a film that harks back to the music hall style of humour and entertainment. The plot doesn't really matter as it is merely an excuse for a lot of running around etc. My biggest problem with it was the length of time it took for the film to get going and get the sailors on the German ship. However once on the humour is average – all cheeky chappie stuff with plenty of plucky British lads taking on the humourless and stern Germans etc. There is nothing to amazing here but I found it amusing to see a film very much of it's time that has stayed in the period never to be seen again!

The cast are all pretty much just playing characters as they would have done on the stage – like I said, they are all plucky English lads etc. The support cast play a variety of clichés and stereotypes to reasonable effect but to be honest the film never aspires to be anything more than a patriotic bit of clowning where the Germans get what for from `the lads'!

Overall this was an average film at best – nothing really stuck in my mind from it but it wasn't awful. After a while the protracted clowning got a bit repetitive but it was short enough to just about hang together till the end.

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