Sailor Beware (1952) Poster


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Best of the EARLY Martin & Lewis films
vincentlynch-moonoi16 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Of the first 5 Martin & Lewis films, this is the best. They were an afterthought (though a prominent one) in "My Friend Irma", supporting players in "My Friend Irma Goes West", disappointing in "At War With The Army", and a bit miscast in "That's My Boy". But here they come into their own.

Dean has a couple of really good songs here. I'm sure he preferred "Never Before", a ballad, but "The Sailor's Polka" is darned catchy, and he does it nicely, too. A Martin & Lewis novelty number that works well is "Today, Tomorrow, Forever", although another novelty number -- "The Old Calliope" -- doesn't work quite as well.

The story, though improbable, is clever. Martin & Lewis enlist in the Navy, Lewis becomes the target of kiss-crazy radio listeners, the boys end up in Hawaii where Lewis has money riding on him (literally) that he will be able to kiss an unkissable movie star. Meanwhile, there's a funny boxing match between Lewis and a heavy weight, and a number of other hijinks, particularly on a submarine. It's all very pleasant and funny in a 1952-ish way.

Dean Martin was getting pretty darned charming by this time. Jerry was maturing into a better comedian. Corinne Calvet as the love interest...well, I just don't see the attraction. Marion Marshall is around as Jerry's love interest. Robert Strauss is perfect as Chief Petty Officer Lardoski...great foil for the boys. Leif Erickson has a small role as the sub commander, as does Jack Benny's announcer (Don Wilson) as a radio announcer. Vince Edwards is another sailor. And for laughs, Betty Hutton has 2 cameos as Heddy Button.

Funny, relaxed outing for Martin & Lewis. Not their best, but darned good.
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Sailor Beware is another highly enjoyable Martin & Lewis vehicle
tavm19 August 2011
This is another Martin & Lewis movie I watched on YouTube. In this one, they become sailors-Jerry because he needs a sea vacation to cure his ailments, Dean because having been rejected several times, the standards are now lowered. With this one, two previous leading ladies return-Marion Marshall, who was with Dean in That's My Boy, gets Jerry this time and Corinne Calvet, who had to compete with Diana Lynn in My Friend Irma Goes West, gets Dean to herself playing herself. Lewis is mostly funny when by himself though he and Dean have a hilarious conversation before a boxing scene. They also share a couple of funny numbers with the second one showcasing their tap dancing talents. There's also an appearance by then-big star Betty Hutton and one from upcoming star James Dean. And, since I like to mention whenever a player from my favorite movie It's a Wonderful Life appears, Mary Treen has a few amusing moments as Ms. Calvet's assistant. This was also the first time Lewis did an Asian stereotype which I didn't find funny though I did like it when he danced with those Hawaiian natives. Oh, and it's always nice to see Don Wilson outside of "The Jack Benny Program". So on that note, I highly recommend Sailor Beware.
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Best Buster Keaton scene (without Buster Keaton)
Chazzzzz28 October 1999
One has to take Martin & Lewis like a dash of salt & pepper. Why does Martin put up with Lewis? Then again, why do all the women in this movie like Jerry? Because he is innocently likeable! Martin sings a few good songs (lip-sync'd at least once) and Jerry manages to kiss more girls than in all his other movies combined. I generally find that I can take just so much of Jerry's antics before they become aggravating. BUT.... in this film, watch when Jerry gets stuck outside on a submerging Navy submarine! EXCELLENT! Buster Keaton should have been proud. I give the film a 7.
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Come and do the sailor's polka.
Spikeopath4 November 2010
Sailor Beware is the 5th big screen outing for Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis. It's directed by Hal Walker and also stars Corinne Calvet, Marion Marshall, Robert Strauss & Leif Erickson.

As was normally the way with a Martin & Lewis vehicle, the plot is rather thin. This one sees the boys, against all odds, pass the requirements for joining the Navy. When Lewis' bumbling kissing phobe Melvin Jones is mistaken for being "Mr Temptation" on a TV show, it leads to a big wager amongst the ranks that he can't kiss supposedly ice cold Corinne Calvet. The bet is on and chaos follows. Sailor Beware is one of the better black & white pictures from the duo. It finds Lewis on particularly manic form, suffice to say those with an aversion to his high energy buffoonery are best advised to stay away. Highlight here is the whole boxing sequence, the pre fight chatter and the actual fight itself. Some good tunes like Sailor's Polka and Blue Hawai brighten up proceedings, while Robert Strauss as a Bluto type character is perfect foil for the duo.

As a double act they were just about finding their feet in this one. Better things were to come but this certainly pays dividends for the Martin & Lewis fan. 7/10
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Lots of real Navy scenery plus some laughs
Tom Willett (yonhope)2 October 2007
This is not especially well written. The songs are not memorable. The cast, however, squeezes a lot out of this Martin and Lewis in the Navy situation. They both look great as young sailors. They are believable. The scenes on the submarine show how cramped it must have been on those underwater missions in the 1950s and before.

Lots of sailors in many scenes. Hundreds perhaps, in a big outdoor exercise field, and again in a boxing arena.

You will see James Dean in his scene. He does stand out even though he is an extra here. In a scene where Jerry walks across a busy street we see some of his "almost accident" comedy which he would bring into play years later in The Patsy.

Dean giving Jerry boxing instructions is a good comedy skit to watch for. Jerry in the boxing ring shows his high energy that was his trademark in the late '40s and early '50s. Dean and Jerry dancing is a bit of a treat. Not great, but better than most non dancing movies.

Worth seeing if you don't mind black and white. Good ending.

Tom Willett
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Nostalgia Rulez
aller-17 March 2006
This B&W film reached the spartan movie house of my Frisian village about 18 months after its release. In those days much of our full-length comedy fare hailed from Denmark (Nils Poppe anyone?) so this movie struck like a thunderbolt -- it had me weeping with helpless mirth, ROTFL as we'd now put it. OK, so some of the sight gags were in fact recycled vaudeville 'schtick', but how was this 'barefoot boy with cheeks of brass' to know that at the time? In any case, my favorite scenes had Jerry's unique brand of frantic clowning, like that Hawaii boxing match.

Seeing "Sailor Beware" again fifty years later I still guffawed loudly at the goings-on. Granted, without the nostalgia component it would probably be just another fair-to-middling comedy. But then, another movie that once had me in stitches even more helplessly, the Spike Jones outing "Fireman Save My Child", now seems dated and stilted apart from some too-short orchestra bits and Doodles Weaver scenes. Must be some special ingredient that makes Martin & Lewis product stay fresher longer. To me this one at least rates eight out of ten.
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Dean's singing and Jerry's allergies
bkoganbing21 February 2014
After At War With The Army which assured Martin&Lewis of stardom another service comedy seemed in the offing so Sailor Beware was on tap as the fifth vehicle for Dean and Jerry. This story begins at the recruiting office where Dean is enlisting again for the 11th time knowing he's a 4- F. And Jerry with all his allergies isn't sure they'll take him.

Guess what folks; the standards of enlistment were lowered so both get in. Which is a bit of a tragedy to Dean after saying goodbye to his latest girlfriend Hetty Button. Why they would take Jerry God only knows, but both of them run into their nemesis at the recruiting center Robert Strauss a former Navy man who has been given back his rating of CPO upon his taking the oath again.

Dean gets his series of songs and Jerry has some great moments during basic training on a submarine to Hawaii and then as the object of a bet to see if he can thaw out the been through the mill Corinne Calvet. It seems as though because of a local TV contest on Don Wilson's show Jerry gets the reputation as a lady killer. But Dino has Calvet earmarked for himself.

Best bit in the film is a boxing match with Jerry fighting to defend his honor when he's challenged. One of the seconds of his opponent is James Dean whom you will have to watch carefully for and not blink. Of course Jerry wins the fight, but not exactly with the Marquis of Queensbury rules.

Hetty Button is of course Betty Hutton making an unbilled appearance twice in Sailor Beware. Dino's best song in this film is Never Before written by Jerry Livingston and Mack David.

Don't you beware of this film, it's pretty funny.
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Jerry and Dean join Uncle Sams Canoe Club.
yenlo1 July 1999
Jerry and Dean serve again in the Armed Forces this time in the Navy. Jerry does his antics managing to sink a dinghy and disrupt a submarine. Dean sings a few numbers. Robert Strauss co stars as a hard boiled CPO. Look for a young Vince Edwards and Jack Benny's semi-sidekick Don Wilson. Corinne Calvet appears as herself. Betty Hutton has a quick scene as Deans girlfriend. If you look real close you'll catch a glimpse of screen cult legend James Dean.
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A High-Stakes Wager on a Man Allergic to Most Women
Uriah4310 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Melvin Jones" (Jerry Lewis) is a young man with several medical conditions which includes having several allergies. So when a doctor advises him that an ocean voyage could help him out he decides to join the U.S. Navy. Yet even though most of his ailments would preclude him being able to pass the entrance physical, he somehow manages to squeeze by each important test and subsequently enlists. Additionally, while at the examination station he meets another young man named "Al Crowthers" (Dean Martin) who who has a "trick knee" which typically disqualifies him for entrance into the U.S. Navy. On this particular day, however, he discovers that the standards have been lowered and finds himself now serving alongside Melvin as they head to basic training. Once there they manage to go on a liberty pass and it's then that Melvin is accidentally labeled a "ladies' man" which results in a high-stakes wager being placed on him as to whether he can get a certain nightclub singer in Hawaii by the name "Corinne Calvet" (Corinne Calvet) to kiss him in public. Melvin, of course, knows next to nothing about women and the fact that he is allergic to most of the lipstick and makeup that women wear only serves to make the challenge all the more difficult for him. Likewise, the fact that Corinne doesn't care much for sailors doesn't help his cause either. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that I think this film is one of the best Jerry Lewis-Dean Martin films produced in that it has an interesting plot, decent acting and some really good humor throughout. In short, I enjoyed this film and for the reasons stated earlier I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
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Martin and Lewis in the navy
Petri Pelkonen31 December 2016
Ladies's man Al Crowthers and the geeky Melvin join the navy and become friends. Melvin wants to stay away from girls since he's allergic to the cosmetics they wear. But he falls for a girl that walks without any makeup on. Those two also have to face a bully. Hal Walker's Sailor Beware from 1952 is the fifth of 16 comedy films Martin and Lewis made together. It's not their best but offers a few laughs. The boxing scene is quite hilarious. And so is the moment before he steps into the ring with the tough guy accent. And the one on the deck of the submarine. What a funny man that Jerry Lewis! 😁 He turned 90 this year and is still going on strong. He and Dean Martin shared a great amount of chemistry before their split. The leading ladies in this movie are played by Corinne Calvet and Marion Marshall. Also James Dean appears in it before he was a star. For the fans of Martin and Lewis Sailor Beware is not to be missed.
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Amazing and curious
artzau14 September 2001
When I see these old Martin and Lewis films again, I'm always amazed and curious. Curious as to why I found them so funny when I saw them at the time of their release and amazed that I enjoyed them so much. Martin was always the essence of Mr. Cool. Good looks, smooth with the chicks and that soft Italian voice. Lewis was always a loose cannon, with his goofy slapstick and sentimental shifts. This film is typical with an implausible story and lots of crazy situations but memorable mostly for (later-to-be) screen legend, James Dean's first film lines, "That man's a professional!"

You can't judge these films on the same level as today's comedy. Martin had a style of his own and showed he could act in later films. Lewis just kept being Lewis, which if you enjoyed him, you caught his later films (I'd outgrown him by then and thought Geisha boy was one of the silliest films I've ever seen). He could never do a prat-fall like Peter Sellers nor be as genuinely goofy as Robin Williams, but he could tickle your funny bone at times.
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That whiny voice, like scratching a chalkboard...
james higgins18 March 2010
56/100. This is one of the better films in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis pairings, but that's not saying much. If you can stomach Jerry Lewis' brand of humor you will likely love this. As for me, it was difficult to sit through the silliness. I find Jerry Lewis so irritating, and he seems to think he is so funny visually through body movements, but he sure could take some lessons from Charlie Chaplin. I guess since I am not French I am missing something here. It is at times quite funny, but usually when Jerry Lewis isn't involved, Dean Martin sings some good songs and does a competent job. His whiny voice is nerve wracking. Robert Strauss is good in a supporting role.
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Very episodic and enjoyable...but far from the team's best.
MartinHafer10 November 2010
This is not one of Martin & Lewis' better films for two main reasons. First, the film seems very episodic and the plot seems secondary at best. Second, Jerry's voice. This movie has Jerry at his most spastic and nasal. It's ironic that this film is on the same DVD as "That's My Boy"--the second most spastic performance by Lewis!! Some of this shtick is funny...but that voice...uggghh!! NASAL!! The film begins with Jerry oddly deciding to join the Navy. His doctor told him to take a cruise for his allergies--and since he couldn't afford it, he goes to the Navy recruiting office. There he meets Dean Martin and they become pals. Some of the recruiting sequence scenes are cute but also very low-brow--which you'll either love or hate.

A bit later, in an odd happening, a female enlisted lady falls madly for Jerry. You have no idea why, as he has the sex appeal of a tree that overacts badly. Jerry isn't exactly in love with her (as he plays a virtually sexless creature) but likes her because she doesn't wear makeup or cologne--and he's highly allergic to them both. However, this relationship is tested when in a HIGHLY contrived scene, Jerry is chosen to be the judge of a kissing contest. He hates this and is pursued like a pack of hungry pit bulls chasing a pork chop! In the process, the sailors start to wonder if he's some sort of stud. But, after more antics it's obvious he is NOT.

Then for the next half of the movie, there just isn't a lot of plot--just episodes strung together. The men go aboard a submarine for a while, the men make a bet about who will kiss a girl first, Jerry is in the dumbest boxing match in history and a final scene occurs where Jerry dresses like a Hawaiian and dances about...whatever. All of it is very tenuously connected--sometimes fun, sometimes terribly overacted. As for Dean, as usual he seems pleasant and a bit out of place but sings some nice songs.
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