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Three Sailors and a Girl (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 23 November 1953 (USA)
Three navy men run into a shady producer who convinces them to invest into his new show. When they meet the show's female star attraction, they're sold. Have they become the latest showbiz players or just three more suckers?



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview:
'Choirboy' Jones
Joe Woods
Emilio Rossi
Faye Foss
Archer MacDonald ...
Melvin Webster
Raymond Greenleaf ...
B.P. Morrow - Bank President
Henry Slate ...
Hank the Sailor


Three navy men run into a shady producer who convinces them to invest into his new show. When they meet the show's female star attraction, they're sold. Have they become the latest showbiz players or just three more suckers?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


IT'S A BIG, HAPPY, HIP-SWINGING MUSICAL WING-DING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Comedy | Musical






Release Date:

23 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

3 Sailors and a Girl  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Powell's off-screen romance with Gene Nelson ended her marriage, but Nelson's wife refused to give him a divorce. In 1973 Nelson directed her to the made-for-TV movie "The Letters." See more »


Marine: [tapping him on the shoulder] Pardon me, Mr. Woods.
Joe Woods: [without turning round] Yeah?
Marine: I'm with the Marine outfit that's backing the show and I, I hear the Navy is taking your leading man tonight.
Joe Woods: Don't worry about it, I'll get another.
Marine: I know. That's what I wanted to talk to you about, Sir. You see, I was wondering if, maybe you could er... what I mean to say is, you see I used to be with the circus once and friends of mine think that I have great deal of, well I don't mean to sound conceited, I was....
Joe Woods: [...]
See more »


Version of The Butter and Egg Man (1928) See more »


The Lately Song
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
See more »

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User Reviews

The Mind Boggles At The Possibility
25 May 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Warner Brothers musical Three Sailors And A Girl is based, very loosely based I might add on the George S. Kaufman play The Butter And Egg Man that ran on Broadway during the Twenties. It was one of Kaufman's earliest successes and one he did without a collaborator, unusual for him. It was the Navy participation in this film that was original.

Otherwise the plot has some down and out producer suckering a country yokel out of a lot of money to produce his show. In the film, the yokel is a sailor played by Gordon MacRae with a stern sense of morality, rather unusual for someone in the Navy. The crew has been on active duty for almost a year and their back pay which they've been unable to spend amounts to a considerable nest egg. While on Wall Street looking for an investment, MacRae, Gene Nelson, and Jack E. Leonard run into producer Sam Levene and he gets the boys to invest in his show. And the attraction is leading lady Jane Powell who falls for Gordon big time.

No big hits come from the score written by Sammy Fain and Sammy Cahn, but the numbers are serviceable to the plot. MacRae and Powell make a good team musically, too bad they were at different studios and didn't do more films together, Powell was on loan from MGM. Gene Nelson was as always great in the dance numbers, I've said it before on other of his films I've reviewed, he came along ten years too late, what a really big dancing star he would have been.

Jack E. Leonard was an early version of Don Rickles. I remember seeing him many times on the Ed Sullivan Show as a kid. His character was interesting, but too bad we didn't get one of his insult monologues for which he was so famous.

Part of the plot involves MacRae taking over the show and making a holy hash of it and Jane Powell calling in George Abbott, Ira Gershwin, and Moss Hart to contribute their talents to save the show. The real people weren't in Three Sailors And A Girl, just actors playing them. But as the show originated with George S. Kaufman, had all these people put their talents into this film for real, we might have seen a real classic unfold.

The mind boggles at the possibility.

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