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The Boatniks (1970)

G | | Family, Comedy | 1 July 1970 (USA)
Young and awkward, The Coast-Guard's ensign Thomas Garland suffers from the comparison with his late father, a war hero. Which does not prevent him from falling for pretty Kate Fairchild, a... See full summary »



(screen story and screenplay), (story) (as Marty Roth)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ensign Garland
Commander Taylor
Joey Forman ...
Tom Lowell ...
Chief Walsh
Sammy Jackson ...
Nutty Sailor
Judy Jordan ...


Young and awkward, The Coast-Guard's ensign Thomas Garland suffers from the comparison with his late father, a war hero. Which does not prevent him from falling for pretty Kate Fairchild, a young woman who runs a sailing school. Of course the way he expresses his deep sympathy for the lady leaves to be desired. And the situation does not improve when a trio of bumbling jewel thieves interferes. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ashore or afloat, they're rocking the boat! See more »


Family | Comedy


G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 July 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marineros sin brújula  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Names of boats seen in the movie included "Yankee Clipper", "La Dolce Vita", "Owens", "Snapdragon", "Captain", "Kelpie", "Wizard", "Alley Cat", "Coquette" (of the Port of San Diego), and "Point Maley" (of the Port of Newport). See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Beatniks (1992) See more »


Written by Bruce Belland and Robert F. Brunner
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User Reviews

Boat yuks by the dozen, a funny, funny film but more for adults, really
15 December 2007 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Thomas (Robert Morse) had the bad luck to be born the son of a celebrated Navy man. Although he is now an ensign in the Coast Guard, he is sort of a bad-luck magnet. He gets into numerous fender benders and mishaps, at home and on the job. This causes his superior officer (Don Ameche) much grief. Nevertheless, Tom's goofy charm wins him the heart of a woman in the boat business, Kate (Stefanie Powers). Into this mix comes a trio of jewel thieves with a leader named Harry (Phil Silvers). They were headed toward Mexico when the police, chasing them, closed the borders. Trying to hideout at the shoreline, they accidentally dropped their picnic basket full of jewels into the shallow coast waters. Aspiring to draw little attention to themselves, they take turns diving into the water to try and recover their jewelry. But, Thomas becomes suspicious and tries to find out their secret. Can Thomas salvage his reputation with a big bust on the waters? This is a terrific little film, made long ago, but still every bit a winner. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have the talents of Ameche, Morse, Powers, the great Silvers, Wally Cox, and others on screen. They are supremely capable of generating a "boat load" of laughs, haha. The plot is ingenious, too, with several twists, turns and surprises. Although the film does look a bit dated, it still sports nice costumes and lovely scenery, but the cinematography is definitely lacking. What is really strange is that the film, made for families, is truly more for the adults than for children. There is some slapstick, of course, but most of the humor will fly over the heads of the kiddies. Then, too, there is a good deal of women running around in skimpy swimsuits and some celebration of those "happy hours" on board. Nevertheless, do not skip over this little gem. It is quite funny and clever, putting any viewer into a "yuk fest" funk that will last for hours.

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