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A practical joker takes a cruise with his fiancée and her family.



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Cast overview:
Nell O'Day ...
Dorothy Ripley
Arline Dinitz ...
Betty Ripley
George Watts ...
Mr. Ripley
Marie Nordstrom ...
Mrs. Ripley


Prankster Bob is traveling to New York by ship with his girlfriend and he proposes to marry her. Along the trip, he plays pranks on the captain, passengers and his future father-in-law. When they arrive in the harbor, the captain and his father-in-law decide to revenge and the captain asks his men to retain Bob at the customs for hours. Then he heads to the office of his father-in-law where his girlfriend is waiting for him. But her father is still upset with Bob. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

10 August 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big V Comedies (1934-1935 season): Watch the Birdie  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #1839-1840. See more »


In the conference room scene, Bob disgustedly tosses the two-sided prank towel onto the table--then it reappears in his hands, to be folded and tossed down again. See more »


Singin' in the Bathtub
Music by Michael Cleary
Played when the man punches Bob
Also played when Bob demonstrates the camera
See more »

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User Reviews

Early Bob Hope Short Film
10 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watch the Birdie is the title of this early short comedy starring Bob Hope and Arline Dinintz which finds the couple on a cruise ship with her younger sister and parents. Bob's character is a practical joker with a lot of those early gag toys like the telescope that leaves the black eye, a snake springing out of a lighter, several squirt gun gags and of course his camera that you can "watch the birdie" (as one shoots out at the subject). The camera has a dual function in which you have to see the film to see how it adds to the fun. It's old fashioned humor from a more simpler time that will undoubtedly bore most younger fans. Notice the level of dress with suits and dresses and hats even at leisure on a cruise ship in the day. Bob's character asks later in the film what some higher ups are doing in a board room, to which his fiancée responds, "they're figuring out a way to solve the depression." He says, "oh, you mean they're going to give everybody money," and she astutely replies, "no, but they're going to make everybody forget that they haven't got it!" History might just be repeating itself today so go out and make it fun to smile for the camera.

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