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Give Me a Sailor (1938)

Jim and Walter are two brother sailors in the United States Navy. Walter tells Jim as soon as they get home he is going to ask his beautiful girlfriend, Nancy Larkin to marry him. But Jim ... See full summary »


Elliott Nugent


Anne Nichols (play), Doris Anderson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Credited cast:
Martha Raye ... Letty Larkin
Bob Hope ... Jim Brewster
Betty Grable ... Nancy Larkin
Jack Whiting Jack Whiting ... Walter Brewster
Clarence Kolb ... CaptainTallant
J.C. Nugent J.C. Nugent ... Mr. Larkin
Bonnie Jean Churchill Bonnie Jean Churchill ... Ethel May Brewster
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Minnie Brewster
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kathleen Lockhart ... Mrs. Hawks (scenes deleted)


Jim and Walter are two brother sailors in the United States Navy. Walter tells Jim as soon as they get home he is going to ask his beautiful girlfriend, Nancy Larkin to marry him. But Jim is also in love with Nancy so he begs Nancy's ugly duckling sister, Letty to help break Walter and Nancy up. Letty agrees only under one condition, he help her to win Walter! Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's full speed ahead in this grandest Raye riot! See more »


Comedy | Romance







Release Date:

19 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Folia a Bordo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


J.C. Nugent, who played Mr. Larkin, was the father of the movie's director; Elliott Nugent. See more »


Referenced in Jazz: Swing: The Velocity of Celebration - 1937-1939 (2001) See more »


What Goes On Here in My Heart
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Sung by Betty Grable and Jack Whiting
See more »

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User Reviews

Bob Hope's First Real Starring Film, Raye and Gable are Fine
16 January 2010 | by jayraskin1See all my reviews

In 1938, when this film was made, Bob Hope was 35 years and while he had been a star in vaudeville and Broadway for 15 years, he had just gotten his first radio show. While he had been in films for a few years, this was the first time he was the real star of a film.

It was also the first time that Martha Raye had star billing in a film. She had co-starred in films with Bing Crosby and Jack Benny before this, but at age 22, she was at the peak of her short film career, which had started just two years before. While she would have top billing in two more films, by 1941, three years later, her film starring career was largely over. She did do a wonderful bit part in Chaplin's "Monsieur Verdoux" in 1947, but for the most part, she starred on television here and there from the 1950's to the 1980's.

Betty Grable was also 22. Although she started her movie career well before Raye, she had done a lot of bit parts and hadn't become famous yet. This supporting actress role was one of her meatier ones. Three years later, just when Raye's film career was spiraling downward, she was becoming a superstar.

The movie is a rather silly screwball comedy with a lot of amusing bits, but nothing memorable or outstanding. Hope is almost the breezy, nervous, sentimental fast talker that he will portray brilliantly for the next 40 years. Raye is frenetic, but can't quite carry the film as the lead. Grable adds a nice sweet touch to the proceedings. She plays well off both Hope and Raye.

Jack Whiting, in apparently his one major role, is pretty awful as Hope's brother. He seems nervous and doesn't have much charm, although both Gable and Raye are supposed to be gaga over him.

Clarence Kolb is the one bit player who stands out. He went on to play Mr. Honeywell, the cantankerous boss in the "My Little Margie" television series in the 1950's.

The movie alternates between flat and mildly amusing dialogue and slapstick bits. It is worth watching just to see Hope and Grable at the beginning of their careers, and Raye at the too short peak of hers.

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