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Panic in the Parlor (1956)

Sailor Beware (original title)
Battle-axe Emma Hornett dominates her hen-pecked husband Henry, his meek sister Edie and daughter Shirley. Shirley is to marry young sailor Albert,raised in an orphanage,and he and best man... See full summary »


Gordon Parry


Philip King (stage play "Sailor Beware"), Falkland L. Cary (stage play "Sailor Beware") | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Peggy Mount ... Emma Hornett
Shirley Eaton ... Shirley Hornett
Ronald Lewis ... Albert Tufnell
Cyril Smith Cyril Smith ... Henry Hornett
Esma Cannon ... Edie Hornett
Gordon Jackson ... Carnoustie Bligh
Geoffrey Keen ... The Rev. Purefoy
Thora Hird ... Mrs. Lack
Joy Webster ... Daphne Pink
Eliot Makeham ... Uncle Brummell (as Elliot Makeham)
Fred Griffiths Fred Griffiths ... Taxi Driver
Edie Martin ... Little Woman In Church
Margaret Moore Margaret Moore ... Little Girl
Barbara Hicks ... Little Girl's Mother
George Rose ... Waiter At Banfield's


Battle-axe Emma Hornett dominates her hen-pecked husband Henry, his meek sister Edie and daughter Shirley. Shirley is to marry young sailor Albert,raised in an orphanage,and he and best man Carnoustie stay with the Hornetts on the eve of the wedding, though Emma makes sure the stag night is a brief one. Next day Albert fails to show up for the wedding. He eventually turns up at the house and confides in the vicar that if family life is anything like the Hornetts he wants no part of it. When the Hornetts are told this Emma declares that she sees that has been a "very wicked woman" and will mend her ways but, as the young couple eventually marry and move into their own house , one wonders how long her change of heart will last. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

24 March 1958 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Panic in the Parlor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Romulus Films, Remus See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound Recording)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Uncredited theatrical movie debut of Sir Michael Caine (Sailor) See more »


When asked about which side he will sleep on the sofa bed in the front room, Gordon Jackson says he will take "the port side". Later we see him lying on the right side of the bed. See more »


Emma Hornett: If I get to the wedding at all at this rate, I shall be lucky.
Carnoustie Bligh: [to himself] If you don't, everybody *else* will.
See more »


Version of Watch it, Sailor! (1961) See more »


Wedding March
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Arranged by Lambert Williamson
See more »

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User Reviews

British Farce Redolent of Mid-Fifties Attitudes Towards the Family
11 December 2013 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Based on a hit play of the mid-1950s, SAILOR BEWARE contains a barnstorming performance by Peggy Mount as the dominant mother Emma Hornett. The plot is straightforward: Emma's daughter Shirley (Shirley Eaton) is about to marry sailor Albert (Ronald Lewis), but Albert gets cold feet on the wedding-day. He is only persuaded to agree to the marriage by the vicar Purefoy (Geoffrey Keen). The film is redolent of mid-Fifties attitudes towards marriage and the family, where women stayed at home and looked after their husbands, while the men's sole responsibility was to bring home the wages and ensure there was sufficient finances for the family to survive. Produced by Jack Clayton - who was later to become the director of classics such as ROOM AT THE TOP and THE INNOCENTS - SAILOR BEWARE contains a positive gallery of character cameos, from Esma Cannon as Emma's put-upon sister-in-law, Gordon Jackson as a nervous and sexually naive sailor, Thora Hird as a nosy neighbor, Alfie Bass as an organist more concerned with sneaking a crafty drag at a cigarette, and Cyril Smith as Emma's put-upon husband.

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