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The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968)

G | | Comedy, War | 8 May 1968 (USA)
During WW2, Sgt. O'Farrell's Pacific unit is demoralized when a Japanese submarine torpedoes an American supply ship containing beer.


Frank Tashlin


Robert M. Fresco (story), John L. Greene (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview:
Bob Hope ... Sgt. Dan O'Farrell
Phyllis Diller ... Nurse Nellie Krause
Jeffrey Hunter ... Lt. (j.g.) Lyman P. Jones
Mylène Demongeot ... Gabby
Gina Lollobrigida ... Maria (as Miss Gina Lollobrigida)
John Myhers John Myhers ... Lt. Cmdr. Roger Snavely
Mako ... Calvin Coolidge Ishimura
Henry Wilcoxon ... Rear Adm. Arthur L. Stokes
Dick Sargent ... Capt. Elwood Prohaska
Christopher Dark Christopher Dark ... Pvt. George Strongbow
Michael Burns ... Pvt. Johnny Bannon
William Wellman Jr. ... Cpl. Kennedy
Robert Donner ... Marine Pvt. Ogg
Jack Grinnage ... Pvt. Roberts
William Christopher ... Pvt. Jake Schultz


Sgt. O'Farrell an Army soldier on an island in the South Pacific during World War II is trying to bring the two basics of life to his fellow servicemen, women and beer. The supply ship carrying the beer is torpedoed and the contingent of nurses consists of six males and ugly nurse Nellie Krause. If he could at least try to salvage the shipment of beer. Written by laird-3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


War is Heck! Hic Hic Hooray! See more »


Comedy | War


G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operación cerveza See more »

Filming Locations:

Puerto Rico

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


As is typical of Hope's period comedies, there are many anachronistic gags in the film; e.g. references to television re-runs, a reference to Burt Lancaster in 'From Here to Eternity', the hairstyles of the women and the bathing suit worn by Gina Lollobrigida. See more »


Maria: I don't care if the Army does come first. As long as I'm the first woman.
Sgt. Dan O'Farrell: And the last.
See more »


Spoofs From Here to Eternity (1953) See more »


Sweet Adeline
Music by Harry Armstrong and lyrics by Richard H. Gerard
Heard as a theme throughout the film
See more »

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User Reviews

My instincts were right about this one...it just isn't funny.
29 April 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Most of Bob Hopes best films were made in the 1930s and 40s. Many of his later movies, to put it charitably, looked like he was just going through the motions...at best. Because of this, I had pretty low expectations of this film when I sat down to watch it...especially since he is 65 and is playing a sergeant! Were my instincts right? Read on...

Sgt. O'Farrell is stationed on a small, out of the way island in the Pacific during WWII. While they don't see any action, they don't see much of anything else, as their supplies have been cut off and they are desperate for some female companionship. Suddenly, a transport plane makes it through and their wish is granted...of sorts. The 'woman' is Nurse Krause...and she's played by Phyllis Diller! As for the rest of the nurses...they're all guys! Inexplicably, Gina Lollobrigida just happens to be there. And, soon beer cans from a sunken supply ship start washing ashore...and suddenly morale improves tremendously. But the Sergeant needs to keep a secret....his partner who is helping him retrieve all the beer is a Japanese soldier (Mako) who has little interest in the war.

So does all this sound very funny? No. And that's the problem. You would expect a Bob Hope film to be a comedy but barely anything even comes close to making you laugh and the biggest jokes(???) are about how ugly Diller is...and that really isn't particularly funny. As a comedy, it stinks...and as a war picture, it's not much either due to the strange plot, overuse of bad stock footage and an almost complete lack of anything exciting. A dud...but amazingly NOT among Hope's very worst films of the era, as he managed to be even more unfunny in films such as "How to Commit Marriage" (1969)....a film about as funny as Ebola.

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