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Watch the Birdie (1935)

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


Lloyd French


Dolph Singer (story), Jack Henley (story)


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Credited cast:
Bob Hope ... Bob
Nell O'Day ... Dorothy Ripley
Arline Dinitz Arline Dinitz ... Betty Ripley
George Watts George Watts ... Mr. Ripley
Marie Nordstrom Marie Nordstrom ... Mrs. Ripley
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Wickes ... Silent passenger in deck chair


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) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 »


Ev'ry Day
Music by Sammy Fain
Played when the man squirts water in Bob's face, Bob splits his pants, and Betty returns
See more »

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User Reviews

For Hope Fans Only
28 May 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Watch the Birdie (1935)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

This hit and miss comedy features Bob Hope playing a practical joker on a cruise ship with the woman he wants to marry. He ends up playing jokes on several people and this comes back to haunt him when one of them turns out to be the girl's father (in a predictable scene). WATCH THE BIRDIE is mainly going to be for fans of Hope who want to see what the legend was doing before he really hit it big. It's really too bad this two-reeler falls apart in the final act because there were some funny moments early on. I thought Hope did a pretty good job with his role and I especially like the way he sold the various jokes. These include a telescope with black tar on it, a camera with a bird that flies out and one dealing with a punch to the eye. What really doesn't work early on is the annoying younger sister who keeps showing up. I know this was meant to be cute but she got on my nerves after the first joke and each time she showed up after that just had me wishing she'd go away for good. The middle of the film deals with Hope getting stuck on the ship and there's not a single laugh to be had here. The final showdown really doesn't pay off either.

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