Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Martha Raye and Bob Hope
GIVE ME A SAILOR (1938). Director: Elliott Nugent.

"Try to look like something." -- Hope to Raye.

Letty Larkin (Martha Raye) is in love with sailor Walter Brewster (Jack Whiting) who is, unfortunately, engaged to her prettier sister, Nancy (Betty Grable). Walter's brother, Jim (Bob Hope), who is also in love with Nancy, hooks up with Letty to come up with a scheme to break up Nancy and Walter so each can have the person of their dreams. Unfortunately, fate has a way of conspiring to keep the "lovers" apart -- or does it? Give Me a Sailor has a very amusing screenplay (Anderson and Butler) and features some fine comedic performances, especially from the top-billed Hope and Raye; J. C. Nugent [Midnight Intruder] is also appealing as Mr. Larkin. The plot goes a little haywire toward the end, but it's consistently funny. Give Me a Sailor also boasts some very pleasant tunes (by Rainger and Robin), including "A Little Kiss at Twilight," well sung by Raye, and the bouncy and irresistible "What Goes On in My Heart?," a very snappy number indeed. Whiting and Grable do a very charming dance routine as well. Irving Bacon plays the druggist with his usual panache.

Verdict: Raye and Hope play extremely well together and the picture is a pip.***.

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