Sailor Beware (1952 film)

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Sailor Beware
Directed by Hal Walker
Written by James Allardice
Martin Rackin
Kenyon Nicholson
Charles Robinson (orig. play)
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Starring Dean Martin
Jerry Lewis
Marion Marshall
Corinne Calvet
Leif Erickson
Cinematography Daniel L. Fapp
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • February 9, 1952 (1952-02-09)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4.3 million (US) [1]
854,588 admissions (France) [2]

Sailor Beware is a 1952 American comedy film starring the comedy team of Martin and Lewis and is an adaption of a 1933 Kenyon Nicholson and Charles Robinson play of the same name. It was released on February 9, 1952 by Paramount Pictures. The working title was At Sea with the Navy. [3]


It was the fifth film collaboration of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, who would make 16 movies together before their partnership's end.


After meeting in the Navy recruiting line, Al Crowthers and Melvin Jones become friends. Al has tried to enlist before, 11 times, but was always rejected because of a bad knee. However, he keeps trying so that he can impress women. Melvin, meanwhile, is allergic to women's cosmetics and his doctor prescribed ocean travel, so he decided to join the Navy as this was the only way he could afford to follow doctor's orders.

Unbeknownst to Al, the naval requirements have been lowered and this time he has been accepted, as has Melvin. They are assigned to Lardoski , a bully they met in line and referred to as "fathead."

While based in San Diego, Melvin falls in love with Hilda Jones, a woman who does not wear makeup. Melvin seems to attract many women, so Lardoski wagers with Al, betting that Melvin must get a kiss from any girl Lardoski names. Al agrees and Lardoski picks Corinne Calvet, who is performing at a nightclub in Honolulu. The crew then get sent out on the next submarine to Hawaii, with Melvin caught on deck when the ship is submerging. Upon his rescue he is tied to a torpedo for the rest of the voyage to avoid any more incidents.

Once in Hawaii, Al romances Corinne at the same time Melvin vies for her affection in order to gain a kiss to win the bet, which his shipmates have informed him about. Melvin is unsuccessful in comforting Hilda, who becomes jealous. Lardoski tries to prevent the kiss by getting the shore patrol to arrest Melvin, but after disguising himself as a hula dancer, Melvin gains the kiss. Al wins the bet (and Corinne), and Melvin works things out with Hilda.




Sailor Beware was filmed from September 5, 1951 through October 12, 1951.


The film was re-released on a double-bill with another Martin and Lewis film, Jumping Jacks in 1957. It was re-released a second time in 1968.

Home media

The film was included on an eight-film DVD set, the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection: Volume One, released on October 31, 2006.

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  1. 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  2. Jerry Lewis films French box office information at Box Office Story
  3. Inc, Nielsen Business Media (4 August 1951). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p.  16 via Internet Archive. at sea with the navy lewis.{{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)