Series: All Stars w/Laurel and Hardy

Director: Fred L. Guiol
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Viola Richard, Anita Garvin, Malcolm Waite
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 17 July 1927
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: S-20
Filming dates: January 31 - February 19, 1927;
retakes March 17-19, 1927

Rating: 4/10

Why Girls Love Sailors

Available on BLU-RAY & DVD:

The crew of 'The Merry Maiden' are unloading crates under the cover of darkness. The First Mate (OLIVER HARDY) is overseeing the proceedings. Along with the Captain (MALCOLM WAITE), they are the two most loathed men on the ship. The bearded captain accosts a bearded Hardy over the use of his razor. The two officers become embroiled in a heated exchange of words as the concerned crew look on. In the delightful little port of Sugar Bay, a young brash sailor by the name of Willie Brisling (STAN LAUREL) is happily flirting with the beautiful young Nellie (VIOLA RICHARD) in her cabin. After he gives her a shell necklace and sneaks a kiss upon her, he falls around the room in an embarrassing manner (both for him, and for us watching). A short time later the captain enters the room and asserts his affections for Nellie but she tells him that she is engaged to Willie and when Willie is encouraged to show off the boat tattoo he has on his chest the captain pours a jug of water down his top.
Willie confronts the captain outside when he attempts to drag Nellie away with him and the two get into a fight which results in the captain taking Nellie onto his boat whilst Willie gets entangled in a fishing net. But on board Nellie proves she is no pushover as she overcomes the advances of an amorous sailor (JERRY MANDY) as Willie finds his way onto the boat and disguises himself with a mask. The sailor runs away scared and reports the masked man to the First Mate, who then confronts the culprit - whom the sailor misidentifies as the Captain. Two black eyes later and the excitable sailor has learnt a lesson from the Captain. Meanwhile, Willie has found refuge in a large trunk filled with circus clothing and so he makes use of this to diguise himself further.
Now dressed in women's clothing complete with wig, Willie seeks out to rescue his sweetheart. After flirting with the sex-starved all-male crew, Willie lures them one by one behind a wall where he beats them unconscious with a club before propping the men up on a barrel and positioning their hands in a raspberry-blowing manner for the First Mate to see. The First Mate violently throws each man overboard. After three sailors meet their untimely demises the First Mate finally realises that the cause of the trouble is the strange-looking woman who is on board the boat without anybody having questioned him. I mean her. In a truly cringeworthy scene where Willie tries to flirt with the First Mate, Willie promises him a kiss but runs off quickly when he realises the offer is about to be accepted! It doesn't bear thinking about.
Sixteen minutes into the film and the Captain's wife (ANITA GARVIN) shows up after arriving in a cab. She tries to board the boat from above deck but the First Mate keeps grabbing her leg, thinking it is the 'woman' who promised him the kiss. She takes no shit from him and lays the First Mate out with a punch to the mouth before heading off to confront her cheating husband who is now in his stateroom getting cozy with Willie on his lap. The wife barges in and catches her husband in the act. Just as she is preparing to shoot the Captain, Willie removes his wig to reveal he is actually a man and tells her it was all just to test whether or not she loves her husband. The wife relents but the Captain warns Willie he can expect trouble later. Willie retaliates by then informing the wife there were other women in the past whom the Captain flirted with before leaving with Nellie who has just re-appeared. They don't get far before their clothes are blown away from the shotgun blast courtesy of the Captain's wife!

Favourite bit
The tough First Mate (Hardy) thinks he's about to be kissed, but is left standing there with this ridiculous pose as Stan runs away.

Copyrighted May 18, 1927.
Released as part of the All Star series.
The film was considered lost until it was discovered in 1986 by Danish film historian Peter Mikkelsen.
The name of the boat is the Merry Maiden.
The door to Viola Richard's cabin opens outwards.
After the captain pours the jug of water down Stan's top, Stan does a neat little trick where he raises his eyebrows one at a time.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy finally share the screen together after 9 minutes 20 seconds.
Is it just me who thinks Anita Garvin's character looks like a whore?
My opinion
Dull. Not recommended. Only the biased Laurel & Hardy fans will want to see this one.

Stan Laurel
Willie Brisling
Oliver Hardy
First Mate
Viola Richard
Willie's girl
Anita Garvin
Captain's wife
Malcolm Waite
Sea Captain
Jerry Mandy
Amorous sailor
Dick Gilbert
Edgar Dearing
Burly sailor
Sailor Sharkey
Clarence Wertz
John Northpole
Chet Brandenburg
Cab driver
Charles Althoff
Old fisherman fiddler
Bobby Dunn
Bemused sailor
Sailor #3

CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

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Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Chet Brandenburg, Sailor Sharkey, Clarence Wertz, John Northpole)
Peter Mikkelsen (3 stills)
Fran Gilbert (still)

This page was last updated on: 18 July 2023