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Son of a Sailor

(1933 b 73')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A lying sailor manages to catch two spies in this navy farce.

On an aircraft carrier Handsome (Joe E. Brown) brags and shows Gaga (Frank McHugh) how to get dames by acting out the female role. The sailors watch and present him with a pansy. When he has to box the Boston Buster, Handsome gives the wrong boxer $50 to lay down. After running around the ring, Handsome finally knocks out the Buster. Handsome talks his way into liberty with gibberish. Some sailors put Duke's baby shoes in his pocket, and he uses them to pick up women, telling a different story to each one.

Handsome is hit by Helen's car. Helen (Jean Muir) sees the shoes are those she gave to Duke and takes Handsome to the home of her grandfather, Admiral Farnsworth (Samuel S. Hinds), whom Handsome calls "old gasbag." Helen orders the butler Vincent (Arthur Vinton) not to let Handsome out of sight, while Farnsworth and his officers discuss the merits of airplanes and battleships. Handsome tells Duke he was Shanghaied there by a woman. Duke (Johnny Mack Brown) helps Handsome to leave and loans him $10 for a taxi; but Helen finds him outside and brings him to the dinner table, where he uses more gibberish and makes lemonade out of the finger-bowl water. Helen tells Handsome she is in love with a sailor, Duke, and Handsome takes the opportunity to touch Duke for another $10 and to clear his debt.

Vincent won't let Handsome leave. When Vincent falls asleep, Handsome sneaks out but keeps meeting Williams, who is trying to steal the plans. The Baroness (Thelma Todd) distracts Handsome by seducing him until Vincent finds him and locks him in. Williams with the plans knocks Vincent down and runs out. Handsome escapes; Duke signals to him; and Handsome gets on the plane with Williams. He knocks Williams out and parachutes down the smokestack of a battleship that is abandoned to be bombed. Planes from the carrier bomb the ship, but Handsome survives in a garbage can. He is arrested and "convicted" of catching two spies. He promises never to tell another lie, but in the final scene he is talking to a Chinese woman.

This comedy makes fun of navy life, boxing, military strategy, spies, and war games through the character of a harmless liar, who makes up fantastic stories about himself.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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