A Wave, a WAC and a Marine

A WAVE, a WAC and a Marine is an American 1944 musical comedy film directed by Phil Karlson (his directorial debut) for low-budget Monogram Pictures.

A WAVE, a WAC and a Marine
Directed byPhil Karlson
Written byHal Fimberg (original screenplay)
Distributed byMonogram Pictures
Release date
7 October 1944
Running time
70 min.
CountryUnited States

Less the wartime comedy promised by the title than an inside-Hollywood story interrupted by musical numbers, Sally Eilers runs a talent agency and sets out to put a couple of Broadway stars under contract. Her bumbling employee (Henny Youngman) signs their understudies instead.

One of the film's listed producers, Sebastian Cristillo, was actually the father of comedian Lou Costello. Costello himself produced the film, but as a gesture to his father—a diehard movie fan, who used the family's actual last name—he listed his dad as a producer so he could see his own name on the screen. The other listed producer, Edward Sherman, was Costello's manager.



Phil Karlson got to know Lou Costello when worked on Abbott and Costello films at Universal as an assistant. Costello tracked down Karlson and told him he wanted to produce a film with Karlson directing. According to Karlson, Costello asked him what did he want to make, and "I said I don't know. By this time I'm so flabbergasted that I had no idea what I wanted to do. But he put up the money and we decided on the crazy story A Wave, a WAC and a Marine."[1]


Karlson called the film "probably the worst picture ever made.... It was a nothing picture, but I was lucky because it was for Monogram and they didn't understand how bad it was because they had never made anything that was any good."[1] However it did launch Karlson's directing career.

See also


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