Sailors Three (released in the US as Three Cockeyed Sailors) is a 1940 British war comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Tommy Trinder, Claude Hulbert and Carla Lehmann. This was cockney music hall comedian Trinder's debut for Ealing, the studio with which he was to become most closely associated. It concerns three British sailors who accidentally find themselves aboard a German ship during the Second World War.
Australian daybill poster
|Directed by||Walter Forde|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Written by||Austin Melford|
|Music by||Ernest Irving|
|Edited by||Ray Pitt|
|Distributed by||Associated British|
Detailed surveys published in Britain in the early years of the war by the "Mass-Observation" organisation, showed the popularity of comedy with wartime cinema audiences. Films with the war as a subject were particularly well received, especially those movies showing the lighter side of service life, largely because many in the audience would soon be finding themselves in uniform. John Oliver writes in BFI screenonline, " to prepare such potential recruits for their own possible riotous and fun-packed life in the Royal Navy, Sandy Powell had already taken the shilling in All At Sea (dir. Herbert Smith, 1939) before Tommy Trinder did likewise with Sailors Three, following his comic misadventures in the army in Laugh It Off (dir. John Baxter) earlier that same year."
During the Second World War, three Royal Navy sailors on a drunken spree in a Brazilian neutral port mistake a German ship for their own and climb aboard. It turns out to be a pocket battleship, the Ludendorff, and to the credit of the Royal Navy, the trio manages to capture the ship and all the Germans on board.
- Tommy Trinder as Tommy Taylor
- Claude Hulbert as Llewellyn Davies, 'The Admiral'
- Carla Lehmann as Jane Davies
- Michael Wilding as Johnny Wilding
- James Hayter as Hans Muller
- Jeanne de Casalis as Mrs Pilkington
- Henry Hewitt as Professor Pilkington
- Brian Fitzpatrick as Digby Pilkington
- John Laurie as McNab
- Harold Warrender as Pilot's Mate
- Eric Clavering as Bartender
- John Glyn-Jones as Best Man
- John Wengraf as German Captain
- Manning Whiley as German Commander
- Victor Fairley as German Petty Officer
- Alec Clunes as British Pilot
- TV Guide called it "a funny comedy from the propagandistic Ealing studios".
- Britmovie concluded director "Walter Forde’s music-hall training enabled him to see that the gags were well-timed."
- In the BFI screenonline, John Oliver writes, "Trinder may have made more distinguished films at Ealing, but Sailors Three was not only a promising start at the studio but the film that would remain his most successful outright comedy."
- IMDb: Sailors Three - release info Linked 2015-10-30
- "BFI Screenonline: Sailors Three (1940)". Screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "BFI | Film & TV Database | SAILORS THREE (1940)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- Based on sheet music sales.
- "Sailors Three 1940 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Three Cockeyed Sailors Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 22 February 2014.