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The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949)

Jennifer Smith heads a "Consumer Reports"-type company and her reputation for honesty is her greatest asset. While out boating one day she encounters a secret prototype submarine piloted by... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Everett Freeman (screenplay), Jerome Gruskin (story "The Octopus and Miss Smith") (as Jerry Gruskin) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jane Wyman ... Jennifer Smith
Dennis Morgan ... Bill Craig
Eve Arden ... Susan Wayne
Robert Douglas ... John Tyson
Allyn Joslyn ... Ralph Whitcomb
Tom Tully ... Henry Duckworth
Lina Romay ... Racquel Riviera
William Frawley ... Oliver Harker
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Storyline

Jennifer Smith heads a "Consumer Reports"-type company and her reputation for honesty is her greatest asset. While out boating one day she encounters a secret prototype submarine piloted by Bill Craig. Trying to explain her absence after her boat sinks becomes very difficult as Bill and his cohorts attempt to discredit her story. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 1950 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Até Parece Mentira See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to some sources, Jack Lemmon debuted in the movies with this film playing a minimal and uncredited role as a plasterer/painter. See more »

Goofs

When Jennifer is trying to get away from Bill outside of her apartment, after she gets into her car, a clear reflection of the boom microphone can be seen moving across the windshield. See more »

Quotes

John Tyson: Well, I've always thought of myself as a man's man.
Susan Wayne: Who want's to be a man's man? Where's the fun in that?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sinatra: All or Nothing at All: Part 1 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Kiss Me Sweet
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Drake
Played when Jennifer is going through Bill's car
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sorry, Lady
14 January 2017 | by jdsuggsSee all my reviews

Romantic comedies usually involve two characters in conflict. To make it work, for starters, they need to be likable, somewhat evenly matched, and in a fun and funny situation. That's why "The Lady Takes A Sailor" doesn't work.

Jane Wyman and Dennis Morgan are in an interesting (not fun or funny) situation: her career and personal reputation- like Aimee Semple McPherson's, a few years earlier- hinge on proving the truth of a wild story behind her brief disappearance, while Morgan's career depends on keeping that truth a military secret. Since Jane is clearly the wronged party- she's shipwrecked, kidnapped, drugged, mocked, and lied to by Morgan- we're rooting for her, but amid mixed messages that she should sacrifice everything for an ungrateful military.

Wyman and Morgan are not equally matched. There's no cleverness (or fun) in their conflict, just a lot of confrontation, in which he effortlessly bullies, stalks, and taunts her. She's a helpless victim and he's basically a cad and a thug.

Morgan's character is therefore totally unlikable, and the idea that he might win this fight, much less get the girl, clouds any fun that this film has to offer. With all that, it hardly matters that the film is completely unfunny, or that the message is (once again) that women don't really need careers when a man- (even a repellent one!)- comes along.

Incidentally, nothing against Wyman, Morgan, director Michael Curtiz, or Eve Arden, who all had fine careers and did excellent work elsewhere.


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