Sailors Three (1940) – Film Review

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Director: Walter Forde
Cast: Tommy Trinder, Claude Hulbert, Michael Wilding
Certificate: U

By Roger Crow

Tommy Trinder, that cheeky Londoner, forever with a twinkle in his eye, was a showbusiness staple during the war years, and beyond.

Sailors Three Film Review coverI only knew him as a seasoned entertainer, propping up long forgotten shows like Look Who’s Talking, and Looks Familiar, so it’s fascinating to see him as a young man in this hit-and-miss naval comedy from 1940.

The plot: on shore leave from HMS Ferocious at a neutral South American port, three sailors have one drink too many before re-boarding their ship. Unfortunately it’s not their craft, and they awake to find they’ve drunkenly boarded the German pocket battleship Ludendorf.

“Slice of escapism”

As a morale-booster, it no doubt worked a treat during the early days of World War Two.

Trinder, in his film debut, does his best with the material, while co-Stars Claude Hulbert and Michael Wilding are amiable enough.

Given the fact it’s eighty-plus years old, this HD remaster from original film elements makes it look pretty good.

It’s not bad, but it’s no classic either. However, as a vintage British curio, it’s an intriguing slice of escapism which will probably be of more interest to film historians than fans of great comedy vehicles.

sailors three film review bluray

“More of the same”

Thankfully director Walter Forde did a far better job with his Arthur Askey follow up, The Ghost Train. Trinder reprised his role of Tommy Taylor four years later with Fiddlers Three, so there was obviously a demand for more of the same.

Obviously all comedy is subjective, so you may be in stitches throughout. Just a shame this failed to float my boat.

Sailors Three is released on Blu-ray by Network, £17.99

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