Oh Sailor Behave

Oh Sailor Behave is a 1930 musical comedy produced and release by Warner Bros. It was based on the play, "See Naples and Die," written by Elmer Rice. It was originally intended to be entirely in Technicolor and was advertised as such in trade journals. Due to the backlash against musicals, it was apparently released in black and white only.


An American newspaper reporter named Charlie Carroll (Charles King) falls for a young heiress named Nanette Dodge (Irene Delroy) who is engaged to be married to a Prince Kasloff (Lowell Sherman) whom she does not love. After being rebuked by Nanette, the prince hires a Romanian general (Noah Beery) to kidnap her. Charlie, thinking she has eloped consoles himself with a local siren named Kunegundi (Vivien Oakland) until he realizes that she was kidnapped and set out to rescue her...

Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson provide comic relief that is completely unrelated to the main story. They play the part of two American sailors who are stationed in Naples to find a wooden legged thief who has robbed the navy storehouse in Venice.


  • "When Love Comes In The Moonlight"
  • "Leave A Little Smile"
  • "Highway to Heaven"
  • "The Laughing Song"
  • "Tell Us Which One Do You Love"


  • Charles King recorded three songs for the film for Brunswick Records: Brunswick 4840 (Highway to Heaven/When Love Comes in the Moonlight); Brunswick 4849 (Leave A Little Smile). (The other side of Brunswick 4849 featured a song from the aborted 1930 MGM revue The March of Time).
  • This was to be Charles King last musical for Hollywood. He went back to the stage since movie audiences had grown tired of musicals and never returned to the screen.
  • Due to the public apathy towards musicals, Warner Bros. did not debut this film in the usual prestigious movie theaters. The film was immediately placed in general release with no fan-fare.
  • The comics, Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson were added to the film because of the growing public apathy towards serious stage actors such as Charles King and Irene Delroy. The film was marketed as a comedy with these comics billed as "America's funniest clowns."


The version of the film release in the United States, late in 1930, survives intact. A print is house at MOMA and is in the Turner film library. The complete soundtrack also survives on Vitaphone disks.

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