At a Navy recruitment center, allergy-prone Melvin Jones (Jerry Lewis) and suave singer Al Crowthers (Dean Martin), who has bum knees, fret about being accepted. But both men pass and are sent to a San Diego training base, where Melvins phobias and allergies antagonize Chief Petty Officer Lardoski (Robert Strauss). Dragged into a kissing contest with local girls which causes his allergies to flare up Melvin is put on the spot to win a kiss from film star Corinne Calvet (as herself).
Sailor Beware is a 1952 comedy film starring the comedy team of Martin and Lewis and is an adaption of a 1933 Kenyon Nicholson play of the same name. It was released on February 9, 1952 by Paramount Pictures. The working title was At Sea with the Navy.
This was the fifth film collaboration of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, who would make 16 movies together before their partnerships end.
Meeting in a navy recruiting line, Al Crowthers (Dean Martin) and Melvin Jones (Jerry Lewis) become friends. Al has tried to enlist before, but was always rejected. He keeps trying so that he can impress women. Melvin, is allergic to women's cosmetics and his doctor prescribed ocean travel, so he decided to join the navy.
After meeting in the Navy recruiting line, Al Crowthers (Dean Martin) and Melvin Jones (Jerry Lewis) become friends. Al has tried to enlist before, 11 times, but was always rejected because of a bad knee. However, he keeps trying so that he can impress women, including Betty Hutton in a cameo role as Hetty Button. Melvin, meanwhile, is allergic to womens cosmetics and his doctor prescribed ocean travel, so he decided to join the Navy as this was the only way he could afford to follow doctors orders.
Unbeknown to Al, the naval requirements have been lowered and this time he has been accepted, as has Melvin. They are assigned to Lardoski (Robert Strauss), a bully they met in line and referred to as fathead.
While in San Diego, Melvin falls in love with a woman Hilda Jones (Marion Marshall), who does not wear makeup. However, Melvin seems to attract women to him, and Lardoski wagers with Al that Melvin has to kiss any girl he names. Al agrees and Lardoski picks Corinne Calvet, who is playing at a nightclub in Honolulu. The crew then get sent out on the next submarine to Hawaii, in which Melvin is caught on deck when the ship is submerging. Upon his rescue he is tied to a torpedo for the rest of the voyage to avoid any more incidents.
Once in Hawaii, Al romances Corinne while Melvin also vies for her affection in order to gain a kiss to win the bet which his shipmates have informed him about, and is unsuccessful in comforting Hilda who becomes jealous. Lardoski tries to prevent the kiss by getting the shore patrol to arrest Melvin, but he disguises himself as a hula dancer and gains the kiss. Al wins the bet (and Corinne), and Melvin works things out with Hilda.
Sailor Beware was filmed from September 5, 1951 through October 12 1951.Dean Martin ... Al Crowthers
Jerry Lewis ... Melvin Jones
Corinne Calvet ... Corinne Calvet, herself
Marion Marshall ... Hilda Jones
Robert Strauss ... CPO Lardoski
Leif Erickson ... Cmdr. Lane
Don Wilson ... Mr. Chubby
Vince Edwards ... Blayden (billed as Vincent Edwards)
Skip Homeier ... Mac
Dan Barton ... Bama
Mike Mahoney ... Tiger
Mary Treen ... Ginger
Betty Hutton has an unbilled cameo as Deans girlfriend, who is curiously named Hetty Button.
James Dean appears briefly in one of the scenes in the locker room, and even has a line of dialogue: "That guys a professional!"
Duke Mitchell appears briefly as the cornerman in the boxing scene. He would later team with Sammy Petrillo and star in Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, in which they play Martin and Lewis-like characters.
It was released in the United Kingdom under the title Panic in the Parlour by British Lion Films.
The film was re-released on a double-bill with another Martin and Lewis film, Jumping Jacks in 1957. It was re-released a second time in 1968.
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear in Sailor Beware and Jumping Jacks. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear in Sailor Beware and At War with the Army. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear in Sailor Beware and The Stooge. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear in Sailor Beware and My Friend Irma Goes West. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear in Sailor Beware and Thats My Boy.
The film was included on an eight-film DVD set, the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection: Volume One, released on October 31, 2006.