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  • I viewed a battered copy of this movie, taken from an old MCA-TV 16mm print. While it only contains one song, "How I Wish I Could Learn To Say I Love You", it still is fun to watch due to the intrigue of the on screen villains and their attempts to take over Ellen Saunders company. The half-wittedness of Littleton Looney fits Jack Oakie's acting style to a tea, thus his portrayal of an earth mover operator whom everyone thinks an engineer is believable.

    Ginger Rogers is very young here and looks quite different than in her RKO or WB pictures. While not a sexy vixen here, her impish cuteness in this and 'Queen High' can be quite charming. This is her first starring role in a full length feature. Her first full length feature as a supporting actress is 'Young Man of Manhattan', in which she plays a marriage wrecking teenage flapper named Puff. This is worth seeking out as well.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Trying to figure out this absurd plot is like trying to recite the most confusing tongue twister: practically impossible. Jack Oakie is traveling on a cruise ship from New York to Europe, and for some reason, everybody seems to think that he's a famous engineer incognito. He befriends socialite Ginger Rogers (practically unrecognizable as a brunette) who mistakenly believes that he is the man who helped design the modern Erie canal. Politicians, social climbers and crooks all want a piece of him, and it all creates the complete crew and passenger list of a real ship of fools.

    Oakie's goofiness and Ginger's perkiness aids to the enjoyment of a silly story that includes out of nowhere a few songs by Johnny Green and Vernon Duke. Amusing performances by Granville Bates, George Barbier and Verree Teasdale are additional plusses. But being one of Ginger's very first films, she will be the attraction that will draw interest. Her singing voice is a combination of Helen Kane and Gracie Allen, but she's certainly a force to be reckoned with as evidenced in an early scene where she displays her authority as the head of a family business that she's inherited.
  • vert00121 October 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    As I write, THE SAP FROM SYRACUSE has a 7.1 rating on IMDb, albeit from very few voters. It's not the worst movie you'll ever see, but it ain't that good, either. Jack Oakie plays his usual dumb lug with a huge grin and a heart of gold, Ginger Rogers is the heir to some kind of mine in Macedonia of all places, there's a crooked family retainer trying to cheat her out of her inheritance, Oakie is a construction worker mistaken for a great engineer whom Rogers believes can help her save her property, etc. It's a low budget comedy which I'd call more pleasant than funny, and it might serve as a not-too-painful distraction from a boring afternoon, but nothing more. Oakie is Oakie, Ginger in only her second or third feature film is all right, there isn't much else to say about it so I won't.
  • AAdaSC3 December 2018
    A lot of people aboard a cruise ship heading to Europe from America want to find on-board passenger Jack Oakie (Mr Looney). It's a tale of mistaken identity and can get a little complicated to follow and also a little dull.

    The standout comedic moments don't come from Jack Oakie but they are meant to. The funniest moments come from Granville Bates (Nycross) and Sidney Riggs (Pangolos) wandering around the ship asking who the hell has a name like 'Mr Looney'. The film drags a little and is more interesting as a time capsule where we can compare the cruise ship dining rooms of yesteryear and conclude that they were more classy in olden times.
  • Jack Oakie is a construction worker from midstate New York who inherits some money and decides to take a first-class voyage to Europe. His pals send telegrams and gifts that convince everyone on board he is actually a bigwig engineer. When brunette Ginger Rogers meets him, she thinks him the answer to her problem. She is convinced her guardian, Granville Bates, has stopped work on her mine in Macedonia so he can swindle her out of it. It takes the love-struck Oakie most of the movie to figure out why everyone keeps wanting to ask him engineering questions.

    Because it's only Rogers' second feature, she's basically in starlet mode, speaking (and singing in her duet with Oakie) in a baby-doll voice. Oakie is only slightly blustery in this movie. He's more of a light comedian here, and pleasant enough, but the movie, while amusing, never rises out of programmer status. Still, the leads, as well as support George Barbier and Greek Chorus Betty Starbuck and Verree Teasdale keep things moving along.