The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell


The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell is a 1968 American comedy film directed by Frank Tashlin and starring Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, and Jeffrey Hunter. It was the final film for Tashlin, who died in 1972.

The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell
DVD cover of The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byFrank Tashlin
Screenplay byFrank Tashlin
Story byJohn L. Greene
Robert M. Fresco
Produced byJohn Beck
StarringBob Hope
Phyllis Diller
Jeffrey Hunter
CinematographyAlan Stensvold
Edited byEda Warren
Music byHarry Sukman
John Beck-Naho Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • May 8, 1968 (1968-05-08)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,400,000 (US/ Canada)[1]


Master Sergeant Dan O'Farrell is a G.I. on an island somewhere in the South Pacific during World War II, bemoaning the loss of a ship torpedoed while ferrying to the island a desperately needed cargo of beer.

Among his problems are the Navy personnel making life difficult for him and his Army buddies, an officer trying to emulate John Paul Jones, a hoped-for delivery of morale-boosting nurses turning out to be six men, the ugliest woman (Diller) ever to wilt a bouquet of flowers, and a Japanese soldier who has been hiding from everyone else and hiding something else as well.



The film was an original story which was purchased by producer John Beck in 1965. He tried to set the project up at MGM, but after Bob Hope was attached, it was made via United Artists, where Hope had a deal in association with NBC.[2]

The movie was filmed in Puerto Rico in 1967 with Hope at 64 years of age at the time; it was originally to have been filmed in Hawaii, but due to the activity during the Vietnam War, the US Department of Defense, which cooperated with the production, suggested the filming move to the Caribbean.[3]


Renata Adler of The New York Times gave an unfavourable review, complaining about "the endless progression of unfunny lines."[4] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times stated, ". . . the striking thing about "The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell" is how completely it neglects the humorous possibilities of film," although he found enough good in the tight storytelling, Frank Tashlin's directing and Mako's performance to award two-and-a half stars.[5] Variety said it was "okay, but crudely plotted" and "routinely directed."[6] Leonard Maltin stated, "Of the many terrible Hope comedies of the 1960s, this may be the worst," and gave it his rock-bottom rating of BOMB.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1968", Variety, 8 January 1969 p 15. Please note this figure is a rental accruing to distributors.
  2. ^ Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media, 2013, pp. 285–287
  3. ^ The National Guardsman, Volume 21, National Guard Association of the United States, 1967, p. 44
  4. ^ The New York Times, May 9, 1968, page 54
  5. ^ "The Private Navy of SGT. O'Farrell movie review (1968) | Roger Ebert".
  6. ^ "The Private Navy of SGT. O'Farrell". January 1958.
  7. ^ Leonard Maltin's 2015 Movie Guide, page 1128

External linksEdit