Cast & Crew
Jesse De Vorska
In Odessa, Russia, Spike Moore, a likable, but slow-witted sailor, complains that every woman "from Hamburg to Hong Kong" whom he tries to romance has a picture of an anchor inside a heart stamped somewhere on her body, which another sailor put there. A sailor named Bill then asks Spike for change for five dollars to pay a carriage driver. Spike gives Bill three dollars, which Bill then pays the driver, leaving the befuddled Spike thinking that he owes Bill the remaining two dollars even though Spike never received the five. After consulting his little black notebook, Spike goes to the civic park to meet women. One invites him to join her picnic, but he spies the stamp on her arm, and it annoys Spike intensely when she says that the man who gave her the "heart" was "wonderful." In Venice, Spike sees Bill rowing away from a man in a gondola, who shoots at him and calls him a housebreaker. After consulting his black book, Spike visits a woman, but because he sees through a peephole in her door the heart on her arm, he leaves. In Greece, Spike watches soldiers escort Bill to his ship as many disappointed women follow. Later, when Spike goes to kiss the hand of a wealthy widow whom he has courted, he sees the heart and again gets extremely upset. In Rio de Janiero, after a woman throws him into the street for asking about the heart, Spike goes to a fashion show. Bill, who has just escaped the police, meets him there and their subsequent brawl over the two dollars and the models in the show is interrupted when police chase them out. Later that night, they are arrested, jailed and fined ten dollars for another fight. In Calais, Bill helps Gonzales, a plumber, remove an irritant tooth from Spike by plunging a nail into Spike's rear. Spike then goes to the carnival, where he watches Goldie, a gorgeous blonde American diver, leap two hundred feet into six feet of water. When she sees that Spike has a wad of money, Goldie gets the police to remove a couple of pickpockets who attempt to rob him. She then leads Spike to her tent where, as he waits for her to dress, he rips the Calais page from his little black book. Because of Goldie, Spike remains in Calais after his ship pulls out, and he also convinces Bill to stay; however, when Spike introduces Bill to Goldie, they recognize each other from an affair they once had in Coney Island. Bill, who suspects that Goldie is only after Spike's money, calls her a tramp and warns her to play straight with Spike. When Spike tells Goldie that he will give up drinking and swearing if she will marry him, and describes his dream of owning a chicken ranch, Goldie offers to keep his money for him, because, she says, sailors are spendthrifts, but he puts her off. Bill and Spike have an argument and agree to split up when Bill warns Spike about Goldie, but after listening at the door to Spike's pathetic attempts to fry bacon for himself, Bill reenters and they reconcile. Goldie, who still is excited by Bill, sneaks into his room one night while he sleeps and kisses him. She tries to seduce him, but Bill hits her and walks out. When Goldie makes Spike believe that Bill beat and raped her and displays her "heart" to prove it, Spike's normally good-natured, but dumb, demeanor is replaced by a stern, focused look. Finding Bill in a barroom brawl, Spike fights off two of Bill's attackers before hitting Bill himself. Bill then convinces Spike of Goldie's lies and returns the three dollars he "borrowed" in Russia. The two order drinks and swear off women; Spike gives up his black book, and Bill his stamp. When they spy a pair of attractive female legs outside the window, however, Spike surreptitiously grabs Bill's stamp before they leave the bar in pursuit.
Jesse De Vorska
Howard J. Green
A. L. Rockett
The working titles for this film were A Girl in Every Port, Painted Woman and Sailor-Made. This was a remake of the 1928 Fox film, A Girl in Every Port, which was directed by Howard Hawks and starred Victor McLaglen and Robert Armstrong (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.2089). The screen credits make no mention of the earlier version, but the Variety reviewer noticed the similarity and commented, "Antics, dialog and general movement of Spencer Tracy and Warren Hymer are direct imitations of the [Victor] McLaglen-[Edmund] Lowe series and n.s.g. [i.e., not so good]. Looks like [a] remake of Girl in Every Port." In a first continuity and dialogue by Howard J. Green, in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Claire Luce is suggested for the female role. Variety noted that this was probably the first time a woman was called a "tramp" in a film and that Lina Basquette was listed in the credits, but was not recognized by the reviewer.
According to the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, producer A. L. Rockett agreed to make two changes in the film, after it was submitted to the Hays Office, to conform to the requirements of the Production Code. These involved some lines uttered by "Spike" before he looks through a keyhole at a woman in a bathtub which made clear that he had been involved with the woman in the past (apparently the scene without the lines was supposed to imply that Spike's peeping through the keyhole was unpremeditated); and shots of a woman "dancing the hootch" at the carnival scene. Rockett, however, left in the film four items which the Hays Office warned could be considered objectionable by the various censor boards. When Twentieth Century-Fox attempted to get a certificate for the film's reissue in 1937, Joseph Breen wrote that the film "raised a storm of protest" when it was first released because of its "vulgarity and low moral tone."
Released in United States 1931
Released in United States 1999
Released in United States March 1977
Released in United States 1931
Released in United States 1999 (Shown in New York City (Film Forum) as part of program "The Joy of Pre-Code: Sex, Booze and Red Hot Jazz, 1930-1933" August 20 - September 14, 1999.)
Released in United States March 1977 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Treasures from UCLA Archives) March 9-27, 1977.)