The Boatniks

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Boatniks (1970 Movie)

“The Boatniks” is a comedy film released by Walt Disney Productions in 1970. The film is directed by Norman Tokar and written by Arthur Julian.

The story follows a young and inexperienced harbor patrolman named Tim Richards (played by Robert Morse), who is assigned to work on a patrol boat in a coastal town during a busy holiday weekend known as “Boatniks.” Despite his lack of boating skills and clumsiness, Tim is determined to prove himself and impress his girlfriend, Kate (played by Stefanie Powers).

As the holiday weekend approaches, chaos ensues as Tim’s boat becomes involved in various mishaps and comedic situations. He unintentionally causes mayhem on the water while trying to apprehend a trio of inept criminals led by Harry Simmons (played by Phil Silvers). The criminals are planning to use Tim’s boat to carry out their illegal activities.

Amidst the chaos, a luxury yacht carrying a wealthy businessman, Mr. Pennington (played by Don Ameche), and his spoiled daughter, Darlene (played by Joanna Barnes), also gets entangled in the comedy of errors.

Throughout the film, Tim’s misadventures are juxtaposed with the efforts of a capable and experienced harbor captain, Captain Biddle (played by Wally Cox), who tries to keep the situation under control.

“The Boatniks” is a light-hearted and slapstick comedy that offers plenty of humorous moments and physical comedy. It blends elements of farce, mistaken identity, and a touch of romance, creating a fun and entertaining watch for audiences of all ages.

While not a critical success, “The Boatniks” gained popularity as a family-friendly comedy that delivers wholesome entertainment. The film’s comedic performances, especially by Robert Morse and Phil Silvers, received praise for their charm and humor.

As with many Disney comedies of its time, “The Boatniks” has since become a nostalgic favorite for fans of classic family films. It remains a part of Disney’s film library and serves as a reminder of the lighthearted and whimsical films that were produced during that era.

Fun Facts

  • The film features a memorable performance by Phil Silvers, a renowned comedian known for his roles in comedy series like “The Phil Silvers Show.” Silvers plays the role of Captain Harris, a harbor patrol officer with a penchant for causing chaos.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $18.6 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Robert Morse: Ensign Garland
  • Stefanie Powers: Kate
  • Phil Silvers: Harry Simmons
  • Norman Fell: Max
  • Mickey Shaughnessy: Charlie
  • Wally Cox: Jason
  • Don Ameche: Commander Taylor
  • Joey Forman: Lt. Jordan
  • Vito Scotti: Pepe Galindo
  • Tom Lowell: Wagner
  • Robert Hastings: Chief Walsh
  • Sammy Jackson: Garlotti
  • Joe E. Ross: Nutty Sailor
  • Judith Jordan: Tina
  • Al Lewis: Bert
  • Midori: Chiyoko Kuni
  • Kelly Thordsen: Motorcycle Cop
  • Gil Lamb: Mr. Mitchell


  • Director: Norman Tokar
  • Producer: Ron Miller
  • Music: Robert F. Brunner

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.