Popeye the Sailorpedia
Hold the Wire
Number 39
Little Swee'Pea
The Spinach Roadster

Hold the Wire is Popeye's 39th theatrical short, released by Fleischer Studios on October 23, 1936.


Olive Oyl is reading romance magazines when Popeye calls her on the phone. She argues that he is not romantic enough, so her sailor paramour starts to recite poetry to her - reading it from a book. Meanwhile, Bluto approaches Olive's house and, eavesdropping on the telephone conversation, gets an idea: he climbs the telephone pole beside the house, connecting his own phone receiver to the appropriate wire and mimicking Popeye's voice as he proceeds to insult and disrespect Olive. He even rewires the proper line at times so that his rival can hear the alarming state of the conversation. Popeye eventually runs to Olive's house, pointing to the hijacker. He climbs the pole then a brawl erupts, with the enemies balancing high atop the wires as they fight and sometimes swinging on cut lines to avoid falling. When their fisticuffs devolve into Popeye taking a beating, Olive manages to call the receiver up on the wire, telling her boyfriend to remember to eat his spinach - as Popeye had not thought of that. He gains the upper hand and punches Bluto along the lines to leave him wholly entangled, but as Olive cheers she is yanked up along with her phone cord. Popeye is able to safely catch her, however. Day turns to night as he chants his song in celebration atop the destroyed phone lines.

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