The Captain's Paradise (1953)

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The bigamist captain of a ferry boat between the restricted British colony in Gibraltar and Spanish Morocco has a woman of differing appeal and temperament in each port.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Henry St. James
Nita St. James
Celia Johnson ...
Maud St. James
Charles Goldner ...
Chief Officer Ricco
Miles Malleson ...
Lawrence St. James
Walter Crisham ...
Nicholas Phipps ...
The Major
Bill Fraser ...
Absalom (taxi driver)
The Sheikh
Ali (vendor)
Kalikan firing-squad officer
Claudia Grey ...
Susan Dailey
Ann Hefferman ...
Daphne Bligh
Arthur Gomez ...
Chief steward
George Benson ...
Mr. Salmon


Mediterranean ferryboat captain Henry St James has things well organized - a loving and very English wife Maud in Gibraltar, and the loving if rather more hot-blooded Mistress, Nita in Tangiers. A perfect life. As long as neither woman decides to follow him to the other port. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He makes two-timing an art...and gets away with it See more »




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Release Date:

28 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Paradise  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Henry's quote 'We cultivate the faculty of patient expectancy..." is taken from G.K. Chesterton ("I am cultivating the faculty of patient expectancy."). See more »


The shots of the ship at night are obviously of a model, as can be seen by the movement of the sea at the bow. See more »


Capt. Henry St. James: [On the bridge, musing out loud to no one in particular] 'He that would enter paradise must have a golden key.'
Chief Officer Ricco: [Overhearing] You said something about a key, captain...
Capt. Henry St. James: I was merely quoting, Ricco, an old proverb.
See more »


Featured in Biography: Yvonne DeCarlo: Gilded Lily (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

A piece of paradise
2 April 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film is a treat! It is the tale of an English sea Captain (Alec Guiness) who thinks he has devised the perfect arrangement for paradise. He has a wife in two ports - each one half his idea of the perfect woman. His English wife (Celia Johnson) is the dutiful, domestic wife, whilst his Latin wife (Yvonne De Carlo) provides the excitement which he craves. All three play their roles well - Alec Guinness is a delight to watch, making you root for him and at times losing sympathy for him. The two wives appear to be stereotypical characters - but neither is quite as they seem! The script is witty and perceptive and the plot always engaging. I can recommend setting sail for the Captain's Paradise!

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