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The Captain's Table (1959)

A ship's captain is promoted by his company from tramp steamers to their flagship passenger liner. Although he is a thoroughly competent sailor ready to take charge of such a ship, he is ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel) | 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Judd
Mrs. Porteous
Maurice Denham ...
Major Broster
Richard Wattis ...
Reginald Beckwith ...
Lionel Murton ...
Bernie Floate
Bill Kerr ...
Bill Coke
Nicholas Phipps ...
Joan Sims ...
Maude Pritchett
Miles Malleson ...
Canon Swingler
Sir Angus
June Jago ...
Gwenny Coke


A ship's captain is promoted by his company from tramp steamers to their flagship passenger liner. Although he is a thoroughly competent sailor ready to take charge of such a ship, he is less prepared for the social duties the new position involves, not least the way he becomes the target for all the comely unattached women on board. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Another Hilarious Comedy From the Author of the Notorious "Doctor in the House" Series! See more »




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Release Date:

20 March 1959 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Shenanigans  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


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Did You Know?


Richard Gordon's novel sold very well in America and was optioned by Paramount. John Michael Hayes wrote a first-draft screenplay, making the central character American, not British; the plan was that it become a vehicle for Spencer Tracy. However, the studio dropped the idea and the film rights were snapped up by the Rank Organization. The script went through a number of changes, and both Bryan Forbes and John Whiting claimed they were disappointed with the final movie. See more »


No cargo ship skipper would be put in command of a passenger ship with no previous experience. In a line with both passenger and cargo vessels it is highly unlikely that a Master would not have served on a passenger ship as a first officer or staff captain, even if he went to a cargo ship for his first command. See more »

Crazy Credits

'This film was made with the enthusiastic co-operation of the Orient Line - who gravely disapproved of the whole thing.' See more »


Version of The Captain (1971) See more »


Love Is the Sweetest Thing
Music by Ray Noble
Lyrics by Charles Wilmott
See more »

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User Reviews

Good fun, but hardly a classic Richard Gordon adaptation
23 August 2000 | by (Bristol, England) – See all my reviews

Silly comedy based on author Richard Gordon's first book. Gordon is best known as the creator of the 'Doctor' novels, some of which were successfully filmed for the big screen between 1954 and 1970, as well as spawning a seventies TV sitcom. 'The Captain's Table' is very much in the same style: a few near-the-knuckle gags, lots of pretty bikini-clad girls and a veritable host of old English stereotypes.

Naughty vicars, camp stewards, sexy popsies and batty old ladies abound, but despite a super cast of comedy legends like Donald Sinden, Richard Wattis, John LeMesurier and Miles Malleson, the movie lacks any real fizz and fails to be even half as funny as its 'Doctor' cousins. Lead actor John Gregson is no match for Dirk Bogarde or Leslie Phillips, but Carry On star Joan Sims enlivens the proceedings with a cute cameo as a frumpy spinster.

Worth a look, but don't expect too many hearty laughs.

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