Up 17,517 this week

The Lightship (1963)
"Das Feuerschiff" (original title)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.8/10 from 15 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Add a Plot



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 111 titles
created 01 Mar 2012
list image
a list of 9997 titles
created 26 Nov 2013
a list of 65 titles
created 25 Apr 2014
list image
a list of 653 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Lightship" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Lightship (1963)

The Lightship (1963) on IMDb 5.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Lightship.
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Helmut Wildt ...
Dieter Borsche ...
Steuermann Rethorn
Pinkas Braun ...
Funker Philippi
Michael Hinz ...
Georg Lehn ...
Günter Mack ...
Simon Martin ...
Werner Peters ...
Sieghardt Rupp ...
Wolfgang Völz
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Xavier Cugat
Aldo Fabrizi


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | melodrama | See All (2) »




See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 October 1964 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Crime on the High Seas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Remade as Das Feuerschiff (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This May Well Be The Best to Date Version of "The Lightship" (Das Feuerschiff)
22 July 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This fine film screened on US TV under the title "Crime On The High Seas", it also won the 'Best German Film Award' of 1963. The semi allegorical story, written by prominent Polish born novelist Siegfried Lenz in 1960 as 'Das Feuerschiff' (the book remains in print today) has been filmed 3 times to date. Lenz is also known throughout the world for his iconic 1968 - highly regarded novel: "The German Lesson".

For the original story of 'The Lightship', humanist Lenz, cleverly weaves a brutal conventional crime story, into a situation offering a symbolic parable to the drive for power of all destructive forces (IE: the Nazi party and other war mongers, who use bulling tactics to control vulnerable communities) Within the situations he sets up he exposes the devastating impact these forces inflict on the innocent by-stander. Lenz thoughtfully creates an illustration that perhaps invites the viewer to consider the adage: "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing".

The young Lenz was drafted into the German Navy, but he defected to Denmark, turning himself over to the British he became a prisoner of war, interned in Schleswig-Holstein. For the majority of his life he has artistically expressed regret felt amongst many Germans for the damage inflicted on the world by certain people, under their infamous fuhrer. In latter years he has been awarded the prestigious Goethe prize, as well as the German Book Club Peace prize.

Having seen the 1985 American re-make of 'The Lightship', I personally felt this earlier film out shone the rather poorly constructed later production - with many scenes failing to gel, it tended to leave much of the original stories depth, lost at sea. But, if you haven't seen the original and color is important to you, it might please.

The '63 vers also had the distinction of being one of few films to feature London born (of strong Scottish ancestry) James Robertson Justice in an important dramatic lead. Justice is better known for a string of British comedies, as well as 'The Guns of Navarone' in '61. He was a reasonably good choice for the role of Captain of the Lightship, having himself felt the sting of Nazism while earlier serving as a policeman with the League of Nations, in a region under German governance. While Justice had a command of many languages, including German, he here speaks English. Other cast members include prolific German actor: Dieter Borsche and Helmut Wildt as Dr Caspary.

The Director is multi talented Austrian-Hungarian born Ladislao Vajda, who is known for the controversial "It Happened in Broad Daylight" '58 and the charming "Miracle of Marcelino" '55, ~ writing one of the stories that made up "The Story of Three Loves" '53, also writing the play "Grounds for Divorce", that played on stage in the UK. The screenplay was adapted for the screen by German born, American based Curt Siodmak, who has a long mixed bag of work to his credit including: "Berlin Express" '48 ~ "Donovan's Brain" '53 ~ "Hauser's Memory" '70, and the classic: "The Wolfman" 41.

The Cinematographer was German: Heinz Pehlice who in '59 shot the atmospheric "Ship of The Dead". I have not yet seen the 2008 version of 'Lightship', made for TV, but hope that experience may come soon. As for the original, it seems the German Film Institute hold a print and rights of this important work. In the era of DVDS, etc, it's criminal this version has remained unavailable to the world. One hopes a TV station or cable may see their way to screening it after so long neglected. Watch for it, or find it...if you can!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Lightship (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: