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Sebastian (1968)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  10 March 1969 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 350 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 7 critic

A British mathematician, working on code decryption, unexpectedly falls in love with another decrypter. This leads them to a complicated intrigue within the codebreakers.



(original screen story), (screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Rebecca Howard
Elsa Shahn
Head of Intelligence
Carol Fancy
Gen. Phillips
Margaret Johnston ...
Miss Elliott
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ann Beach ...
James Belchamber ...
Man with Dog
Veronica Clifford ...
Charles Farrell ...
Taxi Driver
Alan Freeman ...
TV Disc Jockey
Charles Lloyd Pack ...
Chess Player
Portland Mason ...
'UG' Girl


A British mathematician, working on code decryption, unexpectedly falls in love with another decrypter. This leads them to a complicated intrigue within the codebreakers. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No secret is secret from Sebastian and his 100 gorgeous codebreakers See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 March 1969 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Sebastian  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally planned as a reunion between the writer (Leo Marks) and the director (Michael Powell) of Peeping Tom (1960), this was inspired by Marks's own wartime career as an ace code-breaker. However, the notoriety of "Peeping Tom" made it hard to get the project off the ground. Powell became connected with American producer Herbert Brodkin during the making of the TV series Espionage (1963), and hoped that Brodkin's interest would get "Sebastian" made; when it finally was, both he and Marks were replaced. Powell had to be content with a producing credit, whilst Marks was credited solely with the story. See more »


Miss Elliott: [answering the phone] Abbey nine seven double three...
Rebecca Howard: Is there someone there called, Sebastian... oh... Sebastian someone?
Miss Elliott: Mister Sebastian...
Rebecca Howard: I met him in Oxford in the spring and he offered me a job
Miss Elliott: Hold on
Sebastian: [to Sebastian] A girl who says you offered her a job... in the spring
Sebastian: In the spring?
Miss Elliott: At Oxford
Sebastian: Ah! Licence number 66-0-F-Y-H
[he picks up the handset]
See more »


You Gotta Let Me Go
Performed by The Happeners
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User Reviews

A top 100 Consideration
12 January 2002 | by (Oklahoma City, OK) – See all my reviews

Sebastian is one of those movies you see once and remember for a long time. I saw it back in the seventies, and didn't get to enjoy it again until I caught it on TV in the nineties. Still, I remembered its groovy sixties-London atmosphere, its intellectually stimulating plot about codebreaking, Susannah York's breezy, mini-skirted, somewhat flighty Rebecca who is actually quite smart, Bogarde's coldly academic Sebastian with passion seething underneath, and Jerry Goldsmith's right-on soundtrack.

Like a lighter LeCarre story, you get Cold War tension, but with a post-war British self-deprecating viewpoint. They may not be the Empire they once were, but they do have a bit of expertise in cryptography that the Yanks would be willing to compensate them for. Donald Sutherland plays an NSA type at Fylingdale Moor who turns Sebastian on (literally) to the latest intercepts from a Russian satellite. He's immediately impressed when Sebastian hears the embedded signal that carries classified data piggy-back with the normal Sputnik beeps. Mixed in with this main West versus East plot is the late-sixties go-go scene, with Sebastian's former paramour a pop singer a little past her prime, with his right-hand girl a bit of a leftist sympathizer, and with his new girlfriend, Rebecca, a pre-hippy free spirit determined to pry him out of his Oxford Don shell. Susannah York's Rebecca is fun-loving but has a flame-hot temper that reacts explosively to Sebastian's unemotional pomposity. Her true depth is shone later when she quietly removes herself to care for her baby, without the assistance of its father, Sebastian, who has dropped out of her life. I feel it's the best role of York's uneven career.

What really takes the movie a step above, is Jerry Goldsmith's score. His instrumental "First Day at Work" catches just the right combination of urban excitement and spritly spirit that accompanies Rebecca and a bevy of beautiful and brainy girls as they make their way in to begin their work as cryptanalysts working in Sebastian's high-tech sweatshop. While the rest of the soundtrack is not up to his Blue Max or Wind and the Lion standards, this one tune alone puts Goldsmith's soundtrack above most movie music.

I would put this one in my list of top 100 movies for its cast, its atmosphere, its music, and its re-watchability. I hope it comes out on DVD soon.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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