6.2/10
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35 user 12 critic

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976)

After his father dies, a disturbed young boy plots to take revenge on the new man in his mother's life.

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(novel), (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Anne Osborne
...
Jim Cameron
Jonathan Kahn ...
Jonathan Osborne
Margo Cunningham ...
Elizabeth Palmer
Earl Rhodes ...
Chief
Paul Tropea ...
Number Two
Gary Lock ...
Number Four
Stephen Black ...
Number Five
Peter Clapham ...
Richard Pettit
Jennifer Tolman ...
Mary Ingram
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Storyline

Widowed now for close to four years, Anne Osborne, who now operates the antiques shop formerly owned by her husband David, and their son, Jonathan Osborne, live in a small, English seaside town. Both Anne and Jonathan still miss David even after all these years. Going through puberty, Jonathan uses something he finds in his bedroom to explore the emerging thoughts of sexuality going through his mind. Although Anne knows Jonathan sneaks out of the house early in the morning against her orders, she is unaware that he is attending meetings of a secret society of five boys, who refer to each other only by a cardinal number, their rank within the group as assigned by "The Chief", number one. The Chief is an arrogant, sadistic pseudo-intellectual who needs to show his power and dominance over the other four in whatever means possible. He largely considers them immature as he spouts off his Nietzschean philosophies, centering on that adults create rules that ultimately disrupt the natural ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He gave his soul to the sea and his heart to a woman. Their love will arouse you. The story will disturb you. The ending will startle you.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1976 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Der Weg allen Fleisches  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut film as a director of film & television writer Lewis John Carlino. The picture is the first of only three ever movies directed by Carlino [to date, June 2014], the two subsequent films being Class (1983) and The Great Santini (1979). See more »

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Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better film than reviewers give credit
14 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film can be faulted for at least appearing to give too much to the mother/sailor side of the conflict, an appealingly sexy but eventually unconvincing romantic fantasy. The boy Chief is the other distracting trap for the viewer - he's the embryo of a crypto-scientific nerd who has less in common with Nietzsche than with a certain type of sclerotic, egotistical academic you'll find slowly going berserk at a second rate college.

Importantly, the Chief doesn't quite "get it" about his underrated disciple Jonathan and the Sailor. Jonathan is, or should be, the focus of the film because he is a more interestingly conflicted, assertive, and intellectually cogent character than any of the others - he is the Mishima surrogate, who tries to reconcile and meld the Chief's perfectionism with the sailor's fictional attraction. That requires canceling out the unacceptably artless "return" of the sailor, which is the "fall from grace." Restoring aesthetic grace to the Sailor is the shocking concluding project. Keep your mind's eye on Jonathan - even while heeding the siren calls of competing sex and death.

The casting is very good. Miles has the dreamy look and self-deluding spunk of a romance novel heroine. Kristofferson always plays "himself" and in this film his noble antique head, wooden cowboy self-assurance, and gravel-voiced platitudes work perfectly to attract susceptible but discerning Jonathan in the first go around and disgust him in the second. The young actor Jonathan was a real find - able to play the submissive but also a live spark when called upon - his is the subtlest but most important role in the film.


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