7.4/10
494
5 user 10 critic

Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983)

Les trois couronnes du matelot (original title)
A drunken sailor recounts the surrealistic odyssey of his life story to a murderous student.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A surreal odyssey in which a melancholic maidservant crosses paths with a homicidal little boy, travels to a tiny island of pirates and encounters a man with multiple personalities.

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Hugues Quester, Anne Alvaro, Melvil Poupaud
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two narrators, one seen and one unseen, discuss possible connections between a series of paintings. The on-screen narrator walks through three-dimensional reproductions of each painting, ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Jean Rougeul, Chantal Paley, Jean Raynaud
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Take a walk into the weird world of filmmaker Raul Ruiz as he takes us to Paris for a twisted ride. A man which shares four names and four personalities (which is the real one?) is the link... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Galiena, Marisa Paredes
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At her son's funeral, Solange, a lawyer famous for losing hopeless cases, agrees to defend René, her son's age, accused of murdering his wealthy aunt, Jeanne, who's part of the ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, Melvil Poupaud
Dark at Noon (1992)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Come to the Village of the Dogs, it's easy to find. Just follow the avenue of crutches and the prosthetic legs hanging from the trees. It's where the Virgin Mary keeps appearing in the sky.... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: John Hurt, Didier Bourdon, Lorraine Evanoff
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The drunken nights of several listless chancers in Chile's capital city build inexorably to violence.

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Shenda Román, Nelson Villagra, Luis Alarcón
The Territory (1981)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A small group of well-to-do vacationers go on a hiking trip into the woods. Foolishly unprepared to deal with Mother Nature and their situation, they wander around lost for days and weeks, ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Geoffrey Carey, Paul Getty Jr., Jeffrey Kime
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A drama centered on an office worker on the verge of retirement who begins to relive both real and imagined memories.

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Christian Vadim, Sergio Hernández, Santiago Figueroa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Didier Flamand, Pascal Bonitzer, Gabriel Gascon
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the first half of this century, young Li Tienlu joines a travelling puppet theatre and subsequently makes a career as one of Taiwan's leading puppeteers. During World War II the Japanese... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tian-Lu Li, Giong Lim, Ming Hwa Bai
Neighbors (1920)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young couple who live next to each other in tenement apartments do everything they can to be together despite of their feuding families.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is on his deathbed. Looking at photographs brings memories of his childhood, his youth, his lovers, and the way the Great War put an end to a stratum of society. ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Béart, Vincent Perez
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Bernard Guillard ...
The sailor
Philippe Deplanche ...
The student
Nadège Clair ...
Maria
Lisa Lyon ...
Mathilde
Jean Badin ...
The 1st officer
Pauline Brunet
José de Carvalho
Claude Derepp ...
The captain
Diogo Dória
Mostefa Djadjam
Huguette Faget
André Gomes ...
The travelling salesman
Wladimir Ivanovsky
Adelaide João
Théo Légitimus
Edit

Storyline

A drunken sailor recounts the surrealistic odyssey of his life story to a murderous student.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Três Coroas do Marinheiro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ruiz's screenplay was partially inspired by the Chilean myth of the Caleuche ghost ship. See more »

Quotes

L'étudiant: On the night of July 25, 1958 I killed Ladislaw Zukarevitch, antique dealer, my mentor, my master in the art of polishing diamonds, my tutor at Warsaw Theological School. I got nothing out of this crime except the ring he offered me many times; several hundred marks; a collection of old coins, of no value; and a long letter where he advised me to leave the country.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Spisok korabley (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sea of narratives, wrecked, sailing again
9 June 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

So my ongoing project is to seek out films that point towards a true perception, a way of seeing things as they are and why. If the image has power as a fragment of the consciousness it informs and is informed by, then in entering a film we literally see what another has seen or dreamed, imprinted with what he means by seeing whatever it is he sees.

If this kind of film is rarely encountered, it's precisely because so many filmmakers see things in order to mean something else. Rarely do they mean what they see.

Some of my most cherished filmmakers dismantle with clarity of vision the cluttered notions, ideas, meanings, we associate with those images so that only the image remains, along with what echoes it has stirred in us. This is akin to meditation for me, a process of emptying out.

Another group of films I am drawn to use the opposite means, but look for the same. These assail our established notions (that things make sense a certain way) by fabricating other notions to confound or challenge that sense, by precisely cluttering their apparent order with various synthetic modes, symmetries or layered patterns. The idea here is that by losing ourselves in these stratagems, we awake to the activity of the mind that obscures the true picture. We look at things as through a kaleidoscope, not simply to enjoy the phantasmagoria, but so that we may become aware of that kaleidoscope that fractures the seeing.

This one belongs in this company, next to Greenaway and Welles.

So what we have here is another cunning web of stories within others, narrators within their selves projected into these stories. A sailor is recounting a story of sailing the High Seas to a young student, like in something Herman Melville might have written 150 years ago, or R.L. Stevenson.

We stop at various ports in this voyage, where fragments of life are recounted as vignettes. Various commentaries can be found in these, each one an elaborate ploy that informs others in turn.

In Singapore for example, the sailor meets with a local kid and the French proconsul. The proconsul translates what the kid says, but is he really? He says the kid is actually a wise old man, and that he must be kept from eating so that he won't grow old. In starving the kid, he posits that he's doing him a favour. The colonial commentary should be obvious, which Ruiz probably felt like he had inherited by working in France.

In Dakar he's met with a black doctor, who asks money and tells him how the present moment is impregnated with all the other moments, past or yet to come. Elsewhere he is saved by a kid who claims that he is free to roam the territory of his parents yet, in not having discovered any borders to it, is strangely prisoner of that freedom. The kid points to books of Stevenson claiming he already knows the stories, and wants to live in the world, not the page.

These fragments together comprise a kind of memoir, a mistress, wife, a kid. But again, how much of it true outside of the words? How much of it only a story the sailor picked up elsewhere and improvised some of his past upon it? We literally flow through these, like Welles would have the imagery; fluid motion, solid forms. Soaking up half-remembered atmospheres as thrown up by the imaginative mind. The mind which endlessly remembers, yearns, dreams, loathes, loves, talks with itself.

It's a rather beautiful construct overall; a ship as vessel of the imagination sailing on inscrutable seas, where all the sailors aboard are dead (like memories, to be conveniently arranged) except one, with the ability to dream ship and voyage. Who comes back with stories from that voyage, stories that involve parts of himself real or imagined.

This may had been an astonishing work if what reality anchored the imaginative flight could resonate inside the fantasy. On the level of reality there is the sailor narrating to the student; they are in a kind of ballroom and around them dance various couples. I wonder, will this mean to you what it does to me?


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
screening and dicusssion at BFI next week ExpFil
Discuss Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?