The Lightship (1985)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  26 September 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 519 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 6 critic

A trio of robbers, two brothers and their twisted genius leader, invade a lightship, but don't reckon on the crew fighting back.



(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Calvin Caspary
Captain Miller
Tim Phillips ...
Michal Skolimowski ...
Alex (as Michael Lyndon)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Badja Djola ...


Just when US Coast Guard captain Miller takes his teenage son Alex to his lightship off the coast of Virginia, Calvin Caspary and two criminal accomplices, on the run for the police, decide to hijack it. What the crazy trio didn't count on is that this small crew doesn't just keep taking it lying low, they will put up a fight. Alex hides dad's gun and wrestles his his war past and courage. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The guiding light in a sea of treachery.




PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killers at Sea  »

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Did You Know?


According to Dennis Schwarz's film review, "the film is told from the POV of the Michal Skolimowski [the Alex Miller] character, who acts as narrator". See more »


[first lines]
Alex: [narrating] My old man was a captain in the Coast Guard. We never saw too much of each other. Most of the time he was away at sea. But this time I was lucky. He made it to my graduation.
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Remade as Das Feuerschiff (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

A great story about the struggle between order and chaos.
3 June 2005 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

This is one of the great movies from the eighties, however unjustly underestimated and forgotten.

Brandauer plays the captain of the lightship that's constantly anchored at the same place. It's only purpose is to warn other ships for dangerous waters. Robert Duvall enters the scene with his men and his one ambitions. It is also a generation drama about the relation between the lightships captain and his prodigal son.

A brilliantly hermetical story about the thin line between order and chaos, and about relations between people. An excitement that lies not in action but in the trial of strength and the mostly implicit violence, that sometimes breaks out in uncontrolled outbursts.

It also tells the story about the kind of courage that almost looks like cowardice.

Don't miss this one!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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