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The Navy Lark (1959)

| Comedy | 1959 (UK)
Film version of a popular BBC radio show about the incompetent crew of a Royal Navy ship.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cecil Parker ...
Ronald Shiner ...
Elvi Hale ...
Leading WREN Heather
Nicholas Phipps ...
Capt. Povey
Cardew Robinson ...
Lt. Binns
Leading Seaman Johnson
Harold Kasket ...
Gaston Higgins
Hattie Jacques ...
Fortune Teller
Reginald Beckwith ...
Kenneth J. Warren ...
Richard Coleman ...
Lt. Bates R.N.
Llewellyn Rees ...
Adm. Troutbridge
Clive Morton ...
Rear Admiral


On the English Channel Island of Boonzey there is a small British Navy base serviced by minesweeper HMS Compton.The task of the vessel and its crew is to sweep the surrounding waters for German magnetic mines leftover from WW2.The task is easy since there are no mines in the local waters.Therefore, the crew spends its time in various ways in order to kill boredom.The skipper, Commander Stanton, spends his time fishing.His second in command, Lieutenant Pouter, spends his time womanizing.Chief Petty Officer Banyard and Leading Seaman Johnson spend their time smuggling booze, in collusion with the local French fishermen.However, their idyllic paradise is about to be shattered when the Navy higher-ups decide to send Captain Povey to assess the usefulness of the base and to decide whether to close it down.Sensing the danger of re-assignment to less idyllic Navy bases, the crew of minesweeper Compton decides to prove that their work in the area is vital, thus leading to their continued ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Navy Lark  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Leslie Phillips was the only cast member from the BBC Radio series to reprise his role in the film. However Richard Caldicot (the radio show's Captain Povey) makes a cameo appearance in a different role. See more »


CPO Banyard: [entering room in agitated state] Sir, it's about Lieutenant Binns sir - something has got to be done.
Cmdr. Stanton: [Sympathetically] Well, we know chief, we know.
CPO Banyard: Yes, but do you know what he's done now Sir? He's pinched the jeep. The Milkman's livid.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Navy Lark is a surely fictitious account of events and goings on in a naval establishment only loosely connected with the senior service. See more »


Followed by HMS Paradise (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

radio spin off
23 December 2014 | by (london) – See all my reviews

Before TV spin offs there came radio spin offs such as Life With The Lyons,The Grove family and 20Questions Murder Mystery.In those films the original radio cast was used but not here.Only Leslie Phillips survives,presumably because he was established as a film actor.As to the replacements i would have preferred to see Jon Pertwee and Ronnie Barker reprise their roles.However the addition of Cecil Parker is quite inspired as he was a truly great comedy actor in his later years.The film is quite funny up to the half way point but then sags with the rather unfunny revolution.Also i think that Ronnie Shiner was clearly an unfortunate choice for the CPO.He looks very aged and not really up to it.

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