9 user 3 critic

Botany Bay (1952)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 7 October 1953 (USA)
In 1787, American medical student Hugh Tallant and British convicts are sent from London to New South Wales on a ship commanded by the evil Captain Gilbert.


John Farrow


Jonathan Latimer (screenplay), Charles Nordhoff (novel) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... Hugh Tallant
James Mason ... Capt. Paul Gilbert
Patricia Medina ... Sally Munroe
Cedric Hardwicke ... Gov. Phillips (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Murray Matheson ... Rev. Mortimer Thynne
Dorothy Patten Dorothy Patten ... Mrs. Nellie Garth
John Hardy John Hardy ... Nat Garth
Hugh Pryse Hugh Pryse ... Ned Inching
Malcolm Lee Beggs Malcolm Lee Beggs ... Nick Sabb
Anita Sharp-Bolster ... Moll Cudlip (as Anita Bolster)
Jonathan Harris ... Tom Oakly
Alec Harford Alec Harford ... Brig-keeper Jenkins
Noel Drayton ... Second Mate Spencer
Brandon Toomey Brandon Toomey ... Guard (as Brendan Toomey)
Ben Wright ... Deck Officer Green


In 1787 prisoners from London's Newgate Gaol are to be shipped to New South Wales. Hugh Tallant is an American medical student whom, we learn at sea, was falsely imprisoned. Because of his attempt to escape, evil Captain Gilbert decides to return him to England on charges of mutiny. Events, including arrival of plague, keep Tallant busy in New South Wales. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SAVAGE as the Great Continent They Invaded!


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les bagnards de Botany Bay See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,900,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A ship called the Charlotte which sailed with the First Fleet under a Captain Gilbert really existed. See more »


Hugh Tallant: I'd rather be a free man running than the most comfortable slave in the world.
See more »


Featured in Never Fear Smith Is Here! (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Still haunted by Mason's villainy!
16 July 2003 | by gregcoutureSee all my reviews

As of this date, the only other IMDb comment on this title is one with which I can agree. I saw it during its neighborhood run in the year of its release and recall that it did, indeed, look like the budget must have been rather minuscule. But James Mason's performance is one that I can still remember as entirely disturbing for a young moviegoer not yet in his teens. What an actor! He made this film, which Paramount obviously treated as just a programmer, quite an experience. If remade today, I suppose we'd have Mel Gibson in the Alan Ladd role and, perhaps, Geoffrey Rush trying to imitate Mason's indelible portrait, plus some authentic Australian locations. But once was enough, for it was quite a grim experience, and the brutality that would probably be gruesomely depicted today would be more than I'd pay to see!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed