15 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>

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The world premiere of the picture took place at the San Diego Zoo. See more »


Capt. Paul Gilbert: Mr. Green, you will make preparations for keelhauling the prisoners.
Second Mate Spencer: Captain Gilbert, no man has been keelhauled on an English ship for fifty years.
Capt. Paul Gilbert: Oh, I don't think it's been that long.
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User Reviews

A ship of hoodlums exiled to penal colonies in Australia with James Mason in charge and Alan Ladd an intrepid innocent
3 September 2018 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This is a great novel, and the film, alas, does not quite live up to it. All the actors are quite all right, James Mason as a paragon of inhumanity at his most loathsome superiority - you wait for him to get murdered all through the film, and Alan Ladd, reliable as always in his irrepressible heroic obstinacy, Cedric Hardwicke as the pragmatic Australian governor, and Patricia Medina as the indispensible female element of some counterpoise to all the beastly cruelty. Franz Waxman's music helps a lot, and there is nothing really to complain about in this film on a great and interesting story indeed, except that it could have been made so much better, as the novel is well on par with "Mutiny on the Bounty".

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Release Date:

7 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Botany Bay See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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