9 user 2 critic

PT Raiders (1955)

The Ship That Died of Shame (original title)
A trio of ex-servicemen begin smuggling innocuous black market items into post-war Britain, but through greed they graduate to more sinister cargo.


Basil Dearden


Nicholas Monsarrat (from the story by), John Whiting (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Richard Attenborough ... George Hoskins
George Baker ... Bill Randall
Bill Owen ... Birdie Dick
Virginia McKenna ... Helen Randall
Roland Culver ... Fordyce
Bernard Lee ... Sam Brewster,The Customs Officer
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... Sir Richard
John Chandos John Chandos ... Raines
Harold Goodwin ... Second Customs Officer
John Longden ... The Detective


After intense wartime naval experiences a trio buy their old ship but then have to use it for smuggling and worse, before finally having to come to their senses. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Brave men who drove their gallant ship into a sea of death! See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Did You Know?


The Quayside scenes were clearly filmed at Poole Quay and the wharfe opposite. See more »


When Raines comes out of the abandoned WW2 bunker, the left lens of his glasses appears to have a scratch. In subsequent shots, the scratch is gone. See more »


Bill Randall (skipper of 1087: [narrating] I know about ships. They're wood and metal and nothing else. They don't have souls. They don't have wills of their own. And they don't talk back.
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Alternate Versions

Originally released in Britain at 91 minutes; an alternate, re-edited version titled "PT Raiders" was released in the USA at 78 minutes. See more »


Every Inch a Sailor
Written by Jack Fishman
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User Reviews

".....you're meant to search the ship, not sink it......"
8 December 2018 | by Brucey_DSee all my reviews

This film addresses the hard lot that ex-servicemen had to face in nigh-on bankrupt post-war Britain; many of them felt of as little use as their now redundant equipment, and some sought excitement and ill-gotten gains by whatever means available.

The Ship in question is a Royal Navy Motor Gun Boat and appears to be (I think) a Fairmile type C. These boats were fast, heavily armed and themselves somewhat vulnerable to attack having little or no armour and containing hundreds of gallons of fuel. They were powered by three large engines and sported between ~2000 and 4000hp depending on the specification.

The idea of using a craft of this sort for smuggling is a bit of a stretch; they use several gallons of fuel per mile and are ruinously expensive to operate, so much so that few of this type survive today. Any smuggling operation using one would have to pay out handsomely just to meet the fuel bills.

Anyway the film is a little darker and has less overt sympathies than many of this period. The cinematography and model work is pretty good and the cast is excellent.

This film is well worth watching, almost a forgotten classic.

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Release Date:

30 January 1956 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

PT Raiders See more »

Filming Locations:

Poole Harbour, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Gaumont - Kalee) (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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