In 1942, a cargo ship jammed with British evacuees from Singapore is sunk by a Japanese sub. A small lifeboat carries a beautiful woman, an army officer, a bigoted administrator, and a ... See full summary »


Bob McNaught


George K. Burke (screenplay), J.M. Scott (novel)





Complete credited cast:
Joan Collins ... Sea Wife
Richard Burton ... Biscuit
Basil Sydney ... Bulldog
Cy Grant Cy Grant ... Number Four
Ronald Squire ... Clubman
Harold Goodwin ... Daily Telegraph Clerk
Roddy Hughes ... Club Barman
Gibb McLaughlin ... Club Porter
Lloyd Lamble ... Captain 'San Felix'
Ronald Adam ... Army Padre
Nicholas Hannen ... Elderly Passenger
Otokichi Ikeda Otokichi Ikeda ... Submarine Commander
Tenji Takagi Tenji Takagi ... Submarine Interpreter
Beatrice Varley ... Elderly Nun


In 1942, a cargo ship jammed with British evacuees from Singapore is sunk by a Japanese sub. A small lifeboat carries a beautiful woman, an army officer, a bigoted administrator, and a black seaman. Only the seaman knows the woman is a nun. The men reveal their true selves under the hardships of survival. Told in a flashback frame. Written by Rod Crawford <>

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What happened out the surging vastness of the India Ocean? See more »


Drama | Thriller | War


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Did You Know?


Cy Grant (Number Four) received an "introducing" credit. See more »


The opening sequences in London are set in 1947, but several 1950s vehicles (including the newspaper delivery vans) are visible in various street scenes. See more »


Bulldog: You know I'm very disappointed in this place. In all respectable desert islands I've read about they've got everything except for electricity. Here we've got coconuts and water.
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The Sea Wife Theme (I'll Find You)
Sung by David Whitfield
Composed by Tolchard Evans
Lyrics by Richard Mullan
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User Reviews

"No One Ever Looks At The Face Of A Nun"
10 October 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In their only time together in a film, Richard Burton and Joan Collins co-star in Sea Wife which is a combination of Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat and John Huston's Heaven Knows Mr. Allison. It was sad to say not a really good blend.

The film is told in flashback with both Richard Burton and Basil Sydney remembering the events of many years ago during World War II. After leaving the besieged Singapore in a crowded cargo ship, Burton, Sydney, Joan Collins and Cy Grant find themselves on a rubber dinghy after the ship is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

Sydney is your typical John Bull like administrator who spent his life among the various native populations and has a racist superiority attitude concerning them. Cy Grant is a black sailor and the only one who is really capable of helping this disparate bunch survive. He knows something about Collins that the other two don't, that she's a nun who had to leave the ship quickly without habit.

Why she doesn't come right out and tell the other two I'm still not figuring out. I mean Deborah Kerr did in Heaven Knows Mr. Allison and it kept Robert Mitchum somewhat at bay. But she keeps it a deep dark secret and let's Richard Burton's hormones go raging.

The real story here is with Sydney and Grant and Grant has the best acted role in Sea Wife. Had this been an American production the part would have gone to Sidney Poitier and he would have been acclaimed for his performance.

Sea Wife is not anything that will be listed among the top ten of either Richard Burton's or Joan Collins's films.

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English | Japanese

Release Date:

16 October 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La intocable See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alma Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)| Mono



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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