Ferry to Hong Kong (1959) Poster

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6/10
Orson Welles needed the money?
Goloh4 January 2003
An interesting premise, somewhere between "Casablanca" and Suzie Wong, with name-brand actors. But this wound up as a weak period piece redeemed by a few (very few) clever moments and many nice background shots of Hong Kong as it was. Not many mid-20th-century films produced in the West with Hong Kong themes are available on DVD or video (at least we have "World of Suzie Wong") and fewer still had actual Hong Kong locations, so I am not disappointed in the film. Otherwise, it's a watchable "B" movie with Orson Welles as a bonus.
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5/10
Beating the dragon
Prismark108 April 2017
Ferry to Hong Kong is a mildly amusing film due to an obese Orson Welles treating the film as a farcical comedy. He plays Captain Hart, who despite the prissy exterior is a bit of a blackguard. He runs an old ferry between Hong Kong to Macau.

Hart is stuck with Mark Conrad (Curd Jürgens) a drunken, troublemaker, expelled from Hong Kong and denied entry to Macau. He is destined to remain a passenger on the ferry much to Hart's anger, he even sets up a rigged bet to get rid off this unwanted passenger. Despite looking dishevelled Conrad earns the sympathy of Liz (Sylvia Syms) who is a teacher to some children regularly on board.

Conrad and Captain Hart have to set aside their mutual loathing when the ship encounters a typhoon and later seized by pirates with Conrad having to take responsibility and control of the situation the ship's passengers find themselves in.

The film benefits from the Hong Kong location shooting which provides a colourful backdrop, the script is pedestrian and at times hammy as Welles performance.
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2/10
Truly Tragic
eddie-8311 November 2001
After boy-genius Orson Welles gave us his debut masterpiece `Citizen Kane', followed it up with the wonderful `Magnificent Ambersons'(and who could forget his charismatic Harry Lime in Carol Reed's `Third Man'?) he really had nowhere to go except down.

But I never expected to see him as he is in `Ferry to Hong Kong' mugging and pulling faces to try to produce cheap laughs in an awful English accent. He even waddles around at one stage with a board strapped to his back, all dignity gone. To paraphrase a well-known script-writer from Stratford `When great Orson fell, what a fall was there!'

Otherwise this is a pretty poor attempt at a comedy with perhaps some interest for those who want to see ever-changing Hong Kong as it was in the late Fifties.

I wish I hadn't seen `Ferry to Hong Kong'
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Well worth the trip
michaelparle119 February 2017
Absolutely fantastic film with three greats at the top of their game The legend Noel Purcell, Jurgens & Wells as two opposites or are they are excellently cast.

Wells English accent & comedy timing is very good, shame he didn't do more comedy, Jurgens is just pure class as the black sheep rouge

Amazing action sets the wonderful cast crew locations are a gem of its time well worth a watch and beautiful Sylvia Syms always a treat
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6/10
Storm in the Port
cultfilmfreaksdotcom11 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This could have made a great pilot for a TV series: The premise has maverick loafer Mark Conrad, played by Curt Jurgens, winding up on a Ferry from Hong Kong to Macau. Officials at either port won't let him on land so he has to remain a passenger on the Ferry.

Now for the antagonist… Orson Welles as Captain Hart, an uptight, prissy jerk that runs the boat with a iron fist. Both Conrad and Hart couldn't be more different and much of the film has them at odds, both at sea and on land. But let's not forget the love interest – Sylvia Sims as Liz, a beautiful (too young for Jurgens) missionary with a bevy of orphans, can't help but love the grungy loner who has a heart of gold… like any scruffy anti hero.

Jurgens makes for a decent lead while Orson Welles provides an annoying British accent, sounding like an imitation of an uptight character meant to be hated by the audience and the people around him. Although there are moments when he becomes a real human being, mostly as he's pushed by Conrad, who eventually takes command when pirates hijack after a formidable storm.

The Asian locations are beautiful and the direction by Lewis Gilbert (THE SPY WHO LOVED ME) flows. And despite a somewhat clunky script, not sure whether to be a comedy, romance, or adventure, by the end you'll want to spend more time on that boat, a cozy enough place to be stuck without a paddle.

For More Reviews: www.cultfilmfreaks.com
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5/10
When an actor spoils a film
Leofwine_draca24 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
FERRY TO HONG KONG is a British thriller set on board a ship sailing around the seas between Hong Kong and Macau. The story benefits from location shooting but is let down by a dominating performance from Orson Welles as the ship's captain; while everybody else takes the story seriously and give appropriately serious performances, Welles is under the misconception that he's shooting a broad comedy and his over the top performance is quite farcical.

The film's main strength lies in the underrated Curt Jurgens who makes for an understated lead. He's an underdog character, a man without a home who looks like a tramp for the most part, and yet his heroism shines through as the story goes on. The tale is rather stodgy with pedestrian direction and a definite lack of suspense, although it picks up with some good stuff at the climax. The interesting supporting cast includes Sylvia Syms as the love interest, Noel Purcell as an engineer, future actor Roy Chiao (of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM fame) as a pirate and the great and hulking Milton Reid as a really nasty piece of work.
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5/10
Well at least the scenery is interesting
malcolmgsw26 November 2016
As has been mentioned it is extremely interesting to see Hong Kong as it was in the 1950s,much different to the way it is today.However as to the film,what we're they thinking of.Lewis Gilbert is such an experienced director having made so many fine films.Orson Welled is completely out of sync with everyone else.I couldn't work out if he was doing an impersonation of Charles Laughton or Arthur Treacher.Sylvia Simms as a romantic lead for Curt Jurgens.Apparently Jurgens was constantly arguing with WellesThe pirate theme at the end at least brings a bit of action to the end of the film.You don't know whether to laugh or cry.Maybe the best description is,it's Rank.
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2/10
Ship Of Fools
writers_reign3 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
As a lifetime devotee of Orson Welles I am prepared to watch him in anything even when common sense warns that a given title is total rubbish. Accordingly I watched this many moons ago and found it dire. I've just watched it again on television and found it way, way BEYOND dire. Apparently Welles and Jurgens fell out during shooting; Jurgens thought they were making a serious drama (no one said actors need to be intelligent) and after reading the script Welles realised the only chance they had - and that was remote - was to play it as farce. In a desperate effort to salvage SOMETHING they even ripped off The Captain's Paradise by having Noel Purcell (it is to laugh) attempt to eclipse Alec Guiness by having a wife in both Hong Kong and Macau. Strictly banjo-pics.
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