27 user 9 critic

Sebastian (1968)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 29 January 1969 (France)
During the Cold War, the chief of a British intelligence code-breaking section falls in love with a new employee and shields an old co-worker, accused of Communist affiliations, from the wrath of the security branch.


David Greene


Leo Marks (original screen story), Gerald Vaughan-Hughes (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Sebastian
Susannah York ... Rebecca Howard
Lilli Palmer ... Elsa Shahn
John Gielgud ... Head of Intelligence
Janet Munro ... Carol Fancy
Ronald Fraser ... Toby
Margaret Johnston ... Miss Elliott
Nigel Davenport ... Gen. Phillips
John Ronane John Ronane ... Jameson
Hayward Morse ... Gavin
Donald Sutherland ... Ackerman
Ann Beach Ann Beach ... Pamela
Susan Whitman Susan Whitman ... Tilly
Ann Sidney Ann Sidney ... Naomi
Veronica Clifford Veronica Clifford ... Ginny


British mathematician Sebastian (Sir Dirk Bogarde), working on code decryption, unexpectedly falls in love with decrypter Rebecca Howard (Susannah York). This leads them to a complicated intrigue within the codebreakers. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No secret is secret from Sebastian and his 100 gorgeous codebreakers See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Michael Powell was a producer on this movie, and chased many actors to play the lead. The one he wanted most was Rex Harrison. To make Harrison envious and to persuade him to play the part, he also offered it to several other hot actors. He found Christopher Plummer in the south of France, Peter O'Toole in Dublin, and Patrick McGoohan on an MGM soundstage and tried to sign them. Harrison kept dithering, and in the end, after also considering Sir Michael Caine, and at a cost of seventy-five thousand to one hundred fifty thousand dollars, David Warner, the title role eventually went to Sir Dirk Bogarde, who never saw himself right for the part. See more »


[last lines]
Rebecca Howard: [half-joking] You're going to make me so miserable!
See more »


Referenced in Endeavour: Canticle (2017) See more »


You Gotta Let Me Go
Performed by The Happeners
See more »

User Reviews

Good acting, good music, lousy plot.
1 January 2006 | by michael-dixon2See all my reviews

The list of excellent actors and actresses in the film is endless and includes Dirk Bogarde, Susannah York, Sir John Gielgud, Lili Palmer and Nigel Davenport, with many more first-rate performers besides. Add to this the musical talents of Jerry Goldsmith and it is quite an achievement by the Director to create this piece of utter nonsense, especially as some of the screenplay is worthy and the settings very 60's and good. Is this meant to be a serious film? It could only have merit if it was a total send-up of it's decade and spy-films generally, but as Dirk Bogarde later described it as a "non-event," the meaning and intent was obviously lost on him; a big disadvantage as he was the star. This film must have begun with promise and potential for why else would such an array of talent include themselves in it's making? Something after that went radically wrong, but like your other contributors I would gladly purchase a DVD if only, in my case, for curiosity value.

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Release Date:

29 January 1969 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Sebastian See more »


Box Office


$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Maccius See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)


Color (Prints by Technicolor)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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