39 user 17 critic

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976)

After his father dies, a disturbed young boy plots to take revenge on the new man in his mother's life.


Lewis John Carlino


Yukio Mishima (novel), Lewis John Carlino (written for the screen by)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Sarah Miles ... Anne / mother
Kris Kristofferson ... Jim Cameron
Jonathan Kahn ... Jonathan / son
Margo Cunningham ... Elizabeth Palmer
Earl Rhodes ... Chief
Paul Tropea Paul Tropea ... Number Two
Gary Lock Gary Lock ... Number Four
Stephen Black Stephen Black ... Number Five
Peter Clapham Peter Clapham ... Richard Pettit
Jennifer Tolman Jennifer Tolman ... Mary Ingram


Widowed now for close to four years, Anne Osborne, who now operates the antiques shop formerly owned by her husband David, and their son, Jonathan Osborne, live in a small, English seaside town. Both Anne and Jonathan still miss David even after all these years. Going through puberty, Jonathan uses something he finds in his bedroom to explore the emerging thoughts of sexuality going through his mind. Although Anne knows Jonathan sneaks out of the house early in the morning against her orders, she is unaware that he is attending meetings of a secret society of five boys, who refer to each other only by a cardinal number, their rank within the group as assigned by "The Chief", number one. The Chief is an arrogant, sadistic pseudo-intellectual who needs to show his power and dominance over the other four in whatever means possible. He largely considers them immature as he spouts off his Nietzschean philosophies, centering on that adults create rules that ultimately disrupt the natural ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He gave his soul to the sea and his heart to a woman. Their love will arouse you. The story will disturb you. The ending will startle you. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Robert Mitchum turned down the lead. See more »


Chief: There's no such thing as a hero. Adults just pose as these things.
See more »

Alternate Versions

US DVD version is cut. Sex scenes of Sarah Miles are tamed down in US version. See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

User Reviews

A love story with a twist.
21 August 1999 | by Pinback-4See all my reviews

An interesting, beautifully shot film that takes place on the English seacoast. The story concerns a widow who meets and falls in love with an American sailor, much to the dismay of her intelligent son. This marked the directing debut of playwright Lewis John Carlino, who went on to direct THE GREAT SANTINI and the vastly underrated CLASS. Here he shows great promise for a first-timer. His shots are detailed without being show-offy. He takes his time telling the story, but it's never boring. The characters are well-drawn, especially the club leader that the widow's son belongs to. In fact, the actors who play the boys are more interesting than Sarah Miles and Kris Kristofferson, who play the lovers. The love scenes are erotic without being overly explicit, and there is a strange ending. Try to see the letterboxed version.

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Release Date:

29 July 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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