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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

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Like the act of love, this film must be experienced from beginning to end. Therefore no one will be seated once the picture starts. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Debut film as a director of film & television writer Lewis John Carlino. The picture is the first of only three ever movies directed by Carlino [to date, June 2014], the two subsequent films being Class (1983) and The Great Santini (1979). See more »


Chief: There's no such thing as a hero. Adults just pose as these things.
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Alternate Versions

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

User Reviews

DISTURBING FILM - beautiful music score
13 July 2001 | by lilybear5923See all my reviews

Though I never read the Japanese book from which this movie is based - I thought the comments of other posters missed a salient point in their reviews.

No one brought up the exploration of the focus on the "pure and perfect" order of things that is a backdrop for the exploration of the boys in the film. I'm assuming that that refers to the idea that there is such a thing and that when we deviate from it - meaning is somehow bastardized - and focus and purpose are lost. Unfortunately, when - during exploration - one destroys the object of one's investigation that too seems a bastardization of the "pure and perfect order."

A disturbing film but I do like Kris Kristofferson and he did write the music for the soundtrack which is beautiful. I tried many times to find a CD of the soundtrack but the movie has been out of print for so long that it is probably not possible to find one.

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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

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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