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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.

Director:

Lewis John Carlino

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sarah Miles ... Anne Osborne
Kris Kristofferson ... Jim Cameron
Jonathan Kahn ... Jonathan Osborne
Margo Cunningham 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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Weg allen Fleisches See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most movie posters for the film featured a long blurb that read: "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 »

Alternate Versions

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

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User Reviews

 
Disturbing and Atmospheric Drama
17 October 2007 | by RathkoSee all my reviews

An unforgettable and profoundly disturbing story centered on a widow, Anne, and her only son, Jonathan, in a remote English seaside town. Jonathan belongs to a gang led by a precociously intelligent sociopath known only as Chief, who through sheer force of will and intellect, indoctrinates them with a quasi-Neitzchean philosophy of ultimate superiority and the non-existence of morality. When Kris Kristofferson's Captain Jim arrives in town, and strikes up a passionate relationship with the lonely Anne, Jonathan sees him as a heroic masculine prototype, removed from society and living a 'true' life on the open sea. But when the Captain decides to settle down and marry Anne, Jonathan takes it as an ultimate and unforgivable betrayal, and exacts a terrible revenge.

Based on the 1963 Mishima novel, "The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea" hints at many themes, from Jonathan's Oedipal obsession with spying on his mother's bedroom to his physical admiration of the Captain that verges on latent homosexuality. The atmosphere, masterfully created by veteran cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, is one of darkly brooding clouds, gray seas, and an air that constantly threatens rain. The (in)famous sex scenes are really not that explicit, and the casual violence exhibited by the children is far more shocking than any glimpse of breast or buttock.

The film, for all its brilliantly evocative atmosphere, excellent performances, and quietly brooding menace, is not without its flaws. The score is terrible, all mawkish piano and sickly clarinet. It is often overly intrusive and distracts from the overall sense of ripe stillness that director Carlino conjures throughout the film. But in general, the film is a remarkable experience, and one that any viewer is unlikely to forget quickly.


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