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The Sailor's Return (1978)

Set in the early days of the reign of Queen Victoria provides an unusual historical representation of a black person's experience of England.


Jack Gold


David Garnett (novel), James Saunders


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Bell ... William Targett
Shope Shodeinde Shope Shodeinde ... Princess Tulip
Elton Charles Elton Charles ... Billy / Olu Targett
Denyse Alexander Denyse Alexander ... Mrs. Cherret
Julia Swift Julia Swift ... Annie
Pat Keen Pat Keen ... Mrs. Bascombe
Nigel Hawthorne ... Mr. Fosse
Jill Spurrier Jill Spurrier ... Mrs. Frickes
Ray Smith Ray Smith ... Fred Leake
Mick Ford ... Tom Madgwick
Peter Benson ... Charlie Nye
Ann Way ... Mrs. Clall
Paola Dionisotti ... Lucy Sturmey
George Costigan ... Harry Targett
Clive Swift ... Reverend Pottock


Set in the early days of the reign of Queen Victoria provides an unusual historical representation of a black person's experience of England.

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Release Date:

November 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Merimies palaa kotiin See more »

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Did You Know?


There were at least two previous attempts to bring David Garnett's source novella to the screen, by Bernhard Wicki in the 1930s and by William Wyler in the 1950s. Thanks in part to the story's themes of racism and mixed marriage, both failed to secure sufficient funds. See more »

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User Reviews

Sailors Return
21 November 2010 | by brownhill-903-950096See all my reviews

I cannot review or vote for this film as, like the other people, I cannot obtain a copy of the film!!

I knew the Sailors Return at Chaldon Herring well in the early 1960s and my mother knew it in the 1930s when members of the Chaldon Powis Literary group lived in the village. David Garrett, member of the Bloomsbury Group and author of The Sailor's Return, was a frequent visitor to Chaldon and wrote the book using the name of the local pub and wove in stories he heard when staying in the village.

I too would love to have a copy of the film.

Yoland Brown

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