5 user 11 critic

Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983)

Les trois couronnes du matelot (original title)
A drunken sailor recounts the surrealistic odyssey of his life story to a murderous student.


Raoul Ruiz


Emilio Del Solar (collaborator on screenplay and dialogue), François Ede (collaborator on screenplay and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Bernard Guillard Jean-Bernard Guillard ... The sailor
Philippe Deplanche Philippe Deplanche ... Tadeusz Krasinski the student
Nadège Clair Nadège Clair ... María the prostitute
Lisa Lyon Lisa Lyon ... Matilde the dancer
Jean Badin Jean Badin ... The 1st officer
Pauline Brunet Pauline Brunet
José de Carvalho José de Carvalho
Claude Derepp Claude Derepp ... The captain
Diogo Dória Diogo Dória ... The sailor's sister's fiancé
Mostefa Djadjam Mostefa Djadjam
Huguette Faget
André Gomes André Gomes ... The travelling salesman
Wladimir Ivanovsky Wladimir Ivanovsky
Adelaide João Adelaide João
Théo Légitimus Théo Légitimus


A drunken sailor recounts the surrealistic odyssey of his life story to a murderous student.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


a voyage on the sea of dreams


Did You Know?


Ruiz's screenplay was partially inspired by the Chilean myth of the Caleuche ghost ship. See more »


L'étudiant: On the night of July 25, 1958 I killed Ladislaw Zukarevitch, antique dealer, my mentor, my master in the art of polishing diamonds, my tutor at Warsaw Theological School. I got nothing out of this crime except the ring he offered me many times; several hundred marks; a collection of old coins, of no value; and a long letter where he advised me to leave the country.
See more »


Followed by Litoral (2008) See more »

User Reviews

Wellesian noir meets Ruizian surrealism
8 December 2008 | by OldAle1See all my reviews

"Les Trois couronnes du matelot"/Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983) is the third of the three early Raoul Ruiz films on an indispensable Blaq Out set along with "L'Hypothèse du tableau volé" and "La Vocation suspendue" (see my remarks on the other two). This I liked almost as much as "Hypothesis" and wish I had had the time to watch it again; it gets perhaps a wee bit long, but on the whole it is a wonderfully delirious pastiche of various themes and visual tropes from Orson Welles (most specifically "Lady from Shanghai", "Mr. Arkadin" and towards the end, "The Trial"), film noir generally, Sternberg's "Macao" and other 40s-50s Hollywood-in-the-exotic-ports-of-call type pictures -- all filtered through Ruiz's wonderfully playful postmodern/magical realist sense of story. Like the two earlier features it is incredibly dense, self-serious on its face but self-mocking and amused when one delves deeper. Most of the film consists of a sailor -- in many respects as naive and reckless as Welles' Michael O'Hara -- telling his life story -- or stories, of adventures at sea, femmes fatale, murders, and money, always lots and lots of money -- to a young man in a spectacular restaurant/ballroom in Antwerp (I think). It's really mind-boggling, but in a very different way from the two earlier films in the set, and in many ways it's a good film to set you up for Manoel dans l'île des merveilles. The photography, in particular the black and white segments (those set in "present-day", in Antwerp) is quite striking and is the work of the great French cinematography Sacha Vierny, who had worked with Buñuel and Resnais among others, and went on to work with Greenaway. After seeing this early series of films, one can see that that -- like so many of the odd occurrences in so many early Ruiz films -- was no coincidence. DVD rental

19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

5 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Crowns of the Sailor See more »

Filming Locations:

Madeira, Portugal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed