6.2/10
632
19 user 8 critic

The Lightship (1985)

A trio of robbers, two brothers and their twisted genius leader, invade a lightship, but don't reckon on the crew fighting back.

Director:

Jerzy Skolimowski

Writers:

Siegfried Lenz (book), William Mai (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Michal Skolimowski Michal Skolimowski ... Alex (as Michael Lyndon)
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Captain Miller
Tom Bower ... Coop
Robert Costanzo ... Stump
Tim Phillips Tim Phillips ... Thorne
Badja Djola ... Nate
Robert Duvall ... Calvin Caspary
William Forsythe ... Gene
Arliss Howard ... Eddie
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Storyline

Just when US Coast Guard captain Miller takes his teenage son Alex to his lightship off the coast of Virginia, Calvin Caspary and two criminal accomplices, on the run for the police, decide to hijack it. What the crazy trio didn't count on is that this small crew doesn't just keep taking it lying low, they will put up a fight. Alex hides dad's gun and wrestles his his war past and courage. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The guiding light in a sea of treachery.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Killers at Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Theatrical Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The roles of the hijacker Caspary (Robert Duvall) and the Coast Guard Captain Miller (Klaus Maria Brandauer) had to be switched before shooting began", according to "Variety", meaning that lead actors Robert Duvall and Klaus Maria Brandauer swapped parts. As such, Duvall and Brandauer were originally cast as being the Captain and hijacker, respectively, but changed to each other's characters. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alex: [narrating] My old man was a captain in the Coast Guard. We never saw too much of each other. Most of the time he was away at sea. But this time I was lucky. He made it to my graduation.
See more »

Connections

Remake of The Lightship (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
About as odd as finding your granny is into S & M
27 August 2006 | by electricsheep-1See all my reviews

Unlike the other commentator, I am not interested in lightships. I didn't even know what a lightship was until I saw this film. However, I am interested by this film. I saw it on BBC 1, a few months ago, in their late night film slot, a slot usually reserved for B Movies.

The Lightship could easily be a B movie, only it stars two great actors, Robert Duval and Klaus Maria Brandauer, putting the actors in what could easily be a conventional thriller scenario. Brandauer is the captain of a lightship, thus a man of law, thus a good guy. Duvall is a mysterious, shady figure who seeks refuge from the sea, possibly a man on the run, thus a bad guy. So a battle between good and bad, order and disorder, is played out.

This actually happens in the film. Not a great film, or even a very good one. But odd. About as odd as finding your grandmother is into S&M. For both men become fascinated with one another, and their respective occupations. To illustrate how odd this is, there is a scene where Brandauer finds Duvall taking a bath in his bedroom. Instead of being taken aback, Brandauer puts his hand in the water, playfully, like a lover, and they talk. They talk a lot in the film. Moreover, the film set a few years after World War II, yet Brandauer is playing a German (in charge of an American boat)and Duvall is a real sweet, gent of a southern lawyer, who is also a dangerous, psychopathic criminal, in charge of a couple of hoodlums.

All this weirdness is not that surprising, after all the director is that Polish guy with the weird (if you're not Polish) name, Skowlimowski, who has directed some strange films in his time.

I didn't like the fact the narration or the eighties-ness about it (ie soundtrack). But the kid was OK.


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