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In theaters November 30.

The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.


James Marsh


Scott Z. Burns
2,723 ( 139)



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Credited cast:
Rachel Weisz ... Clare Crowhurst
David Thewlis ... Rodney Hallworth
Colin Firth ... Donald Crowhurst
Mark Gatiss ... Ronald Hall
Anna Madeley ... Sara Milburn
Jonathan Bailey ... Ian Wheeler
Tim Downie ... Style Editor
Simon McBurney ... Sir Francis Chichester
Andrew Buchan ... Ian Milburn
Ken Stott ... Stanley Best
Kerry Godliman ... Bear and Swan Landlady
Genevieve Gaunt ... Miss Teignmouth
Sebastian Armesto ... Nelson Messina
Kit Connor ... Simon Crowhurst
Finn Elliot ... James Crowhurst


The incredible story of Donald Crowhurst , an amateur sailor who competed in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in the hope of becoming the first person in history to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping. With an unfinished boat and his business and house on the line, Donald leaves his wife, Clare and their children behind, hesitantly embarking on an adventure on his boat the Teignmouth Electron. The story of Crowhurst's dangerous solo voyage and the struggles he confronted on the epic journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the true story. See more »


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English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deep Water See more »

Filming Locations:

Teignmouth, Devon, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of two biopics about Donald Crowhurst slated for release in the UK only a few weeks apart. The other, the independently produced Crowhurst (2017), starring Justin Salinger as Donald Crowhurst, was finished earlier, but the distributor of The Mercy bought it and delayed its release until a month after that of this film. See more »


When the Teignmouth Electron is leaving harbour, the yachts in the background have a stern shape that's about 40 years too modern. See more »


[From Trailer]
Mr. Best: We had a hand in this. We put pressure on the man!
See more »


Featured in Projector: The Mercy (2018) See more »


Maria Elena
Written by Lorenzo Barcelata
Performed by Los Indios Tabajaras
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User Reviews

Drama about hobby becoming an obsession. Decent viewing.
16 March 2018 | by kaptenvideo-89875See all my reviews

A heart wants what it wants. It's the end of the 1960's, and this solid family man (Colin Firth) wants to take his Sunday hobby of sailing to the ultimate level, designing his own boat and travelling around the world in six months - alone, as part of the contest.

Also starring, Rachel Weisz as the man's wife, David Thewlis, and, well, a whole lot of ocean. Based on a true story, by the way.

The central part of "The Mercy" is watching Firth's character Donald Crowhurst defying dangers and both physical and psychological hardships of sailing the ocean, having to rely only on his hands, wits and hope that nothing critical breaks down because the contest won't allow making stops or having breaks during the world travelling tour.

A worn-down man sulking on a boat in the middle of nowhere might seem like a boring idea for a feature-length movie, but somehow the authors have managed to get it right, so it turns out to be quite a gripping.

What was essentially a exhausting and monotonous journey where the main activities were shovelling out the water and trying to keep the whole thing from drowning, is enriched by portraying the gradual mental eroding of Crowhurst.

Colin Firth is known as versatile actor and you can bet your sweet bottom that he does a wonderful job at conveying the depression, loneliness, exhaustion and general distress of his character, so he is able to command our attention whenever he's on screen.

And all that is his usual reserved and delicate way, living the character, not acting it.

It's easily an awards worthy performance although at this time it's way too early to predict his chances of getting an Oscar nomination.

The same goes, by the way, to Rachel Weisz who has created a a surprisingly soulful and charming supporting role from what surely must have been a mostly decorative one on paper.

She does not have much screen time actually, but it gets compensated by a powerful speech in the end. A true Oscar moment, as they would say.

Parallel to Crowhurst's journey, we see bits from the life of people who wait for his return, including the family - but also his promoter trying to earn him some money for the expensive trip that threatens to bankrupt the whole family.

This turns out to be the movie's weakness which, while not quite ruining the dramatic impact of the whole thing, does not actually expand or strengthen the main story in a meaningful way.

It's okay in short doses - if only for variety's sake - but its emotional "nutritive value" falls flat compared to what's happening on the sea.

The director James Marsh's previous project, "The Theory of Everything", suffers from the same deficiency. It's pretty and watchable but he should have trimmed the final act.

That's all I wanted to say about this one. "The Mercy" is pretty good but its shallower side holds it back a notch. I am happy to have seen it but it will not linger on memory for long. Although I did like the deeper message that with grandiose plans comes a danger of falling into prison of one's own ego.

We have seen many instances of at least two similar-themed movies released in the same period of time. It also happens here, with "The Mercy" preceded by premiere of "Crowhurst" by almost five months, although the latter got a proper cinema release in the U.K. a few weeks later.

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