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Single-Handed (1953)

In 1940, Canadian sailor Andrew Brown is prisoner on a battle damaged German raider and he plans to delay the raider's at-sea repairs until a British naval task-force can destroy it.

Director:

Roy Boulting

Writers:

C.S. Forester (novel), Valentine Davies (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeffrey Hunter ... Signalman Andrew 'Canada' Brown
Michael Rennie ... Lt. Richard Saville
Wendy Hiller ... Lucinda Bentley
Bernard Lee ... Petty Officer 'Stokes' Wheatley
Peter van Eyck ... Kapitan von Falk (as Peter Van Eyck)
Victor Maddern ... Signalman Willy 'Misery' Earnshaw
John Horsley ... Cmdr. John Willis
Patrick Barr ... Capt. Tom Ashley, HMS 'Amesbury'
Robin Bailey Robin Bailey ... Cdr. John Stafford - HMS 'Stratford'
Officers and Men of H.M.S. Manxman Officers and Men of H.M.S. Manxman
Officers and Men of H.M.S. Cleopatra Officers and Men of H.M.S. Cleopatra
Officers and Men of H.M.S. Glasgow Officers and Men of H.M.S. Glasgow
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Storyline

The HMS Aylesbury is sunk by the the German raider Essen. Only two men survive and are rescued by the damaged German ship. When the Germans make for an isolated harbour to repair the damage the suffered during the fight one of the men decides he must do all he can to delay the repairs and give the Royal Navy time to locate and destroy the ship. Written by Jason

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest story of the sea by today's greatest storyteller !

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

11 June 1953 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sailor of the King See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,220,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rifles used on both side switched back and forth between the German 98 Mauser and the British Enfield depending on the scene. See more »

Goofs

The action is meant to take place on a volcanic atoll in the Pacific. When they sail out for the final battle the cliffs in the background are sedimentary chalk cliffs. See more »

Connections

Version of Brown on Resolution (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Long Way to Tipperary
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They Don't Make Adventure Stories Like This Anymore
19 June 2003 | by PiafreduxSee all my reviews

Whichever of its titles you choose to like (I first saw this film as 'Sailor Of The King'), this is a fine adventure story.

The theme is inborn filial devotion to king, country (or Commonwealth), democracy, duty, and decency: inborn since the main character (played stirringly by Jeffrey Hunter as the ordinary bloke, Brown, who rises to the challenge of extraordinary circumstances) doesn't know who his father is, and the plot development tantalizes us with the nearness of the dispelling of Brown's ignorance.

I have heard that C.S. Forester wrote the novel as an adventure story for boys. No matter, the film builds slowly to a taut, exciting climax that viewers of all ages can thrill to.

Jeffrey Hunter was wonderfully handsome, and he could act; it would be lovely if such talent could also be found in today's (2003's) non-nutritional, unsatisfying crop of young male leads. Wendy Hiller's acting is always superb, and though she has a small part in 'Sailor of the King' she plays it with all her crackling, yet understated verve; Hiller's expressive, soulful eyes should have inspired the composition of a long, gorgeous symphony. Michael Rennie, another handsome and talented - and underappreciated - actor, gives a good effort too.

Though the plot is fictional, it doesn't matter a whit. 'Sailor Of The King' is a splendid adventure film, the likes of which "they just don't make anymore." This is the sort of film you can watch every six months, just for the pure joy of its congealing plot and the anxiety in its inspiring denouement. Pity 'Sailor Of The King' has not made it onto DVD.


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