The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976)

105m, 9411 feet
35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

A British borderline horror film directed by Lewis John Carlino.


Directed by: Lewis John Carlino
Produced by: Martin Poll
Producer for Nippon Herald: Kikamaru Okuda
Associate Producer: David White
Written for the Screen by: Lewis John Carlino
Based on the Novel by: Yukio Mishima
Director of Photography: Douglas Slocombe
Film Editor: Antony Gibbs
Music Composed by: John Mandel
Dream Theme Written by: Kris Kristofferson
Sound Mixer: David Hildyard
Costumes: Lee Poll
Make-up Artist: Richard Mills
Hairdresser: Gordon Bond
Production Designer: Ted Haworth
Casting: Joyce Selznick, Miriam Brickman
Made on location in Devon, England and Shepperton Studio Centre, Chertsey, England

Sarah Miles (Anne Osborne)
Kris Kristofferson (Jim Cameron)
Jonathan Kahn (Jonathan Osborne)
Margo Cunningham (Mrs Palmer)
Earl Rhodes (chief)
Paul Tropea (number two)
Gary Lock (number four)
Stephen Black (number five)
Peter Clapham (Richard Pettit)
Jennifer Tolman (Mary Ingram)

Alternative Titles

Los días impuros del extranjero – Spanish title
I giorni impuri dello straniero – Italian title
Jonathans Rache – West German title
Merimies jonka aallot hylkäsivät – Finnish title
Mornar kojeg je odbacilo more – Croatian title
Sjömannen som kom med kärleken – Swedish title
Der Weg allen Fleisches – Austrian/West German title


Variety 14 April 1976 p.23
With a quartet of fine characters and performances, “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea” could have ventured just about anywhere – except where writer-director Lewis John Carlino takes it in an effort to remain faithful to Yukio Mishima's novel. Too many holes to stay afloat long. Cultural differences still remain in this increasingly homogenized world and the prime problem with “Sailor” is trying to transfer decidedly Oriental ideas about honor, order and death into an English countryside. Not that the British don't have their own ideas, but it's hard to imagine an Englishman crashing his plane into a neighboring manor over political differences, as just happened in Japan. – from a review by Har

Films Illustrated vol.5 no.60 (August 1976) pp.444, 446
By no means can The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea be accounted a total success, but [it does] signal, however subliminally, something of the essence of Mishima, even if the surface level fails to show it […] The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea [is] very rare and very special. – from a review by David Castell

The Listener vol.95 no.2469 (5 August 1976) pp.153-154
It is a pretty tasteless film all round […] It is difficult to say whether Mishima's ethic of pure and perfect order upheld by the warrior saint, himself purified by ritual pain, is distorted or represented by the gang, Cameron, mother or the cat. I don't care. This film doesn't seem much of an advertisement for any of them, and it would put a goat off sex. – from an illustrated review by Gavin Millar

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.43 no.511 (August 1976) pp.172-173
Carlino's earlier work as a scriptwriter (The Brotherhood, Seconds, The Mechanic) evinced at least a certainty of purpose, which is precisely the quality that The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea most lacks: Mishima's toughness has been fatally softened into a flaccid and utterly timid stance of would-be daring, bolstered by moments of supposed cruelty that are among the film's most inept, which does no credit whatsoever to anyone involved. – from a review by Tony Rayns

Films and Filming vol.22 no.12 (September 1976) p.32
Mishima's imagery makes wonderful material for transposition to celluloid and Lewis John Carlino, aided by his cast and camera make full use of it. The film is beautiful to behold. Mishima believed in control in all things; the camera, if possible, enhances the purity of the prose. The contrast between visual delight and mental revulsion is brilliantly maintained. – from an illustrated review by Jenny Craven



  • Films and Filming vol.22 no.12 (September 1976) pp.32; 36-37 – illustrated review (by Jenny Craven); illustrated preview
  • Films Illustrated vol.5 no.60 (August 1976) pp.444, 446 – review (by David Castell)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.240 no.50 (9 April 1976) pp.3, 16 – credits, review
  • The Listener vol.95 no.2469 (5 August 1976) pp.153-154 – illustrated review (by Gavin Millar)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.43 no.511 (August 1976) pp.172-173 – credits, review (by Tony Rayns)
  • Screen International no.7 (18 October 1975) p.7 – credits
  • Screen International no.46 (24 July 1976) p.13 – credits, review
  • Variety 14 April 1976 p.23 – credits, review (by Har)


  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.332 – credits, review
  • Elliot's Guide to Films on Video (3rd edition) by John Elliot p.696 – credits, review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.351
  • Film Review 1977-1978 p.141 – credits