The Ship That Died of Shame (1955)

78m (USA – theatrical), 91m (UK – theatrical)
35mm film, black and white, 1.33:1
mono (RCA Sound Recording), English

A British fantasy film directed by Basil Dearden.

Plot Summary

A trio of naval war veterans buy their own old gunboat but find themselves drawn into a downward spiral of smuggling and other crimes. But the ship seems to have a will of its own and if the men won't stop their activities, it might…


Directed by: Basil Dearden
Copyright MCMLV [1955] by Ealing Studios Limited
The J. Arthur Rank Organisation presents an Ealing Studios, Michael Balcon production
Produced by: Michael Relph
Production Supervisor: Hal Mason
Unit Production Manager: David Peers
Screenplay by: John Whiting, Michael Relph, Basil Dearden
From the Story by: Nicholas Monsarrat
Assistant Director: Chris Barry
Continuity: Jean Graham
Director of Photography: Gordon Dines
Camera Operator: Chic Waterson
Editor: Peter Bezencenet
Music Composed by: William Alwyn
Played by the: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: Dock Mathieson
Sound Supervisor: Stephen Dalby
[Sound] Recordist: Arthur Bradburn
Sound Editor: Gordon Stone
Wardrobe Supervisor: Anthony Mendleson
Make-up: Harry Frampton
Special Effects: Sydney Pearson
Special Processes: Geoffrey Dickinson
Art Director: Bernard Robinson
Technical Adviser: Lt (E) K. Perry R.N. (Retd)
Location Liaison Officer: Cmdr R.S. Adam DSC RN (Retd)
The Producers acknowledge with gratitude the co-operation of the Admiralty
Made at: Ealing Studios, London, England

Richard Attenborough ([George] Hoskins)
George Baker (Bill [Randall])
Bill Owen (Birdie)
Virginia McKenna (Helen)
Roland Culver (Fordyce)
Bernard Lee (the customs officer)
Ralph Truman (Sir Richard)
John Chandos (Raines)
Harold Goodwin (second customs officer)
John Longden (the detective)
Stratford Johns [garage worker – uncredited]
David Langton [man in bar – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

PT Raiders – US title



  • Kinematograph Weekly no.2495 (21 April 1955) p.20
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.22 no.257 (June 1955) p.85 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Today's Cinema vol.84 no.7249 (20 April 1955) p.14
  • Variety 11 May 1955 – credits, review


  • British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.374 – credits, synopsis
  • The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph by Alan Burton and Tim O'Sullivan pp.12, 160, 175-176, 295, 331
  • Directed by Basil Dearden by James Howard pp.149-156, 177
  • Liberal Directions: Basil Dearden and Postwar British Film Culture by Alan Burton, Tim O'Sullivan and Paul Wells (eds.) pp. pp.30, 32, 33, 60, 61, 89, 91-93, 95, 96, 100-102, 105, 158, 172-193, 206
  • by Walt Lee p.434 – credits