The Sailor's Return

Film , Action and adventure
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Originally intended for cinema release, this independently-produced feature finally surfaced on TV. Every frame looks like a movie, with detail and composition in depth only possible in 35 mm. But that, Tom Bell's typically strong performance, and Mick Ford's exuberant support, are as much as there is to be enthusiastic about. As a tale from the mid-19th century, with an English master mariner bringing home a black princess as his wife, it's curiously devoid of any contemporary resonance. Scripted by James Saunders from David Garnett's 1924 novel, it seems confused and naive in its treatment of the racism the couple encounter in a sleepy Dorset village. Religion and an awareness of class are seen to form attitudes, but there's no real sense of a historical context. An awareness of the vital element of imperialism is entirely lacking, so the supposed plea for a multi-racial society seems, to be charitable, only muddle-headed.

Release details

Duration: 112 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jack Gold
Screenwriter: James Saunders
Cast: Tom Bell
Shope Shodeinde
Mick Ford
Paola Dionisotti
George Costigan
Clive Swift
Ray Smith
Ivor Roberts
Bernard Hill
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