The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and
television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality
for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews
that are positive for a given film or television show.
From the Critics
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or
higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for
limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Based on a story by Somerset Maugham, The Beachcomber was originally released in Great Britain as Vessel of Wrath. This English version was much franker--and much more fun--than the abbreviated, watered-down US release prints. Even the American version, however, is successful in capturing the spirit of Maugham's tale of slovenly remittance man Charles Laughton drinking and wenching away his monthly allowance in the picturesque Dutch Islands. Elsa Lanchester (the real-life Mrs. Laughton) plays the prim sister of sanctimonious missionary Tyrone Guthrie, who slowly regenerates the wastrelly Laughton. Our hero redeems himself fully through his courageous behavior during a cholera epidemic. This version of The Beachcomber is based on the stage adaptation by Bartlett Cormick; the 1955 remake, which played faster and looser with the Maugham original than the Cormack version did, starred Robert Newton, who plays the local British authority in the 1938 film. The Beachcomber was the only film directed by producer Erich Pommer, who spent most of the 1930s as Charles Laughton's business partner. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi