Sailor of the King (1953)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Jeffrey Hunter plays a young British sailor, the out-of-wedlock son of a high-ranking naval officer (Michael Rennie). Hunter's ship is torpedoed, leaving him stranded on a German-occupied island. Armed with only a rifle, Hunter is able to shoot at a German cruiser docked for repairs, and to slow down its departure. The British Navy then moves in and sinks the ship. Hunter is decorated for valor by the squadron commander--his own father. Though set during World War II, Sailor of the King was adapted from C. S. Forester's World War I novel Brown on Resolution (previously filmed in 1935, with John Mills in the lead). This 1953 20th Century-Fox production was released in Britain as Single Handed. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:


Michael Rennie
as Capt. Richard Saville
Wendy Hiller
as Lucinda Bentley
Jeffrey Hunter
as Leading Signalman Andrew "Buster" Brown
Bernard Lee
as Petty Officer Wheatley
Peter van Eyck
as Kapitan von Falk
Patrick Barr
as Capt. Ashley
John Horsley
as Cmdr. Willis
Robin Bailey
as Lt. Stafford
James Copeland
as Cmdr. Laughton
Victor Maddern
as Signalman "Misery" Earnshaw
Sam Kydd
as Naval Rating
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Sailor of the King

There are no critic reviews yet for Sailor of the King. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Sailor of the King


Sailor of the King (1953) -- [7.0] -- SPOILER REVIEW: This nifty WWII naval actioner is slow to start, but after the midpoint it offers an engaging blend of drama and suspense. Jeffrey Hunter (The Searchers) plays Andrew Brown, a signalman in the British navy who survives the sinking of his ship and escapes German capture. While the Germans carry out repairs to their vessel in an island harbor, Brown becomes a sniper. He takes refuge in the rocky cliffside and starts picking off German soldiers, hoping to stall their progress long enough for British reinforcements to arrive. Helping to make this more than your average matinee war movie is a potent dramatic twist -- that Brown is the illegitimate son of the naval commander coming to his rescue. Michael Rennie (The Day the Earth Stood Still) and Wendy Hiller (A Man for All Seasons) play Brown's parents. The script, based on a novel by C.S. Forester (The African Queen), lets the audience in on the secret, but neither father nor son ever learn their relation to one another during the course of the film. This admirable restraint in storytelling allows for a compelling teaser of a finale.

Scott Schirmer
Scott Schirmer

Beautifully and professionally made, top notch production. Good story, well acted and always interesting. It does take a little too long to get to the climax though. Fine score.

James Higgins
James Higgins

Discussion Forum

Discuss Sailor of the King on our Movie forum!

News & Features