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Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea [Import]

3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 61.48
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Quite possibly better known for a notorious Playboy magazine spread than for its own cinematic merits, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea is one of the weirder artifacts of the wide-open American cinema of the 1970s. The Japanese setting of Yukio Mishima's novel is transplanted to the English seaside, where an adolescent boy has fallen in with a group of pint-sized fascists (they call each other by numbers, not names). The gang's idea of exploring "the center of reality" is vivisecting a cat, a ritual rendered in dreamlike, repellent detail. Meanwhile, the boy's mother (Sarah Miles) takes up with an ocean-wandering American seaman (Kris Kristofferson), their gauzy nude scenes providing voyeuristic titillation for the peeping son and audience alike (hence Playboy's interest). The combination of Lord of the Flies with the soft-core stuff makes a very awkward match, and the insistent touch of director Lewis John Carlino, who went on to make The Great Santini, does not help. Carlino's montage of shipboard pistons and pumps churning as the sailor arrives in town is a particularly unfortunate foreshadowing of the sexual gymnastics to come. Kristofferson, looking somewhat zonked as he often did in the '70s, is nevertheless effectively cast, and Miles, after Ryan's Daughter and Lady Caroline Lamb, practically had a patent on the sexed-up English (or Irish) rose in movies. Their efforts can't disguise the silliness of the execution. Still, those kids are truly scary. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is cut! Feb. 24 2004
By A Customer
All the scenes containing adult material are edited and cut.I reccomend you to protest this and wait for an uncensoured version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! March 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I couldn't disagree more with the editorial review published here.
I thought this was a fascinating film in a lot of ways. A bit rough in the structure, at times, but overall a very good effort. Some wonderful performances, interesting plot, beautiful scenery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty kinky considering the period July 23 2001
Format:VHS Tape
The movie stars Kris Kristofferson and Sara Miles in what is apretty graphically kinky movie considering it is about 30 years oldnow. There are further scenes where Miles and Kristofferson are making love while the boy watches, until he is discovered by the mother, who basically flips out.
Then there is the bizarre vivisection scene with the anesthetized cat, and the final one with the sailor himself. Since I've never read the book, I'm not sure how these play out in print, but I'm assuming the movie did not fail to capitalize on the more sensationalistic aspects of the book, so if you liked the book, you might also want to check out the movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Nov. 24 2009
Anne Osborne (Sarah Miles) is a young widow living in a picturesque seaside village in England. Her troubled son has fallen in with a bad crowd; he belongs to a secret society run by a bully who has his own very definite ideas about the proper order of things. When Anne decides to marry a merchant sailor (Kris Kristofferson), her son takes the news quite badly and turns to his pals for help.

This movie was quite controversial in 1976, and with it's graphic sexuality and shocking cruelty, it still is. Miles is well-cast as the needy widow but sometimes overdoes the cow-eyed trances and histrionics. Kristofferson looks the part of a rugged seaman and the two have great chemistry. The creepy boys' club provides some truly cringe-worthy moments as innocent young boys commit unspeakable acts, and this movie is not for the squeamish (especially animal-lovers).

Lovely Devon locations contrast nicely with the increasing tension and overall feeling of doom. An interesting and haunting movie for adults.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Has some merits but the book is certainly better July 3 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie takes the liberty of transplanting the Yukio Mishima novel's setting from Yokohama, Japan to a sleepy English port town. Inevitably, it changes the nationalities of the protagonists (Japanese widow and sailor to English and American, respectively). These modifications are not what detracts from the movie's impact, but instead the plotline and the character development (or rather, the lack of).
Regarding plot, the filmmakers took an oversimplified approach on Mishima's rich examination into the characters' psyches. This successively leads to the poor character development in the film. The actors sincerely try to display intensity in their characters' roles, but without any understanding of their derivations, they muddle the story. A good example involves the "chief" of the boys' gang. We are given an expose his controlling, fascist behavior: one memorable scene involves him angrily kicking out all the members of the gang from his house due to them not grasping his level of consciousness (the twisted, hateful look on this young boy's face shows his ferocity). But without further details on his motives or personality, it's difficult to surmise his attitude. We only see that he is an angry, manipulative, nihilistic monster.
The love affair between the sailor and the mother of one of the gangmembers actully compounds the film's problems. Although their sex scenes are erotic and very explicit (they were considered quite shocking for that time; today they might qualify as soft-core pornography, albeit many will disagree with this), one is left to wonder what attracts these two who have such disparity between them? The director places great emphasis on this physical attraction and spends much time detailing this.
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By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I remember hearing how steamy and heavy this movie was when it came out, way back when. I also recall seeing an infamous photo spread that piqued my interest. Having just viewed it, I would have to say that it's disappointing, due mostly to two things: a) it's dated, and b) it tends to be melodramatic instead of dramatic. Unfortunately, the premise of the movie is more interesting than the movie itself. The right elements are there -- lonely, young widow; studly sailor; confused, hormonally driven son; psychotic friend and a surprise ending -- but it seems more like The Exorcist at times than a drama. I think the director was going for a Bergmanesque kind of quiet and seriousness, but the movie doesn't get there. Part of the problem is that the son in the movie isn't up to the task as an actor. The movie is based on a short story, which, I have a feeling, conveys itself better than the movie does. Incidentally, there is one bit in one of the erotic scenes that has been edited out-- also a disappointment since you don't know that when ordering.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Adult Movie
Great scenary and well acted , good vibs from stars , but a creepy story and one you will remember for a long time.
Published on Feb. 9 2011 by Couchgrotan
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! This Is a Ripoff!
I was in San Diego several years back and happened into a downtown video store. I was pleased to find a VHS copy of "Sailor" and couldn't wait to get home so I could watch Kris and... Read more
Published on July 17 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars too much pretentious
This film is a failure, I think because surely it's based over a complex novel. Cinema is good for action and image, but surely has his limits. Read more
Published on June 14 2000 by Carlos Vazquez Quintana
3.0 out of 5 stars Great at the Time; Doesn't hold up; maybe I've aged
I was 22 when this first came out and was a clerk in a drugstore. I remember sneaking peeks at a layout Playboy had done of Kris and Sarah. Then I got to see the movie. Read more
Published on June 7 2000 by Unique ViewPoint
2.0 out of 5 stars Last time I saw at theater - it was too hot for it's time!!!
Ok - so I was in my late puberty years and Sarah Miles was the hottest thing on my mind - (BECAUSE OF THIS MOVIE) - I cannot forget this flick! Read more
Published on April 7 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful visual film as well as thought provoking
this is one of my most favorite movies. it is thought provoking and visually beautiful. the acting is wonderful, and is a movie that i will always love. it's timeless.
Published on Jan. 9 1999
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