Passage Home – 1955 | 102 mins | Drama | B&W
Seafaring drama adapted from the Richard Armstrong novel. Told in flashback from the retirement ceremony of a grateful merchant company to a long-serving captain, this brightly scripted and well acted fast-moving melodrama takes some pointed digs at exploitation and the class system. Peter Finch is plausible as the captain; sultry Diane Cilento sparkles, but the standout performance is the of Geoffrey Keen’s gritty bosun.
Set in the Depression year of 1931, John ‘Lucky’ Ryland (Peter Finch) is the autocratic captain of a merchant ship on a perilous 30-day voyage from South America to Liverpool. Ryland reluctantly agrees to take on a passenger, stranded attractive governress Ruth Elton (Diane Cilento), and the unsympathetic captain begins daydreaming of romance with his eye-catching passenger. Meanwhile, the superstitious crew are troubled by the presence of a female passenger, and when Cpt Ryland feeds his crew rotten potatoes to cut down on expenses, talk of mutiny is in the air. Miss Elton rebuffs the lecherous captain’s advances, and when he attempts to force himself on her, she is rescued by First Mate Vosper (Anthony Steel). The captain locks himself in his cabin and drinks himself into a stupor, but the weather turns nasty, it allows Ryland the opportunity to regain his pride and bring his ship safely to port.
Roy Ward Baker: Director
Alex Vetchinsky: Art Direction
Geoffrey Unsworth: Cinematography
Phyllis Dalton: Costume Design
Sidney Hayers: Film Editing
Geoffrey Rodway: Makeup Department
Muir Mathieson: Musical Direction
Clifton Parker: Original Music
Julian Wintle: Producer
William Fairchild: Script
C.C. Stevens: Sound
Gordon K. McCallum: Sound
Harry Miller: Sound