Seagulls Over Sorrento
|Seagulls Over Sorrento
Crest of the Wave
|Directed by||John Boulting
|Produced by||John Boulting
|Screenplay by||Frank Harvey
|Based on||Hugh Hastings (play)|
|Music by||Miklós Rózsa
Ernesto de Curtis (song)
|Editing by||Max Benedict|
|Release dates||13 July 1954 (London)|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Seagulls Over Sorrento, released as Crest of the Wave in the United States, is a 1954 British wartime drama film made by the Boulting Brothers based on the play of the same name by Hugh Hastings. The film stars Gene Kelly and was one of three made by Kelly in Europe over an 18-month period to make use of frozen MGM funds. The cast features John Justin, Bernard Lee and Jeff Richards. Although the film finished shooting in July 1953, MGM could not release it in the UK until the play finished its London run, which delayed the film's release for almost a year.
A small group of British sailors stationed on a Scottish island engaged in top-secret research on a new and dangerous torpedo are joined by a US Navy scientist, Lt. Brad Bradville (Gene Kelly), and his assistants. When several tests of the weapon fail, and men are killed, tensions within the group mount. Bradville must prove that the torpedo can work and win over the British, especially Lt. Rogert Wharton (John Justin), before the Admiralty pulls the plug on the project.
- Gene Kelly as Lt. "Brad" Bradville (USN)
- John Justin as Lt. Roger Wharton
- Bernard Lee as Seaman "Lofty" Turner
- Jeff Richards as Seaman D. "Butch" Clelland (USN)
- Sid James as Seaman Charlie "Badge" Badger
- Patric Doonan as Petty Officer Herbert
- Ray Jackson as Seaman "Sprog" Sims
- Fredd Wayne as Seaman N. Sam "Shorty" Kaminsky (USN)
- Patrick Barr as Cmdr. Sinclair
- David Orr as Haggis Mackintosh
Bernard Lee played the same role in the London stage production.
The original stage play was written by Australian playwright Hugh Hastings and was based on his experiences in World War II. It opened in London's West End on 14 June 1950, and was a hit there, but played for only two weeks on Broadway in New York City. Because the play – in which all the characters were British, and the emphasis was more on the enlisted men than in the film – was a hit, MGM retained the title for the film everywhere except in the US and Canada, where the title Crest of the Wave was used.
Although set on a Scottish island, the movie was filmed on Jersey and at Fort Clonque on Alderney in the Channel Islands, with interiors filmed at MGM's British studios at Boreham Wood, Elstree. Production took place between 4 May and late July 1953.
MGM was contractually obligated not to release the film until Seagulls Over Sorrento finished its West End run, which delayed the film's release until 13 July 1954, almost a year after filming completed. The film then premiered in New York City on 10 November of that year, and went into general American release on 6 December.
An Australian television production of the stage play was produced by Crawford Productions for Melbourne's HSV-7, airing on 1 May 1960. The cast included Brian James, Bill Hodge, Stuart Wagstaff, Frank Taylor, Peter Aanensen, Carl Bleazby, Don Crosby, Mark Kelly, and John Norman. Hodge, James, Taylor, and Bleazby had appeared in the 1952 J.C Williamson production of the play. A kinescope recording of the production exists
- TCM Notes
- Rob Johnson & David Smiedt, Boom-Boom: A Century of Australian Comedy (Hodder & Stoughton, Sydney, 1999), p.130
- TCM Screenplay info
- Seagulls Over Sorrento at the Internet Broadway Database
- TCM Music
- IMDB Release dates
- The Age "Green Guide", 5 May 1960, p. 3
- The Age, 18 June 1952, p. 20