The Dove (1974 film)

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The Dove
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Charles Jarrott
Produced by Gregory Peck
Screenplay by Peter S. Beagle
Adam Kennedy
Based on the book
by Derek L.T. Gill
Robin Lee Graham
Starring Joseph Bottoms
Deborah Raffin
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Sven Nykvist
Edited by John Jympson
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 16, 1974 (1974-10-16) (Los Angeles)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Dove is a 1974 American biographical film directed by Charles Jarrott. The picture was produced by Gregory Peck, the third and last feature film he would produce.[1][2]

The drama is based on the real life experiences of Robin Lee Graham, a young man who spent five years sailing around the world as a single-handed sailor, starting when he was 16 years old. The story is adapted from Dove (1972), the book Graham co-wrote with Derek L.T. Gill about his seafaring experiences.


The film tells of real-life Robin Lee Graham (Joseph Bottoms), a 16-year-old boy who sets out in a 23-foot sloop and is determined to be the youngest person to circumnavigate the world. He had planned the long trip with his sailor father Lyle Graham (John McLiam) for years.

He sets sail on his journey and on one of his stops he meets and falls in love with the gregarious and attractive young woman, Patti Ratteree (Deborah Raffin). After much banter, Patti decides to follow Graham throughout his long journey. She meets him in Fiji, Australia, South Africa, Panama, and the Galápagos Islands.

As he travels around the globe, Graham experiences many adventures on the sea and land as he grows from a teenager to a young adult. Yet Graham finds the trip a very lonely experience, especially when the wind dies on him on the high seas. At one point he badly wants to quit the voyage but Patti (now his new wife) and his father talk him out of it. At the end of the film Graham sails into Los Angeles with crowds welcoming him home.



Basis of film[edit]

Robin Lee Graham (born 1949) set out to sail around the world alone as a teenager in the summer of 1965. National Geographic Magazine carried the story in three issues from 1966 to 1970, and he co-wrote a book detailing his journey called Dove. Graham was just 16 when he set out from Southern California and headed west in his 24-foot Lapworth sailboat. He became married along the way, and after almost five years, sailed back into his home port. After he and his wife Patti attended Stanford University, they moved to Montana and settled down.

Filming locations[edit]

The film is a travelogue of sorts and the producers filmed on location throughout the world. Filming locations include: Cape Town, South Africa; Darwin, Northern Territory, Fremantle, Western Australia; Ecuador; Fiji; Los Angeles, California; Lourenço Marques, Mozambique; Panama Canal, Panama; South Africa; and Suva, Fiji.[3]


Critical response[edit]

Critic Nora Sayre, film critic for The New York Times, thought the film was too wholesome, so much so that Sayre wanted harm to come to the characters. Yet she appreciated Sven Nykvist's cinematography and wrote, "The Dove ... is probably far too wholesome for most of the families I know, although there may be a radiant audience lurking just outside the realms of my acquaintance...Joseph Bottoms, as the young sailor, smiles too much in the first half of the movie; after that, he cries too much. His initial overwhelming sunniness turns the viewer into a sadist: You're glad when his cat gets killed or grateful when a shark appears in the ocean. Deborah Raffin, as his winsome girlfriend, is rarely allowed to stop laughing and wagging her head; the two grin and glow at each other until you yearn for a catastrophe."[4]

Others liked the film. Film critics Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, who reviewed the film much later after the film's release on their website Spirituality and Practice, appreciated the film and its message, and wrote, "Producer Gregory Peck was perceptive when he decided to make a film based on the true life on the youngest person to circumnavigate the world alone...Graham's exploits and his accompanying struggle to sort out his feelings about himself and his loyalties to family and girlfriend are fascinating and provocative."[5]

The staff at Variety magazine said, " odyssey which provides nautical chills and thrills (as well as breathtaking scenics) aplenty...Pic really takes off when he meets the girl (played with gauche hesitation at first, but then with beauty and considerable charm by Deborah Raffin) ...Their yes-no yes-no-yes affair is nicely handled."[6]




  • Golden Globes: Golden Globe; Best Original Song, John Barry (composer) and Don Black (lyricist); for the song "Sail the Summer Winds"; 1975.


The film opened in the United States in September 1974. Paramount released a video of the film on April 16, 1996. A DVD of the film has not been released.


Soundtrack cover

An original motion picture soundtrack of the film was released in 1974 by ABC Records and contained thirteen tracks (00:31:43). On May 1, 2001 a CD was released on the Artemis record label. The song "Sail the Summer Winds", sung by Lyn Paul, was nominated for a Golden Globe and was a top selling hit in England. It hovered just outside the British Top 50 for four months.[7] The score was written by composer John Barry. A illegal CD version of the soundtrack with the 13 tracks was released January 28, 2009 by Harkit Records UK.

Side 1
  1. "The Dove (Main Title)" (03:05)
  2. "Sail The Summer Winds" (Vocal by Lyn Paul) (03:09)
  3. "Hitch-hike To Darwin" (02:14)
  4. "Patty and Robin" (02:20)
  5. "Here There Be Dragons" (02:44)
  6. "Mozambique" (02:15)
Side 2
  1. "The Motorbike and the Dove" (01:24)
  2. "Xing'mombila" (02:09)
  3. "Alone On The Wide, Wide Sea" (03:52)
  4. "Porpoise Escort" (02:30)
  5. "After The Fire" (01:46)
  6. "Sail The Summer Winds" (Vocal by Lyn Paul) (02:21)
  7. "The Dove (End Title)" (01:54)

On March 31, 2015 Intrada released official CD premiere of the score, newly re-mixed and re-mastered from original 8-channel session masters[8] (Harkit bootleg edition was LP to CD transfer).

Track list

Original 1974 soundtrack album
1) The Dove (Main Title) (3:05)
2) Sail The Summer Winds+ (3:11)
3) Hitch-Hike To Darwin (2:14)
4) Patty And Robin (2:20)
5) Here There Be Dragons (3:09)
6) Mozambique (2:16)
7) The Motorbike And The Dove (1:24)
8) Xing’mombila (2:10)
9) Alone On The Wide, Wide Sea (3:52)
10) Porpoise Escort (2:31)
11) After The Fire (1:50)
12) Sail The Summer Winds+ (2:21)
13) The Dove (End Title) (1:55)
The Extras – Stereo Album Mixes (No EFX)
14) Xing’mombila – Part 1 (No EFX) (0:25)
15) Xing’mombila – Part 2 (No EFX) (0:33)
16) The Dove (End Title) (No EFX) (1:49)
The Extras – Previously Unreleased Mono Score Cues
17) Sorta Romantic (1:14)
18) Rotten Cat (0:20)
19) Starting Again (2:28)
20) Near Miss (0:22)
21) From The Depths (2:17)
22) Unknown Seas (1:12)
23) Alone On The Wide, Wide Sea (Complete) (5:00)
24) His Decision (3:11)
+Lyricist: Don Black - Vocalist: Lyn Paul

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Dove at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  2. ^ Peck's gamble Mills, Bart. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 09 June 1974: h64.
  3. ^ The Dove, IMDb, filming locations, ibid.
  4. ^ Sayre, Nora. The New York Times, film review, "The Dove: Sailing Film Is Awash With Wholesomeness", February 20, 1975.
  5. ^ Brussat, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. Spirituality and Practice, film review.
  6. ^ Variety. Film review, September 19, 1974. Last accessed: November 29, 2009.
  7. ^ Lyn Paul official web site.
  8. ^

External links[edit]