British release poster
|Directed by||James Marsh|
|Written by||Scott Z. Burns|
|Music by||Jóhann Jóhannsson|
|Edited by||Jinx Godfrey|
|Box office||$2.2 million|
The Mercy is a 2017 British biographical drama film, directed by James Marsh and written by Scott Z. Burns. It is based on the true story of the disastrous attempt by the amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst to complete the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968 and his subsequent attempts to cover up his failure. The film stars Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, David Thewlis and Ken Stott. It is one of the last films scored by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.
The film was released in the United Kingdom on 9 February 2018 by StudioCanal.
- Colin Firth as Donald Crowhurst
- Rachel Weisz as Clare Crowhurst
- David Thewlis as Rodney Hallworth
- Ken Stott as Stanley Best
- Jonathan Bailey as Wheeler
- Adrian Schiller as Elliot
- Oliver Maltman as Dennis Herbstein
- Mark Gatiss as Ronald Hall
- Simon McBurney as Sir Francis Chichester
- Kit Connor as James Crowhurst
- Eleanor Stagg as Rachel Crowhurst
- Andrew Buchan as Ian
- Geoff Bladon as Arthur Bladon, town mayor
The project was first announced by The Daily Mail in October 2013, as a biopic about yacht-racer Donald Crowhurst, who gave misleading reports of his position in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race which implied that he had sailed around the world when he had actually remained in the Atlantic. Scott Z. Burns wrote the screenplay; Colin Firth was reported to be considering portraying Crowhurst and Kate Winslet the role of his wife, Clare. On 27 January 2015 it was announced that James Marsh would direct the film, which StudioCanal, Blueprint Pictures, and BBC Films would produce. StudioCanal and BBC would finance the film which had been developed by Christine Langan. StudioCanal would handle the international sales at the European Film Market and would also distribute the film in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. The producers would be Peter Czernin, Graham Broadbent, and Scott Burns, with Nicolas Mauvernay and Jacques Perrin of Galatée Films. On 31 March 2015 Rachel Weisz was reported to be in discussions to play Clare. On 20 May 2015 Weisz was confirmed as Clare, and David Thewlis, Ken Stott and Jonathan Bailey joined the cast. This is the second collaboration of David Thewlis and director James Marsh after The Theory of Everything. Bailey's casting was confirmed by Deadline on 27 May 2015.
Principal photography on the film began on location on 20 May 2015 in the United Kingdom. In early June 2015 filming was underway in Teignmouth, Devon, and in mid-June, the production was spotted filming at the Isle of Portland in Dorset. By late July, filming had moved to Malta, where some scenes were planned to be shot in the water tanks at Mediterranean Film Studios in Kalkara. During the filming, Colin Firth was hospitalised with a hip dislocation. The Mercy was also part shot at West London Film Studios.
In November 2017, Roadside Attractions acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film. It was initially scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 27 October 2017, but was eventually moved to 9 February 2018. Despite this, it was screened for awards consideration to members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in New York City on 28 November 2017, followed by two screenings in Renfrew Street, Glasgow on 5 December and Fountain Park, Edinburgh on 7 December that year.
Noting that another film based on the same story was also being produced, Studiocanal (the producers of The Mercy) purchased the rights to its competitor Crowhurst, promising to release it soon after the release of the larger-budget production.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 70% based on 50 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 6.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Mercy sails on Colin Firth's layered central performance, which adds necessary depth and nuance that the story sometimes lacks." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 63 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- Crowhurst, a 2017 film on the same subject directed by Simon Rumley
- Deep Water, a 2006 documentary on the subject
- "The Mercy (2018)". The-Numbers.com. The Numbers. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- "The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst". The Times (72443). Saturday Review: Times Newspapers. 27 January 2018. p. 12. ISSN 0140-0460.
- Renehan, Edward J. Jr. (2016). Desperate Voyage: Donald Crowhurst, The London Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, and the Tragedy of Teignmouth Electron. Newport: New Street.
- Bamigboye, Baz (31 October 2013). "Colin Firth and 'sea widow' Kate Winslet hit choppy waters in new film". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Hopewell, John (27 January 2015). "Colin Firth, James Marsh Team on Donald Crowhurst Story". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Jaafar, Ali (31 March 2015). "Rachel Weisz in Talks To Star Opposite Colin Firth in Donald Crowhurst Biopic". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Rosser, Michael (20 May 2015). "Colin Firth's Donald Crowhurst film begins shoot". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Pedersen, Erik (27 May 2015). "Brittany Ishibashi Kicks Up 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2′; Jonathan Bailey Joins Donald Crowhurst Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Crawley, Johanna (3 June 2015). "Rachel Weisz shows off her sixties style in tartan miniskirt as she shoots scenes with Colin Firth for big screen Donald Crowhurst biopic on Devon coast". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- WMNdellis (2 June 2015). "PICTURES: Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz on a Teignmouth film set". Western Morning News. Local World. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Mapstone, Lucy; Crawley, Johanna (16 June 2015). "Don't look down! Colin Firth shows off his stunt man skills as he climbs a mast while filming biopic about ill-fated sailor Donald Crowhurst". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Hindley, Meghan (11 June 2015). "Hollywood heartthrob Colin Firth sails into Portland for filming". Dorset Echo. Newsquest. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- [Unknown author] (24 July 2015). "Colin Firth's latest film begins shooting in Malta". Times of Malta. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- FNE Staff (27 July 2015). "Colin Firth Shoots Donald Crowhurst Film in Malta". Film New Europe. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Hopewell, John; Keslassy, Elsa (November 2, 2017). "AFM: Lionsgate Takes U.S. on Studiocanal's 'Hard Powder,' 'Shaun the Sheep 2,' 'The Mercy' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Linay, Tom (January 23, 2018). "Latest film release changes: 23 August 2017". Digital Cinema Media. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- Billington, Alex (January 23, 2018). "New 60-Second Trailer for 'The Mercy' with Colin Firth & Rachel Weisz". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- "Member Screening - THE MERCY". BAFTA New York. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- "The Mercy - Glasgow Screening". BAFTA Scotland. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- "The Mercy - Edinburgh Screening". BAFTA Scotland. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- Dalton, Stephen (2018-04-02). "'The Mercy' Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "The Mercy (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- "The Mercy Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 6, 2018.