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Ferry to Hong Kong [Region 2]

11 customer reviews

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Playback Region 2 :This will not play on most DVD players sold in the U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda. See other DVD options under “Other Formats & Versions”. Learn more about DVD region specifications here

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Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: This curious African Queen derivation stars Curt Jurgens as Mark Conrad, an Austrian exile and Orson Welles as blustery ferry-boat captain Cecil Hart. Banned from both Hong Kong and Macao, Conrad is forced to spend his life on Hart's ferry, shuttling endlessly between the two countries and irritating everyone with whom he comes in contact. Conrad redeems himself when he rescues Hart and the passengers during a raging storm. Poor Welles is reduced to Gale Gordon-like bombast throughout the proceedings, while leading lady Sylvia Sims has practically no purpose in the film whatsoever. Ferry to Hong Kong was released in America through 20th Century-Fox along with several other like-vintage Rank Organisation films. ...Ferry to Hong Kong

Product Details

  • Actors: Curd Jürgens, Orson Welles, Sylvia Syms, Noel Purcell, Jeremy Spenser
  • Directors: Lewis Gilbert
  • Producers: Ferry to Hong Kong
  • Format: Import, PAL
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 108.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0054SDOME
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Druxman on June 29, 2011
Format: DVD
There is a lot to like about FERRY TO HONG KONG (1959), now available on DVD from VCI Entertainment.

It has an intriguing story, several suspenseful moments, some picturesque Hong Kong locations and a delightful performance by Orson Welles in a definitely unWellesian role.

Curt Jurgens stars as a "man without a country," the black sheep of his family, now a virtual bum and a troublemaker, who sleeps on the street and starts barroom brawls. When he's kicked out of Hong Kong, the police put him on a ferry, captained by Welles, that travels back-and-forth to Macao. But, when the Macao authorities won't let him disembark, the priggish Welles, a former conman, is stuck with him...and he hates Jurgens.

During the ensuing weeks and revolving voyages, Welles tries everything he can to get Jurgens off his boat, but with scant success. The unwelcome passenger also begins a romance with a sympathetic school teacher (Sylvia Syms) and, eventually, redeems himself with the captain when the ferry encounters a typhoon, followed by a pirate attack.

Lewis Gilbert, who directed several of the James Bond films, co-wrote (with Vernon Harris) and directed FERRY TO HONG KONG.

Aside from being 15-20 minutes too long, my main complaint with the picture is that it can't decide whether it wants to be a comedy or an action film. Virtually the first half of the movie deals almost exclusively with the barbed relationship between Welles and Jurgens, as they exchange banter and Welles continually tries to get rid of his passenger. Granted, there are some funny moments in this long section, but the stakes are not really raised until well after the middle of the film when we get the typhoon, and then in the final third, the pirates' onslaught.

Overall, I did enjoy the movie, but a bit of foreshadowing in the screenplay that the tone of the picture was going to be changed would certainly have been in order.

© Michael B. Druxman
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By sandy807 VINE VOICE on November 9, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Orson Welles plays a role in this movie that is different from any I've seen him in before. As the proper English Captain Hart who ferries the boat to Hong Kong, he is continually pestered by an obnoxious drunk who lives on the boat, because without his papers, he is not allowed to land anywhere. The drunk, Conrad, constantly creates havoc among the passengers, and Hart continually tries to get rid of him, but when storm and pirates threaten the safety of the boat and the passengers, the two join forces, and the drunk manages to gain some respect for his efforts.
Some of the acting seemed somewhat stereotypical, especially the brutish Chinese pirate, a big, dumb, mean hulk who grunts choppy English. His role was a little laughable to me, as well as the pretty young woman with the group of Chinese children on the boat, who heroically (or stupidly) steps forward to chide the brute and his gang of immoral pirates, which in real life would call dangerous attention to herself.
In spite of that, I consider this movie as one to be enjoyed as a film classic, one that combines the rollicking antics of the drunk, a little romance, some humorous moments, the adventure of a storm at sea, and confrontation with pirates.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on June 5, 2011
Format: DVD
1959's FERRY TO HONG KONG is a real odd duck. Starring Curt Jürgens, Orson Welles and Sylvia Syms, the film taps into the fascination that audiences craved for everything exotic and Oriental in the Fifties. It was completely shot on location in Hong Kong (and looks spectacular), but the performances are uneven and the story takes forever to get it's sea legs.

Drunken vagrant Mark Conrad (Jürgens) winds up as a permanent passenger on the ferry belonging to Captain Hart (Orson Welles) because of a legal loophole. On the regular trip from Hong Kong to Macau, Mark meets and befriends schoolteacher Liz Ferrers (Sylvia Syms), who eventually strikes up an inevitable romance.

This film is one of the most peculiar I've seen in a long time. Starting out as some sort of leisurely "Odd Couple" comedy, things shift dramatically in the second half when a brush with an exploding junk, a typhoon and an attack by Chinese pirates finally liven up the pace. Orson Welles gives the most problematic performance; I can't completely put my finger on it, but the whole character seems like he's just stepped out of some grotesque pantomime. He spends the last portion of the film with a board strapped to his back (don't ask). Jürgens and Syms are attractive but hardly set the screen ablaze with chemistry. Being shot almost entirely on location meant that a great deal of the dialogue had to be re-looped during post production, and that sadly takes away from the "immediacy" of the performances, too.

The co-stars are fine. Jeremy Spenser plays the young 1st officer, Noel Purcell is an engineer with a family in every port(!); and Margaret Withers is a starchy old maid with a few choice one-liners. A minor classic to be sure, but just be patient for the story to gain it's speed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spirit of 76 on August 19, 2013
Format: DVD
I first saw this movie one late night decades ago, back when the networks still showed movies after the 11 p.m. newscasts. It was interesting, like so many old movies that are no longer shown even on the movie channels on cable. I'll leave it for other reviewers to discuss the merits of this movie.

What I do want to say is that the DVD is awful. It's letterboxed, with a 4:3 image that has enormous black bars above and below. For crying out loud, this was finally released on DVD in 2011. Just about everybody had a widescreen TV by then and not having this in anamorphic widescreen is unforgivable. It's no harder for a company to do anamorphic than letterboxed. In fact, virtually all theatrical movie DVDs released in 2011 were anamorphic, and this was one of at most a handful that weren't. Shame on you, VCI Entertainment! But I suppose I should have expected no better. You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the artwork on the case is similarly awful. I haven't seen anything like this amateurish jumble since the 1980s. There are no extras on the disc, but I expected none considering everyone involved in its production must have passed away by now.
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