The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea
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Top Customer Reviews
Regarding plot, the filmmakers took an oversimplified approach on Mishima's rich examination into the characters' psyches. This successively leads to the poor character development in the film. The actors sincerely try to display intensity in their characters' roles, but without any understanding of their derivations, they muddle the story. A good example involves the "chief" of the boys' gang. We are given an expose his controlling, fascist behavior: one memorable scene involves him angrily kicking out all the members of the gang from his house due to them not grasping his level of consciousness (the twisted, hateful look on this young boy's face shows his ferocity). But without further details on his motives or personality, it's difficult to surmise his attitude. We only see that he is an angry, manipulative, nihilistic monster.
The love affair between the sailor and the mother of one of the gangmembers actully compounds the film's problems. Although their sex scenes are erotic and very explicit (they were considered quite shocking for that time; today they might qualify as soft-core pornography, albeit many will disagree with this), one is left to wonder what attracts these two who have such disparity between them? The director places great emphasis on this physical attraction and spends much time detailing this.Read more ›
I found reading some of the reviews of Mishima's novel from which the film is made very useful. It makes much more sense in the context of Japanese culture. Translating it into Western culture robs the story of any credibility, in my opinion. Kristofferson, too, is quintessentially American and brings a very realistic quality to this tale which is quite spare and almost surreal. Mishima's style can make you accept the story he's telling but when it's translated into this realistic, Western setting, much more needs to be explained in order for the film to work.
The "Chief," a young boy who obviously has a dreadful home life, is presented as a psychopath whose cruelty to animals is justified, he thinks, by his superior mentality. Think Leopold and Loeb. I found it hard to believe that he would have been able to get so far with this group of boys, given the fact that they were all from apparently well to do families. The mother, played by Sarah Miles, dislikes this boy but somehow her son manages to keep close company with the group, to the point where he is carried away with the insanity the Chief teaches. The boy, Jonathan, at first is enamored of Jim, the sailor, played by Kristofferson and it seems to be a healthy connection. I found the change in Jonathan to lack credibility. No doubt it works in the novel; here it just seems terribly odd and oddly terrible.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful natural surrounding hides lives of boys whose lives are like the hateful gangs. This one boy feel his mother is taken away from him by this sailor, therefore he does the... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Stacy
This was quite a disturbing movie. When I ordered it, I thought it was another story, a much different story line, but my memory served me incorrectly. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Serena Rucker
always been one of my favorite movies and it's never on TV! A little dark ..........Published 10 months ago by Claudia
Overall I kind of watched this movie with a disgusted look on my face because I just couldn't relate to the concept of a little kid hating the mother's new boyfriend and in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nicole P.
The title alone is worth a star all by itself. But the print I have which has an entirely different cover from the one pictured here, and uses the original film poster on the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by addison de witt
I saw the original version in the theater when it came out. I rented a VHS years ago: all chopped up so the story did not make sense. Read morePublished 14 months ago by teal mn