Doctor at Sea (film)

Doctor at Sea is a 1955 British comedy film, directed by Ralph Thomas, produced by Betty E. Box, and based on Richard Gordon's novel by the same name. This was the second of seven films in the Doctor series, following the hugely popular Doctor in the House from the previous year. Once again, Richard Gordon participated in the screenwriting, together with Nicholas Phipps and Jack Davies, and once again Dirk Bogarde played the lead character Dr Simon Sparrow. The cast also includes James Robertson Justice and Joan Sims from the first film, but this time playing different characters. This was Brigitte Bardot's first English-speaking film.

Doctor at Sea
Original British 1955 quad film poster
Directed byRalph Thomas
Produced byBetty E. Box
Screenplay byNicholas Phipps
Richard Gordon
Jack Davies
Based onDoctor at Sea
by Richard Gordon
StarringDirk Bogarde
Brigitte Bardot
James Robertson Justice
Brenda De Banzie
Joan Sims
Music byBruce Montgomery
CinematographyErnest Steward
Edited byFrederick Wilson
Group Film Productions
Distributed byRank Film Distributors (UK)
Republic Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 12 July 1955 (1955-07-12) (UK)
  • 23 February 1956 (1956-02-23) (US)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States
Box office1,111,404 admissions (France)[1]


With a view to escaping his employers' daughter, who has amorous designs on him, Dr Simon Sparrow (Bogarde) signs on as medical officer on a cargo ship, "SS Lotus". The ship is commanded by hot-tempered and authoritarian Captain Wentworth Hogg.

Sparrow overcomes initial seasickness and settles into life on board. After arriving in a South American port (unspecified, but possibly in Ecuador), Sparrow meets Hélène Colbert (Bardot), a sexy young French nightclub singer.

The misogynist Captain Hogg is forced to take on two female passengers, Muriel Mallet (De Banzie), the daughter of the chairman of the shipping company, and her friend, Hélène, for the return trip. Romance blossoms between Simon and Hélène, and when they reach home, Helene receives a telegram offering her a job in Rio de Janeiro. She and Sparrow return together.

Throughout the trip, Hogg has been romanced by Muriel and eventually becomes engaged to her - with almost certain promotion to Commodore.

Main cast


The film was the 3rd most popular movie at the British box office in 1955, after The Dam Busters and White Christmas.[2][3]

Thomas claimed in 1956 it made half a million pounds profit.[4]


  • Nominated, 1956 BAFTA Film Award, Best British Screenplay, Nicholas Phipps and Jack Davies


This was the second installment of the Doctor series of films, with Bogarde featuring in the first three. Doctor at Sea was Brigitte Bardot's first ever role in an English-speaking film.


  1. Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  2. "'The Dam Busters'." Times [London, England] 29 Dec. 1955: 12. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  3. Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.
  4. "Overseas movie gossip". The Australian Women's Weekly. 24 (26). Australia, Australia. 28 November 1956. p. 79. Retrieved 24 May 2016 via National Library of Australia.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.