Tillerman has started a group writing project for reviews of the best and/or worst sailing movies ever. Having only seen a handful of sailing movies, I felt completely unqualified to join in. Instead I turned to Google and found Geni and John’s Nautical and Ailurophile Page with John’s Sailing Movie List where he has listed and reviewed every movie he could find that had something to do with sailing. I’ve heard of more than I thought but it appears there are many sailing movies out there that are worth seeing.
He rated White Squall pretty high and we were in agreement on a few others I had seen so I’m going to cheat off of John even though he hasn’t updated his list since 2011. Also, I’m essentially changing the writing project to a shopping list of sailing movies that a sailor should see.
Here are three movies with John's rating/review that I’m putting on my list of movies to see during this holiday season:
Riddle of the Sands *****
1979 Simply the all-time best small-boat sailing/adventure movie! The movie manages to capture the spirit and ambiance of Erskine Childers' 1903 novel, and, with the exception of deleting the Baltic sequences, and the character of Capt. Bartels, remained remarkably faithful to the book. Simon MacCorkindale and Michael York are perfect as Davies and Carruthers, and are well supported by a superb cast, including Jenny Agutter, Jurgen Andersen, and Alan Badel. All the elements that made the book a classic are here. A must-see for all sailors, finally available on DVD in the US.
Available DVD, VHS
Violets are Blue ****
1986 Sissy Spacek, Kevin Kline, Bonnie Bedelia. An endearing and well-crafted love story set in a small town on Maryland's eastern shore. This movie has some excellent small boat sailing sequences, including a pretty exciting Hobie cat race. Sissy Spacek is portrayed as a competent sailor, with sailing as an important element in both the plot and in the relationships between the characters. This movie is particularly appealing to me because the characters approach sailing the way most of us do; it’s their recreation, it’s what they do for fun.
Available DVD, VHS
Lucky Lady ****