The Sea Shall Not Have Them

The Sea Shall Not Have Them

VHS movie cover
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Produced by Daniel M. Angel
Written by Lewis Gilbert
Vernon Harris
based on the book by
John Harris
Starring Michael Redgrave
Dirk Bogarde
Anthony Steel
Nigel Patrick
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Cinematography Stephen Dade
Edited by Russell Lloyd
Angel Productions
Distributed by Eros Films (UK)
United Artists (USA)
Release dates
30 November 1954
Running time
91 min.
Country UK
Language English

The Sea Shall Not Have Them is a 1954 British war film starring Michael Redgrave, Dirk Bogarde and Anthony Steel. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and is based on the 1953 novel by John Harris, set during the Second World War. Musical soundtrack by composer Malcolm Arnold. The film title is the motto of the Royal Air Force's Air Sea Rescue Service.

A British aircraft is forced to ditch in the North Sea. Taking to the dinghy with the crew is an Air Commodore with secret German plans. An RAF Air Sea Rescue launch is deployed to the search, struggling against bad weather, mechanical problems and a fire in the galley.



The film's title seemed ironic to Noël Coward. Referring to the film's title, Coward once said of the film's two male stars, "I don't see why not. Everyone else has." [1] Redgrave was reportedly bisexual, while Bogarde was homosexual.[1]

The film was shot in Riverside Studios, and Felixstowe, Suffolk.[2]

This film was one of several films about war that Lewis Gilbert would make in England. He followed this film up with others set in World War II, including Reach For The Sky and Sink the Bismarck!, both starring Kenneth More. He also directed H.M.S. Defiant, which, in contrast, was set during the Age of Sail, along with The 7th Dawn, which was set in revolutionary racked Malaysia after the Second World War, with William Holden, Capucine, and Susannah York.


  1. 1 2 The Guardian: Sexy self-image that revved up Dirk Bogarde
  2. BY WAY OF REPORT: Disney Cameramen to Go to Far Places For New Nature Studies -- Addenda By A. H. WEILER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 13 June 1954: X5.
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