Doctor at Sea (film)

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Doctor at Sea
File:Doctor at Sea orig UK poster.jpg
Original British 1955 quad film poster
Directed by Ralph Thomas
Produced by Betty E. Box
Screenplay by Nicholas Phipps
Richard Gordon
Jack Davies
Based on Doctor at Sea 
by Richard Gordon
Starring Dirk Bogarde
Brigitte Bardot
James Robertson Justice
Brenda De Banzie
Joan Sims
Music by Bruce Montgomery
Cinematography Ernest Steward
Edited by Frederick Wilson
Group Film Productions
Distributed by Rank Film Distributors (UK)
Republic Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 12 July 1955 (1955-07-12) (UK)
  • 23 February 1956 (1956-02-23) (US)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office 1,111,404 admissions (France)[1]

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.


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]


  • 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.

External links