Gift Horse

  • PG
  • Compton Bennett (1951)
  • UK
  • 95 min
Gift Horse
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Packed with stock situations, this unremarkable naval drama starts in 1940 on the broken-down tub presented to gung-ho captain Trevor Howard as part of a 50-destroyer loan made to Britain by neutral America. The inevitable hostility that flares between Howard and his men, the Admiralty inquiry into negligence and the ramming raid on a Nazi dockyard in France are all staged with efficiency by director Compton Bennett. But the action lacks urgency, Howard looks thoroughly bored by the proceedings and crew members Richard Attenborough, Hugh Williams and Bernard Lee, plus flashy American Sonny Tufts, have nothing new to show us.

Plot Summary

Second World War drama starring Trevor Howard and Richard Attenborough. When naval captain Hugh Fraser is given command of an unreliable destroyer, his ruthless manner and apparent incompetence provoke hostility among his crew as they prepare for battle.

Cast and crew


Lieutenant Commander Hugh Fraser
Trevor Howard
Dripper Daniels
Richard Attenborough
Yank Flanagan
Sonny Tufts
Lieutenant Richard Jennings
James Donald
June Mallory
Joan Rice
Stripey Wood
Bernard Lee
Dora Bryan
Hugh Williams
Lieutenant Michael Grant
Robin Bailey
Meredith Edwards
John Forrest
Petty Officer Martin
Patric Doonan
Ned Hardy
Sidney James


Compton Bennett

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Molton Films Ltd
Available on DVD
Certificate PG
DD Home Entertainment