The Riddle of the Sands

The Riddle of the Sands

Tony Maylam (1978)

U Certificate


Our Score
Despite the riotous action contained in the original Erskine Childers adventure classic, this brave attempt to pin down the narrative of the novel never quite succeeds, because it's too reverent for its own good. Michael York and Simon MacCorkindale - the best they've ever been - are the yachtsmen discovering a fiendish pre-emptive strike against England by the Germans, way ahead of the First World War. Tony Maylam's direction strives to make the most of authentic locations, but there's a glossiness to the production that itself launches a pre-emptive strike at our suspension of disbelief.


An English yachtsman sailing round the coast of Germany in 1901 encounters a naval officer who has betrayed his country. Enlisting the aid of a friend, he discovers a plan by Kaiser Wilhelm to invade Britain - which they are the only ones in a position to stop. Spy thriller, starring Simon MacCorkindale, Michael York and Jenny Agutter.

Cast & Crew

Charles Carruthers Michael York
Clara Jenny Agutter
Arthur Davies Simon MacCorkindale
Dollmann Alan Badel
Commander Von Brüning Jurgen Andersen
Böhme Michael Sheard
Grimm Hans Meyer
Kaiser Wilhelm II Wolf Kahler
Frau Dollmann Olga Lowe
Withers Ronald Markham
Director Tony Maylam
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Other Information

Language: English, German +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Rank Film Dists LtdAvailable on: video and DVD