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

Arthur Davies Simon MacCorkindale
Clara Jenny Agutter
Charles Carruthers Michael York
Dollmann Alan Badel
Frau Dollmann Olga Lowe
Cdr Von Bruning Jurgen Andersen
Bohme Michael Sheard
Grimm Hans Meyer
Director Tony Maylam
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Other Information

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