The Ship That Died of Shame

The Ship That Died of Shame

Original film poster
Directed by Basil Dearden
Produced by Basil Dearden
Michael Relph
Written by Basil Dearden
Nicholas Monsarrat (novel)
Michael Relph
John Whiting
Starring George Baker
Richard Attenborough
Bill Owen
Music by William Alwyn
Cinematography Gordon Dines
Edited by Peter Bezencenet
Release dates
  • 19 April 1955 (1955-04-19) (UK)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Ship That Died of Shame, released in the United States as PT Raiders, is a black-and-white 1955 Ealing Studios crime film starring George Baker, Richard Attenborough and Bill Owen.

The film is based on a story written by Nicholas Monsarrat (better known as the author of The Cruel Sea), which originally appeared in Lilliput magazine in 1952. It was later published in a collection of short stories, The Ship That Died of Shame and other stories, in 1959.[1]

Though made by Ealing Studios, the film was shot at the film studios at Wembley Park in north-west London. It was the last feature film to be made there.[2]


The 1087 is a British Royal Navy motor gun boat that faithfully sees its crew through the worst that World War II can throw at them. After the end of the war, George Hoskins (Richard Attenborough) convinces former skipper Bill Randall (George Baker) and Birdie (Bill Owen) to buy their beloved boat and use it for some harmless, minor smuggling of black market items like wine. But they find themselves transporting ever more sinister cargoes; counterfeit currency and weapons. Though their craft had been utterly reliable and never let them down in wartime, it begins to break down frequently, as if ashamed of its current use. The crew revolt when they are used in the escape of a child murderer and (probable) paedophile.



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