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The Admirable Crichton. Image shows left to right: Bill Crichton (Kenneth More), Eliza Tweeny (Diane Cilento). Credit: Columbia Pictures
The Admirable Crichton

The Admirable Crichton

  • 1957 film

1957 film based on J M Barrie's play. Kenneth More stars as butler to a family who find themselves shipwrecked on a desert island. Also features Diane Cilento, Cecil Parker, Martita Hunt, Jack Watling, Peter Graves and more.

The Admirable Crichton. Image shows left to right: Lady Brocklehurst (Martita Hunt), Lord Henry Loam (Cecil Parker), Lady Mary (Sally Ann Howes), Bill Crichton (Kenneth More). Credit: Columbia Pictures

Key details

Kenneth More, Diane Cilento, Cecil Parker, Martita Hunt, Jack Watling, Peter Graves, Miles Malleson, Eddie Byrne and more
JM Barrie, Lewis Gilbert and Vernon Harris
Lewis Gilbert
Ian Dalrymple and Dennis Van Thal

It is 1905 and Lord Loam is a point of division within his own household. A Liberal, he yearns for greater equality throughout society: something much of his family, and most of his servants - not least devoted butler Crichton - are appalled by. When one of his daughters is arrested for taking part in a Suffragettes' protest, however, he decides they must depart England on an extended cruise to escape the social embarrassment!

Some months later and the family - plus Crichton and a few other staff - are aboard their private yacht in the middle of the Pacific when a great storm picks up, battering the ship and causing the engine to partially explode before dumping it aground on the edge of what quickly becomes apparent is a deserted tropical island. Having taken to lifeboats in the maelstrom, the Captain and most of the staff are missing, whilst Crichton, maid Eliza, Lord Loam and his three daughters find themselves marooned together.

Initially, the eight-strong party, which also includes the suitors of Ladies Catherine and Agatha Loam, attempt to keep order and continue to live in the proper British manner to which they are all accustomed. However, it is not long before strains are beginning to show: keeping order in the regimented society of London is all well and good, but his lordship is certainly not equipped to make decisions for the good of their survival - never mind hopeful rescue - with no clear rules to follow!

The ever-practical, supremely resourceful Crichton, by contrast, appears to hold the solution to almost every problem; but can the rest of the family face decision-making, even perhaps taking orders, from a servant?

Additional details

UK certificate
93 minutes
Late 1956

Columbia Pictures

Camera set-up
Single camera

Website links

Broadcast details

Most recent repeats
  • Thursday 18th April 2024 at 2:50pm on Film4
  • Monday 15th April 2024 at 11:00am on Film4
  • Thursday 18th January 2024 at 12:50pm on Film4

Recording details

  • Shepperton Studios - Interiors
  • Bermuda - Island locations

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