Sons of the Sea (1939)


Sons of the Sea is a 1939 British colour drama film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Leslie Banks, Kay Walsh, Mackenzie Ward and Cecil Parker.

Refer to Sword of Honour (1939) also by director Maurice Elvey.


Britain, 1939. The head of Dartmouth Naval College is murdered. His successor, Captain Hyde, believes that he himself was in fact the intended target of the assassination. He soon begins to realise that both British and foreign intelligence agents are at work. He enlists the help of his son, a reluctant sea cadet, to smoke them out.


  • Leslie Banks as Captain Hyde.
  • Kay Walsh as Alison Devar.
  • Mackenzie Ward as Newton Hulls.
  • Cecil Parker as Commander Herbert.
  • Simon Lack as Philip Hyde.
  • Ellen Pollock as Margaret Hulls.
  • Peter Shaw as John Strepte.
  • Nigel Stock as Rudd.
  • Kynaston Reeves as Professor Devar.
  • Charles Eaton as Commander-in-Chief.


Sons of the Sea was filmed during the summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, something explored in the themes of the film. The only feature film to be shot using the Dufaycolour process, it was shown on BBC television in 2005 after restoration.


The film premiered in London on 11 March 1940, at the then recently opened Cinephone cinema at 241 Oxford Street, with the attendance of the main star, Leslie Banks.


Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Maurice Elvey.
  • Producer(s):
    • K.C. Alexander.
  • Writer(s):
    • Gerald Elliott … (by).
    • Maurice Elvey … (by).
    • Reginald Long … (dialogue).
    • D. William Woolf … (scenario).
    • George Barraud … (scenario).
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
    • Eric Cross … photography.
  • Editor(s):
    • Douglas Myers (as Dug Myers).
  • Production:
    • British Consolidated (as A British Consolidated Pictures Production).
  • Distributor(s):
    • Grand National Pictures (1939) (UK) (theatrical).
    • Grand National Pictures (1939) (USA) (theatrical).
    • Renown Pictures Corporation (2009) (UK) (DVD) (digitally remastered).
  • Release Date: 23 December 1939 (US) and 11 March 1940 (UK).
  • Running time: 82 minutes.
  • Rating: U.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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