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The Navy Lark (1959)

Film version of a popular BBC radio show about the incompetent crew of a Royal Navy ship.


Gordon Parry


Lawrie Wyman (screenplay), Sid Colin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cecil Parker ... Cmdr. Stanton
Ronald Shiner Ronald Shiner ... CPO Banyard
Leslie Phillips ... Lt. Pouter
Elvi Hale Elvi Hale ... Leading WREN Heather
Nicholas Phipps ... Capt. Povey
Cardew Robinson Cardew Robinson ... Lt. Binns
Harold Kasket Harold Kasket ... Gaston Higgins
Hattie Jacques ... Fortune Teller
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... CNI
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ... Brown
Wanda Ventham ... Mabel
Richard Coleman Richard Coleman ... Lt. Bates R.N.
Llewellyn Rees Llewellyn Rees ... Adm. Troutbridge
Clive Morton ... Rear Admiral
Gordon Harris Gordon Harris ... Group Captain


On the English Channel Island of Boonzey there is a small British Navy base serviced by minesweeper HMS Compton. The task of the vessel and its crew is to sweep the surrounding waters for German magnetic mines leftover from WW2. The task is easy since there are no mines in the local waters. Therefore, the crew spends its time in various ways in order to kill boredom. The skipper, Commander Stanton, spends his time fishing. His second in command, Lieutenant Pouter, spends his time womanizing. Chief Petty Officer Banyard and Leading Seaman Johnson spend their time smuggling booze, in collusion with the local French fishermen. However, their idyllic paradise is about to be shattered when the Navy higher-ups decide to send Captain Povey to assess the usefulness of the base and to decide whether to close it down. Sensing the danger of re-assignment to less idyllic Navy bases, the crew of minesweeper Compton decides to prove that their work in the area is vital, thus leading to their ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








English | French

Release Date:

27 December 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Navy Lark See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although the film has an almost entirely different cast, many of the character names are retained from the radio show. See more »


CPO Banyard: [entering room in agitated state] Sir, it's about Lieutenant Binns sir - something has got to be done.
Cmdr. Stanton: [Sympathetically] Well, we know chief, we know.
CPO Banyard: Yes, but do you know what he's done now Sir? He's pinched the jeep. The Milkman's livid.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Navy Lark is a surely fictitious account of events and goings on in a naval establishment only loosely connected with the senior service. See more »


Followed by HMS Paradise (1964) See more »


The Navy Lark
Composed by James Moody and Tommy Reilly
Performed by Tommy Reilly on Harmonica with James Moody on Piano
See more »

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User Reviews

The Navy Lark
10 August 2011 | by jrg135See all my reviews

Its quite good as I remember but apart from Leslie Phillips there are no other members of the radio cast in the film, Herbert Wilcox bought the rights during the broadcast of the first radio series which was written with Jon Pertwee as the leading actor, as long as fans of the radio version are not expecting this to have any resemblance to that then it comes over as a good British comedy. I don't believe it has ever been released on VHS or DVD , the only times I have seen it is either the middle of the night or I think its been broadcast on a Saturday afternoon. Hopefully this has been some use to people who would like to see it.

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