The Mercy

Synopsis: The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min

(Rachel) 'Are there horses

in the Horse Latitudes?'

(Crowhurst) 'No, sweetheart.

'Story has it that many years ago

when the Spanish sailed to the West Indies

'they brought their horses with them

to the New World

'and sometimes they ran out of wind and

then they ran out of fresh water as well.

'I can only quote the mountaineer

Sir Edmund Hillary himself:

'"Men do not decide

to become extraordinary.

'"hey decide to accomplish

extraordinary things."'

(Seagulls squawking)

(Horn whistles)

(Overlapping conversations)

(Camera shutter clicks)

Greetings. Welcome to the 25th

Annual Earls Court Boat Show,

brought to you by "The Sunday Times"

and John Courage.

Speaking of courage, without further ado,

I would like to welcome

one of our greatest heroes,

the first man to single-handedly

circumnavigate the globe,

and now a Knight of the Realm,

Sir Francis Chichester.

(Chichester) Thank you.

(Camera shutter clicks)

Thank you.

So the only thing that I can imagine

that would test a man

more than sailing around the world

in a boat alone,

stopping only once,

is not stopping at all.

And "The Sunday Times"

has asked me here today

to announce just such a challenge.

(Cheering, overlapping conversations)

(Camera shutter clicks)

There will be a cash prize

for the man who comes first,

and a prize for the man who is fastest.

And I believe the details will be

in tomorrow's edition of the newspaper.

Will you be entering, Sir Francis?

No, no, I've had my fun.


Wild horses wouldn't drag me

back to the sinister Southern Ocean.

I believe a man said that the waves there

measured not in feet and inches,

but in increments of fear.

A man alone on a boat

is more alone than any man alive.

(Man) Then why would anyone go?

Well, that indeed is a fair question,

because to only do

what has been done before

is to live one's life

in the shadow of other men.

And for that reason alone,

we are blessed by the size of the sea,

and its siren call to men

seeking adventure.

Thank you.

(Crowhurst) The question that any man

who's dreamed himself beyond the horizon

must ask himself is,

"Where am I going?"

Closely followed, I assume, by,

"How in God's name do I get back?"

Precisely, and this device answers

both of those questions

because it places the latitude

and the longitude

right in the palm of your hand.

The Navicator is every sailor's

most trusted companion,

The Navicator.

Developed and manufactured

by Electron Utilisation of Teignmouth.

Built by us. In our own backyard.

- How does it work?

- It's ingeniously simple.

By comparing signal strengths

of radio beacons on land,

you can tell where you are at sea.

James, over here, is a radio beacon

at Land's End.

And Simon, over here,

is transmitting from La Rochelle.

And you just point the Navicator

and fire like so,

and, hey presto,

you have your position.

And unlike other directional finders,

it has an incorporated compass,

and it is so compact that...

(Boys) It can be operated

with just one hand.

Leaving this one free to hoist

a spinnaker in a favourable wind.

Or hoist a drink.

- The possibilities are endless.

- (Laughs)

Captain Chichester might've benefitted

from this out in the Roaring Forties.

Perhaps. It appears Sir Francis managed

to find his way around fine without it.

We can't all be Captain Chichester.


It's very clever,

but we don't go out to sea much.

We tend to stick more

to the inland waterways.

Thank you.

What sort of vessel do you sail?

(Sighs) I was sure we very nearly

had one there, boys.

Do we need to sell all of them

before we go home?

Be nice to make Mummy happy,

wouldn't it?

Maybe that one looks better

on the stand.

(Seagulls squawking)

(James) South-southeast.

(Crowhurst) Towards the Azores.

- Gibraltar and beyond that. Africa.

- Oh, shall we go?

- I don't want to go.

- Said we'd meet the Milburns at the pub.

- I guess we'll be late.

- Can we go home instead of Africa?

Which way is home?

Due east. According to the Navicator.

- Very impressive.

- Tell your mother how it works.

The Navicator uses

coastal radio signals...

(Music over dialogue)

Is it really finished?

The latest stroke of genius

from Electron Utilisation of Teignmouth.

- And you think there's a market for it?

- Anyone who's lost.

- Hm.

- (Chuckles)

It's marvellous.

Someday I'll use the Navicator

to find an island,

or a whole new continent,

like in "Captains Courageous"

Be careful. The boy in that story

fell overboard, remember.

Be careful. Come back here.

The problem is

the entire planet's been handled.

Corners inspected, clouds perused.

Hillary had scaled the heights.

- Scott has braved the Pole.

- (Clare) Cost him his life, didn't it?

But he made it.

In his diary he said,

"All daydreams must go." Pity that.

"Dreams are the seeds of action."

We'd all do well to remember that.

Prepare to come about.

(Seagulls squawking)

(Crowhurst) Read it.

A single-handed race around the world.

- (Ian) It sounds miserable.

- It sounds profound.

Heroic. Never attempted before.

No stopping this time.

This is the highest rung.

(Woman) Anyone who enters

needs their head examined.

Examine it till your heart's content.

I've already sent in my entry form.

(Woman) Clare, did you know this?

Examine it or give it a proper thrashing?

Donald, what do you mean...?

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Scott Z. Burns

Scott Z. Burns (born 1962) is an American screenwriter, producer, and director. Burns has written screenplays for The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Informant! (2009), and Contagion (2011), all of which feature Matt Damon. His films The Informant!, Contagion, and Side Effects were directed by Steven Soderbergh. Burns also produced the Academy Award-winning An Inconvenient Truth. In 2018, it was announced that Burns would direct The Torture Report, a drama about the secret torture program inside the CIA. Burns is a native of Golden Valley, Minnesota and graduated in 1985 with a degree in English from the University of Minnesota. He currently lives in Los Angeles. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Mercy" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024. <>.

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