Directed and scripted by Lewis John Carlino, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea (1976), is based on a novel by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. The homosexual Mishima wrought a book in which he presented 1) sexual longing, and 2) a pack of odd, early teen boys inclined to reject “adult” morality. Connect the dots. In the movie, and probably the book too (I’d have to read it again to be sure), the creation of the boys is all wrong, a silly embarrassment. Then again, the entire film is preposterous, even if it focuses smartly on the extremes of human experience (namely, sex and death) which are integral to Mishima’s vision.
The cast includes Kris Kristofferson, who sleepwalks through his role, and Sarah Miles, who does some marvelously lived-in acting.