Unequally Yoked… to a Jinxed Ship

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (II Corinthians 6:14)

If you have ever had any doubts as to the meaning of the Bible verse above, here is a movie that ought to make it crystal-clear: The Ship That Died of Shame (1955). You can buy it from amazon.com or watch it on IMDB here ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048611/ )–and if that link doesn’t work, well, I tried. A few years ago this movie was extremely hard to come by; but not anymore.

In this gritty postwar crime drama, a young and handsome George Baker (Emperor Tiberius in I, Claudius) is left widowed and adrift after World War II and can’t get his life on track again. He chances to meet his wartime buddy, Richard Attenborough, who talks him into a scheme to buy their old Navy patrol boat and put it to use doing some illegal but surely harmless smuggling. Really, what’s so terrible about bringing in Belgian chocolates or fine wines that people really want? And in no time at all, the boys are making good money–and having the kind of excitement they grew accustomed to during the war, only without the gunfire.

But there’s a problem that eventually wrecks everything: Attenborough’s character has no morality whatsoever. His criminal activities, because he craves higher and higher rewards for them, become increasingly wicked–there really is no line he won’t cross. And here’s poor George Baker yoked to him, and can’t get away! That goes for mechanic Bill Owen, too (later to be the star of The Last of the Summer Wine, the longest-running TV comedy ever): he only joined up for old time’s sake, and now he’s trapped.

It isn’t every day you can learn good Christian doctrine from a worldly movie–but of course Christianity is all about how to live in this fallen world.

If you’re not interested in becoming any wiser, this is still a film well worth watching–superb performances, and a tight, suspenseful story. You’ll find it’s worth going to some trouble to see it.


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