The Mercy, which stars Colin Firth as Donald Crowhurst, follows the sailor's disastrous attempts to win the 1968-69 Golden Globe Race. It will be released in cinemas in October 2017

8 June 2017

The release of the new Donald Crowhurst biopic, The Mercy, will take place on 27 October 2017.

The film, directed by James Marsh, stars the Oscar winning actors Colin Firth as Crowhurst and Rachel Weisz as his wife, Claire.

Crowhurst entered the 1968-69 Golden Globe Race in his 40-foot trimaran, Teignmouth Electron.

The weekend sailor hoped to win the race’s £5,000 prize money to bail out his failing business venture – selling his handheld radio direction finder called the Navicator, which allowed sailors to take bearings on marine and aviation radio beacons.

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However, Crowhurst grossly underestimated his timings to prepare for the race, and left Teignmouth on 31 October 1968 – the last date he could leave under the race rules – without completing several safety features.

He soon ran into trouble and decided to secretly abandon the race, prompting him to lie about his location and to falsify logs.

His logs later suggested that Crowhurst was driven mad during the race, and his final entry – on 1 July 1969 – “It is finished. IT IS THE MERCY… I will resign the game” – inspired the film’s title.

On 10 July 1969, Teignmouth Electron was found in the Atlantic by the Royal Mail vessel, Picardy on 10 July 1969.

There was no sign of Crowhurst onboard.

The Mercy was filmed in 2015 in Teignmouth and Essex.


1 July 2016

First look images of the new Donald Crowhurst film have been released, along with the feature’s name.

The Mercy stars the Oscar winning actors Colin Firth as amateur sailor, Donald Crowhurst and Rachel Weisz as his wife, Claire.

It is based on the true story of Crowhurst’s infamous attempt to win the first non-stop single-handed round-the-world yacht race, the 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

Rachel Weisz as Claire Crowhurst, wife of Donald Crowhurst in the new film The Mercy

Rachel Weisz as Claire Crowhurst, wife of Donald Crowhurst in the new film The Mercy

Crowhurst had entered the race in hopes of winning the £5,000 cash prize to aid his failing business.

From the start, he experienced problems with his 40-foot trimaran, Teignmouth Electron, and left the Devon port on 31 October 1968 ill prepared for what lay ahead.

After encountering further problems, he secretly abandoned the race, remaining in the South Atlantic.

He reported false positions in an attempt to appear to complete a circumnavigation without actually circling the world.

Log book entries found after his disappearance suggest that Crowhurst was driven to the edge of insanity.

His final entry, on 1 July 1969, was “It is finished. IT IS THE MERCY… I will resign the game.”

The film title is a reference to this last entry.

Teignmouth Electron was found, unoccupied, by the Royal Mail vessel, Picardy on 10 July 1969. There is speculation that Crowhurst committed suicide by jumping overboard.

The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was eventually won by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

The Mercy was shot in Teignmouth and Maldon in Essex last year.

It will be opening in UK cinemas in 2017.


30 January 2016

Actor Colin Firth will play amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst in a new film about his failed attempt to win the first Golden Globe Race in 1968.

Donald Crowhurst

Donald Crowhurst is played by Colin Firth in the film


The British businessman is believed to have committed suicide while competing in the circumnavigation event, which saw Sir Robin Knox-Johnston crowned the winner.

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Crowhurst, who intended to use the prize money to support his failing business, was not a skilled yachtsman and made slow progress around the global course.

As the weeks went on, he eventually abandoned the race and reported false positions to race organisers, leading everyone to believe he was winning the race, when really he was in last place.

His boat Teignmouth Electron was later found drifting and recovered logbooks indicate that he’d suffered a mental breakdown due to the pressure and had jumped overboard.

The Theory of Everything director James Marsh will be taking the helm on the latest depiction of Crowhurst’s journey, with shooting set to begin in the spring.

So far, a total of four films have been produced on Crowhurst’s ill-fated expedition, with Blueprint Pictures and BBC Films behind the latest one.

Several plays and novels have also been written about the tragic story.