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(aka 'Stowaway Girl')

directed by Guy Hamilton

UK 1957


Trevor Howard heads a strong cast as the jaded captain of a cargo ship who finds himself falling for a young stowaway (Elsa Martinelli) in this BAFTA-nominated drama an early feature from Guy Hamilton and one of four films on which the future Bond director collaborated with writer-producer Ivan Foxwell. Also known as Stowaway Girl, Manuela is featured here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements, in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

James Prothero, forty-three years old and up to his ears in alcohol, is the skipper of a tramp ship due to leave South America for Britain and he s sick to death of carting goods back and forth across the world. Then he meets Manuela, a beautiful native girl smuggled on board by one of his crew, and comes to realise that she, too, is a lost soul. Gradually a love affair develops between them, and Prothero becomes dangerously blind to the responsibilities of his position...


Released in the US as Stowaway Girl, Manuela top-bills Trevor Howard as Prothero, the stalwart middle-aged skipper of a tramp steamer. Though he has a weakness for alcohol, Prothero is a model of restraint when it comes to the opposite sex. Thus, when his first mate Mario (Pedro Armendariz) smuggles the beautiful Manuela (Elsa Martinelli) on board, the captain administers a beating to Mario and sternly informs the girl that she'll be put off the ship at the first opportunity. It doesn't take long, however, for Prothero to fall prey to Manuela's considerable charms. Soon his passion is so overwhelming that he doesn't even notice that his ship has caught fire! Despite its melodramatic trappings, Manuela is intellegently written, directed and acted.


Theatrical Release: June 1957 (Berlin International Film Festival)


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DVD Review: Network - Region 2 - PAL

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Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:29:20 (4% PAL speedup)

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.51 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English 2.0
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Network

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Italian Theatrical Trailer (2:16)
• Alternate Ending (1:52)
• Image Gallery

DVD Release Date: March 2nd, 2015
Slim, transparent Amaray Case

Chapters 10



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I am really beginning to appreciate Network bringing these, previously unreleased, films to digital. Manuela is another competent and watchable, reasonably-priced, single-layered, anamorphic, SD PAL transfer... of an above average film!

Some may recognize Pedro Armendáriz who was Kerim Bey in the James Bond film From Russia With Love that was the Mexican actor's last, in his 30-year career. Manuela is a great film! Hottie Elsa Martinelli (Manon 70, The 10th Victim, The Trial) is mesmerizing and handles her role as sexy enticement, well. Trevor Howard, in another 'Sea Captain' role (albeit quite different from Mutiny on the Bounty Bligh) is his usual excellent self. A tough, realistic story and script with Guy Hamilton at the helm and we an exceptional effort that will be revisited by this reviewer. Very positive.

Aside from a few speckles the image quality is at the high end for the SD format. A clean source, with good density produces fine contrast and pleasing detail in close-ups. It's in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and we get a consistent, impressive, presentation.

There are no subtitles on the region 2, PAL, disc.

Extras include an Italian trailer, and 2-minutes of al alt-ending - as well as an image gallery.

I was surprised by the entertaining, well-acted, film and have no strong complaints about the SD rendering (it's a good source - worthy of 1080P). At the offered price, this is certainly recommended!

  - Gary Tooze


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