"The Vessel of Wrath" is a short story by W. Somerset Maugham. Written in 1931 it first appeared in the April 1931 edition of Hearst's International Cosmopolitan (see Stott, 1973). Maugham often introduced short stories as a contribution to periodicals and then later included them in books or collected editions. In 1933 "The Vessel of Wrath" was included in his book Ah King.
The story has been adapted for film and television at least four times:
The 1938 film Vessel of Wrath, released in the U.S. as The Beachcomber, starred Charles Laughton as Ginger Ted, Elsa Lanchester as Miss Jones, Robert Newton as the Contrôleur, and Tyrone Guthrie as Reverend Jones.
The 1954 film, The Beachcomber, starred Robert Newton as Ginger Ted, Glynis Johns as Miss Jones, Donald Sinden as the Resident, and Paul Rogers as Reverend Jones. The location is transferred from the Dutch-colonised Alas Islands to the fictitious British-colonised Welcome Islands, with Donald Sinden as the Resident.
A 1970 television production starred James Booth as Ginger Ted, Siân Phillips as Miss Jones, Ronald Lacey as the Contrôleur, and John Glyn-Jones as Reverend Jones.
A 1980 television production titled Wilson's Reward starred Gerald S. O'Loughlin as Ginger Ted and Sandy Dennis as Miss Jones, renamed Martha James.