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In Which We Serve (1942)

 -  Drama | War  -  23 December 1942 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,292 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 26 critic

This "story of a ship," the British destroyer HMS Torrin, is told in flash backs by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Derek Elphinstone ...
No. 1
...
Flags
Robert Sansom ...
Guns
Philip Friend ...
Torps
Chimmo Branson ...
Midshipman
Ballard Berkeley ...
Engineer Commander
Hubert Gregg ...
Pilot
...
Doc
Michael Whittaker ...
Sub
Kenneth Carten ...
Sub-Lieutenant R.N.V.R.
John Varley ...
Secco
...
Chief Petty Officer Hardy / Walter Hardy
Caven Watson ...
Brodie
...
Ordinary Seaman Blake / Shorty Blake
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Storyline

This is the story of a British Naval ship, HMS Torrin, from its construction to its sinking in the Mediterranean during action in World War II. The ship's first and only commanding officer is the experienced Captain E.V. Kinross who trains his men not only to be loyal to him but to the country and most importantly, to themselves. They face challenges at sea and also at home. They lose some of their shipmates in action and some of their loved ones in the devastation that is the blitz. Throughout it all, the men of the Torrin serve valiantly and heroically. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest human drama of war filmed! The greatest picture you've ever seen! [UK Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hidalgos de los mares  »

Box Office

Budget:

£240,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Sound System)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film directed by David Lean. See more »

Goofs

When a scene is shown in the wardroom, the point of view changes to simulate the ship moving. However the sherry or wine in the glasses does not move at all showing that it is the camera that is moving rather than the 'ship' (or set). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Voice: [voiceover] This is the story of a ship...
[long sequence of ship-building and launch]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were the Only Girl in the World
(uncredited)
Written by Nat Ayer and Clifford Grey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Possibly the best film yet about wars totality
18 April 2000 | by (Oslo, Norway) – See all my reviews

"In Which We Serve" is not only a wonderful pastiche of British society during the second world war, but a complex, yet correct statement of a very simple theme -namely the duty of a country's citizens to defend the system it believes in. The simplicity of the story is one of the movie's key strengths, but the most appealing aspect of the film is, for me at least, the way in which each scene reflects the preceding and suggests the subsequent one. The motivation behind this may have been to demonstrate the unifying elements of the various different characters and their individual stories, but the skill with which this is done makes for a wonderfully satisfying experience. The film is excellently crafted, moving from a semi-documentary style that would have been instantly recognizable to cinema audiences of the forties, with the then common weekly news reviews; and then moving into everything from light-comedy to exciting action and pure drama. It is a film that for many will seem old-fashioned, but only in some of its sentiments, never its techniques or its wisdom. And the "old-fashionedness" of some of it -such as the love scene between John Mills and his girlfriend on the bench by the water- has a poignancy that is nevertheless almost painful in its innocence. Above all the film expresses one immensely important concern: dignity. It is reflected in the words and actions of all the characters, and shines through the film with the immense pride the film-makers (Noel Coward especially) put into making this film. It is an important film not least because it is not afraid of expressing loss -for many the thought of a film about a sinking British ship was a shocking risk to take in a time of war. And it is an entertaining film as well, in the best tradition of British cinema. Like the other main Coward/Lean masterpiece "Brief Encounter" this film can be enjoyed on so many levels that it demands multiple viewings. And like "Brief Encounter" you will discover new subtleties each time...


48 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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