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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 3,153 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 25 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:

IT STANDS ALONE - The Greatest Of All Motion Pictures! [Australia 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:

Ceux qui servent en mer  »

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

There was a tragedy during the shooting of the film, during a relatively straightforward special effects scene of an explosion in a gun turret. After the first take, Lean (Coward wasn't present) was dissatisfied. Chief electrician Jock Dymore, keen to get the scene wrapped before lunch, climbed onto the set with a bottle full of the flash-powder used for the explosive effect. The containers they were using were still white hot from the first take, and the resulting blast killed Dymore and seriously injured two others. 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

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

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
(uncredited)
Composed by Johann Strauß
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Benefits of a Stiff Upper Lip
21 April 2004 | by (Brookline, MA) – See all my reviews

This is a really first-rate film, much more convincing than the fairly crude WWII propaganda films the US studios were turning out around the same time. The good guys and the bad guys are just as clearly delineated, but in some ways - perhaps the consistent understatement of emotions and the sometimes over-the-top stiff upper lips displayed by the characters - the stakes, and the dangers, seem clearer. There are no John Waynes or Errol Flynns on this ship.

The acting is extremely good, although Noel Coward seems a little stiff and uncomfortable in his leading role. John Mills and Bernard Miles are outstanding, and Celia Johnson (in her first film role) is simply extraordinary. The final scene, where Coward as the captain of the lost ship shakes hands with the survivors, is unexpectedly moving.


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