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In Which We Serve (1942)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, War  |  23 December 1942 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,503 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 28 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 6 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

Before accepting the assignment, David Lean asked Coward how the credits would read. Coward suggested that they would say "helped by David Lean" but Lean insisted that they read "Directed by Noel Coward and David Lean". It was his only request and one that Coward readily agreed to. 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 History Boys (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Beer Barrel Polka (aka Roll Out the Barrel)
(uncredited)
Music by Jaromir Vejvoda
Lyrics by Wladimir A. Timm (song Skoda lásky)
English lyrics by Lew Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

Eyes wet, lump in my throat, but stiff upper lip all the way
29 June 2004 | by (Coventry, England) – See all my reviews

In Which We Serve, is a blistering film, that never fails to hit the mark. The story revolves around the Life and Sinking of a Royal Naval Destroyer HMS Torin, and the gallant men that served on her.

Loosly based on the story of HMS Kelly a real Royal Navy Destroyer commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten, it takes us back to the days when Britannia really did rule the waves.

The ship is sunk during the battle of Crete, and the main characters of the movie are then clinging to the life raft awaiting rescue. The film is a combination of flashbacks showing the effect that War has on the sailors and their families back home.

Sir Noel Coward is brilliant as the upper class Captain that commands the ship and the respect of his crew. Sir Bernard Miles is equally as pleasing as the middle class Petty Officer, and Sir John Mills gives a movie-making performance representing the majority of the Royal Navy, as the ordinary every day working class able seaman.

I've noticed that a lot of reviews of this movie talk of the class divide between the three characters, but I disagree entirely. First of all it is a true depiction of what the class structure was like in those days coupled with the fact that it was a message to say that in War time EVERYBODY is in the same stink, regardless of Class. A prime example of this is when the ship sinks. At home these men may lead different lifestyles. but after having a ship blown from beneath them. they are all the same.

Cowards film is a masterpiece, and his score is haunting and beautiful. Sir David Lean's directorial debut, (under the watchful eye of Coward), is something to be proud of, and it's no surprise they were to team again.

One the best moments of this movie is when the crew of the Torin rescue Coldstream Guardsmen from the bloody beaches of Dunkirk. On the dockside back in Blighty the Guardsmen disembark. Tired, wounded, and emotional. One word from an officer, and these broken men SNAP to attention regardless of how they feel, and in perfect unison are marched away. leaving John Mills to say "If I weren't so tired I'd give 'em a cheer......and that's no error" Incredible.

This is a triumph for War time movie making and remains a milestone in British Cinema which also includes Lord Attenborough's movie debut.

This Movie never fails to bring a lump to my throat. and the younger generation should be MADE to watch this movie. Who knows? it may help to restore this countries flagging patriotism.


18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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