7.3/10
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In Which We Serve (1942)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 23 December 1942 (USA)
This "story of a ship," the British destroyer HMS Torrin, is told in flash backs by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors:

(as Noel Coward),

Writer:

(by) (as Noel Coward)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ordinary Seaman Shorty Blake
...
Chief Petty Officer Walter Hardy
...
Mrs. Alix Kinross
Kay Walsh ...
Freda Lewis
...
Mrs. Kath Hardy
Derek Elphinstone ...
No. 1
...
Flags
Robert Sansom ...
Guns
Philip Friend ...
Torps
Chimmo Branson ...
Midshipman
...
Engineer Commander
...
Pilot
...
Doc
Michael Whittaker ...
Sub
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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

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

Film debut of Daniel Massey. He plays the son of Noël Coward, his real-life godfather, who was a close friend of Daniel's father, Raymond Massey. Daniel later played Noel Coward in Star! (1968), a musical biography of Gertrude Lawrence, starring Julie Andrews. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in which two Army officers returning from Dunkirk join Kinross on the bridge of his ship, the way the cigarette smoke rises betrays the fact this scene was shot indoors. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to the Royal Navy "whereon under the good providence of God, the wealth, safety and strength of the kingdom chiefly depend". 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)
Music by Johann Strauss
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User Reviews

 
The Ship Comes First ***
4 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When "In Which We Serve" was made in 1942, England was in the midst of its finest hour. We see a film of honor, devotion, and loyalty to the realm.

It is basically the story of a boat being torpedoed and the flashbacks of 3 sailors aboard the doomed wreckage.

Noel Coward, a brilliant talent, did not perform well here. His scenes with his children appear awkward and he is unusually cold towards them. While a war is going on, that strong sentiment of a loving friendly tie is missing.

Kudos go to Celia Johnson, as Alix, his wife in the film. She states in a memorable way that in the navy, devotion to the ship comes first. John Mills is also effective as a navy man. In a heart-wrenching scene, he must tell a fellow shipman that his wife and mother-in-law have been killed in the blitz.

The ending is poignantly done. A tear will come to the eye as Coward says goodbye to those who survived the torpedoed ship.

A film of valor and of the human spirit. England was certainly at its finest hour.


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