IMDb > In Which We Serve (1942)
In Which We Serve
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In Which We Serve (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

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7.4/10   3,265 votes »
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Directors:
Writer:
Contact:
View company contact information for In Which We Serve on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 December 1942 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Noel Coward's Academy Award Winner [UK Video] See more »
Plot:
This "story of a ship," the British destroyer HMS Torrin, is told in flash backs by survivors as they cling to a life raft. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins See more »
User Reviews:
"God Bless This Ship And The Men Who Serve In Her" See more (42 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Noel Coward ... Captain E. V. Kinross R.N. / Captain 'D'
Derek Elphinstone ... No. 1

Michael Wilding ... Flags
Robert Sansom ... Guns
Philip Friend ... Torps
Chimmo Branson ... Midshipman
Ballard Berkeley ... Engineer Commander
Hubert Gregg ... Pilot

James Donald ... Doc
Michael Whittaker ... Sub
Kenneth Carten ... Sub-Lieutenant R.N.V.R.
John Varley ... Secco

Bernard Miles ... Chief Petty Officer Hardy / Walter Hardy
Caven Watson ... Brodie

John Mills ... Ordinary Seaman Blake / Shorty Blake
Geoffrey Hibbert ... Joey Mackeridge

Richard Attenborough ... Young Stoker
Frederick Piper ... Edgecombe
Lionel Grose ... Reynolds
Leslie Dwyer ... Parkinson
Charles Russell ... Fisher
John Singer ... Moran
Robert Moreton ... Coombe
John Boxer ... Hollett
Kenneth Evans ... Posty
Johnnie Schofield ... Coxswain
Franklyn Bennett ... Commander Spencer (as Franklin Bennett)
Charles Compton ... No. 1. 'Tremoyne'
Walter Fitzgerald ... Colonel Lumsden
Gerald Case ... Jasper
Celia Johnson ... Mrs. Kinross / Alix
Daniel Massey ... Bobby
Ann Stephens ... Lavinia
Joyce Carey ... Mrs. Hardy / Kath
Kay Walsh ... Freda Lewis / Freda
Kathleen Harrison ... Mrs. Blake
Dora Gregory ... Mrs. Lemmon
Penelope Dudley-Ward ... Maureen (as Penelope Dudley Ward)
Barbara Waring ... Mrs. Macadoo
Eileen Peel ... Mrs. Farrell
Lesley Osmond ... Nell Fosdick
Josie Welford ... Emily
Kay Young ... Barmaid
Trixy Scales ... Mona Duke (as Trixie Scales)
George Carney ... Mr. Blake
Wally Patch ... Uncle Fred
Michael Anderson ... Albert Fosdick (as Mickey Anderson)
Jill Stephens ... May Blake
Everley Gregg ... Nurse
Roddy Hughes ... Photographer
Norman Pierce ... Mr. Satterthwaite

Juliet Mills ... Freda's Baby
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neville Chamberlain ... Himself (archive sound) (voice)
John Brabourne ... Soldier in the Dunkirk Sequence (uncredited)

Leslie Howard ... Voice (uncredited)

Directed by
Noel Coward 
David Lean 
 
Writing credits
Noel Coward (by)

Produced by
Noel Coward .... producer
Anthony Havelock-Allan .... associate producer
Herbert Smith .... executive producer in charge of production (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Noel Coward (musical score)
Clifton Parker (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Ronald Neame (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Thelma Connell  (as Thelma Myers)
David Lean (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Irene Howard (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
David Rawnsley 
 
Makeup Department
Tony Sforzini .... makeup artist (as Toni Sforzini)
 
Production Management
Michael Anderson .... unit manager
Sydney Streeter .... production manager (as Sydney S. Streeter)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kenneth Horne .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Tom Payne .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Norman Spencer .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
William C. Andrews .... associate art director (as W. C. Andrews)
G.E. Calthrop .... art supervisor to Noel Coward (as G. E. Calthrop)
Norman Delaney .... set dressing
John Elphick .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Bill Holmes .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Alfred Roberts .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Gus Walker .... assistant construction manager (uncredited)
Harry White .... assistant art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
C.C. Stevens .... sound recording
John Aldred .... sound assistant (uncredited)
Walter R. Day .... assistant sound (uncredited)
Desmond Dew .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Douglas Woolsey .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Derick Williams .... special effects cameraman
W. Percy Day .... matte painter (uncredited)
Frank Gibson .... visual effects production manager (uncredited)
Stanley Grant .... special effects camera operator (uncredited)
P.G. Hemfrey .... first assistant camera: visual effects unit (uncredited)
T. Pickett .... model assistant (uncredited)
Charles Staffell .... special effects camera assistant (uncredited)
Bill Warrington .... model supervisor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Guy Green .... operating cameraman
Jack Atcheler .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Jim Body .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Jock Dymore .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Norman Foley .... focus puller (uncredited)
B. Francke .... camera operator (uncredited)
J. Green .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Alan Hume .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Max Rosher .... still photographer (uncredited)
Henry Slagter .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Ray Sturgess .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Reginald Beck .... supervising editor (uncredited)
Pat Danes .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Peter Taylor .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Norah Walsh .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Renee Woods .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... conductor
Roy Douglas .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
I.T. Clark .... naval advisor (as Lt. Commander I.T. Clark O.B.E. R.N.)
C.R.E. Compton .... naval advisor (as Lieutenant C.R.E. Compton R.N.)
T.W.J. Lawlor .... naval advisor (as Able Seaman T.W.J. Lawlor)
Betty Curtis .... continuity (uncredited)
Irene Howard .... rehearsal director (uncredited)
Gordon Parry .... location manager (uncredited)
Maggie Unsworth .... assistant continuity (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Royal Navy  this film is dedicated to, "whereon under the good providence of God, the wealth, safety and strength of the kingdom chiefly depend" (as The Royal Navy)
  • Forster & Son  officers uniforms (as Forster & Son Ltd.)
  • London Symphony Orchestra, The (LSO)  music played by (as The London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Royal Navy  this film would not have been possible without the help, guidance and co-operation of the following (as The Royal Navy)
  • Royal Air Force (RAF)  this film would not have been possible without the help, guidance and co-operation of the following (as The Royal Air Force)
  • 5th Battalion Coldstream Guards, The  this film would not have been possible without the help, guidance and co-operation of the following (as The 5th Battalion Coldstream Guards)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:115 min | UK:114 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (archive footage) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Sound System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
During filming, stories would continually appear in the Daily Express, ridiculing the production. The paper's proprietor, Lord Beaverbrook, couldn't understand how an effete actor like Noel Coward could possibly portray a Mountbatten-type character. Coward got his own back by including a shot of one of the paper's more infamous headlines from 1939, proclaiming "No War This Year".See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Eternal Father, Strong to SaveSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
"God Bless This Ship And The Men Who Serve In Her", 13 September 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

It's ironic indeed that in Noel Coward's greatest screen role he played a part so atypical of what we expect from that most witty and erudite of artists. There's a lot good in In Which We Serve, but if you are expecting Coward bon mots, skip this film.

Whatever else Coward was, he was one patriotic British citizen who loved his country and wanted to do his bit in World War II. The incident in which In Which We Serve is based on what actually happened to the the destroyer HMS Kelly in 1941 off Crete which was sunk after taking a few of the enemy with her. The ship was commanded by one Louis Mountbatten of the royal family and a good friend of Coward's.

Coward's character while not a member of the royal family is still of the upper crust of British society. Mountbatten when war broke out used his considerable royal connections to get into a combat assignment when war broke out. The sequences in which Coward's ship is sunk and the actions of Coward and the crew hews pretty close to what happened to Mountbatten and the men of the Kelly.

While we Coward and his survivors clinging to life rafts and bits of wreckage, the audience gets a series of flashbacks revolving around three men, Coward, CPO Bernard Miles, and Seaman John Mills. We see them at peace and at war with the women they are involved with who are Celia Johnson, Joyce Carey, and Kay Walsh.

This was total war for Great Britain, something until 9/11 I don't think Americans could fully appreciate. While the men are at sea, the women live under threat and fact of bombardment by air. Their scenes are every bit as important as the battle scenes at sea, showing a people totally mobilized.

In small roles you can find such people as James Donald, Michael Wilding, and Richard Attenborough all part of the crew. Attenborough in particular makes a vivid impression in his part.

The Earl of Mountbatten made a series of televised memoirs in the early seventies that didn't reach American television until after his assassination in 1979. It was about 10 episodes and they dealt with all facets of his career. Before he retired in fact he became the First Sea Lord of the British Navy. But one episode dealt with the sinking of the HMS Kelly and the men of the Kelly who survived year after year got together for a remembrance. Some footage was shown of one of the gatherings. I wonder if they still do that and how many men are left from the ship survivors.

In fact it's altogether fitting and proper that this review be dedicated to Lord Louis Mountbatten who not without controversy served his country well and faithfully throughout a long a productive life. And of course this review is also dedicated to the brave men of the HMS Kelly, those that have passed on and those who might still survive. They and the other members of the Royal Navy kept their country from invasion for almost a thousand years and in the case of World War II kept the world from a totalitarian nightmare.

And they couldn't have a better film than In Which We Serve to perpetuate the memory of their deeds.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (42 total) »

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