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Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

 -  Drama | War  -  12 June 1943 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,056 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 11 critic

An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Boats O'Hara
Julie Bishop ...
Pearl O'Neill
...
Mrs. Sarah Jarvis
Sam Levene ...
Abel 'Chips' Abrams
...
Johnnie Pulaski
Peter Whitney ...
Whitey Lara
Dick Hogan ...
Cadet Robert Parker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Virginia Christine ...
Pebbles (scenes deleted)
Ray Montgomery ...
Aherne (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Lieutenant Joe Rossi is 1st Officer on a Liberty Ship in a great convoy bound from Halifax to Murmansk. After German subs crushed the convoy his ship loses the convoy and is heading alone to Murmansk. In spite of attacks by German planes and subs he get the ship safely to Murmansk... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. thunderous story of the men of the merchant marine!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 June 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heroes Without Uniforms  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to A.I. Bezzerides in the book "Screenwriter: Words Become Pictures", some of the scenes written by writer John Howard Lawson were "so out of context in their propagandistic way that the actors couldn't act them." Bezzerides cited scenes involving Humphrey Bogart and Julie Bishop and Raymond Massey and Ruth Gordon in particular. He went on to say that he polished every scene in the film and deserved credit, but Lawson fought against it. Bezzerides claimed that Lawson had so many friends in the Writers Guild that he lost the arbitration and went uncredited. See more »

Goofs

The convoy departing Halifax has 73 ships, but the progress map shows only 70 ships. See more »

Quotes

Boats O'Hara: Them liberty ships is sure well-named.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in McHale's Navy: Movies Are Your Best Diversion (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
(uncredited)
aka "The Red, White and Blue"
Played when the Seawitch heads out to sea
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Convoying Lend Lease
26 October 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Raymond Massey and Humphrey Bogart as captain and first mate of a merchant marine ship, see their first ship sunk by a German U-boat. They get a second ship and with some of their surviving crew from the first ship join an international convoy taking supplies to the Soviet Union.

From Halifax to Murmansk quite a flotilla of merchant ships from a whole lot of countries that had declared war on the Axis. The convoy was something like a sea going wagon train which was developed because individual ships were easy prey for submarines. The seagoing wagon train got a destroyer escort and they were armed now as well.

The merchant seaman were not technically part of the armed forces. But that didn't mean they weren't seeing a lot of action as Action in the North Atlantic so clearly demonstrates. Bad enough when the Lend lease was to Great Britain, but when we became allies with the Soviets the only places it could go were the ports of Murmansk and Archangel when they were ice free. That meant a voyage along the long Norwegian coast line which was occupied by Germany.

Bogart and Massey give strong portrayals of dedicated merchant seaman whose life is tough enough in peace time. But they certainly have the right stuff in time of war. Some of the crew of their ship is Dane Clark, Sam Levene, Peter Whitney, and Alan Hale who really steals every scene he's in.

Action in the North Atlantic is filled with a lot of the flag waving that characterized Hollywood era World War II films. The derring do heroics are kept to a minimum. The situations the seaman encounter are quite real for the perilous undertaking they were involved in.

It could probably be remade today and maybe with some of today's stars showing a new generation what it was like to be a merchant seaman in World War II>


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