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The Silver Fleet (1943)

 |  Drama, War  |  1 July 1945 (USA)
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Jaap van Leyden is in charge of a shipyard in newly occupied Holland. At first he collaborates with the Germans because it is the easiest course to follow. Later a child's rhyme reminds him... See full summary »


(as Vernon Campbell Sewell) ,


(as Vernon Campbell Sewell) , , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Von Schiffer
Beresford Egan ...
Frederick Burtwell ...
Captain Müller
Willem Akkerman ...
Willem van Leyden
Dorothy Gordon ...
Janni Peters
Charles Victor ...
Bastiaan Peters
Jost Meertens
Joss Ambler ...
Cornelis Smit
Margaret Emden ...
George Schelderup ...
Neville Mapp ...
Ivor Barnard ...


Jaap van Leyden is in charge of a shipyard in newly occupied Holland. At first he collaborates with the Germans because it is the easiest course to follow. Later a child's rhyme reminds him of his patriotic duty, but how best to resist the Nazis without endangering his wife and fellow workers ? Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Even the Woman he loved could not guess for the strange behavior of this cunning Man


Drama | War


See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 July 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

P.H. contre Gestapo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Esmond Knight, who had lost an eye during the war, had not yet regained the use of his remaining eye when he played the role of Von Schiffer. Playing his part completely blind, there is only one scene when the audience can guess Knight's disability. It occurs quite briefly when Knight, about to go through a doorway, is gently steered through the door by a fellow actor. See more »

Crazy Credits

I know death hath ten thousand several doors for men to take their exits. See more »


Piet Hein's Name Is Short
Lyrics by Jan Pieter Heije
English Lyrics by Tommie Connor
Music by Johannes Viotta
Arranged by Allan Gray
Sung by the teacher and the students in the school
See more »

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User Reviews

Wartime propaganda at its finest
2 April 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The Silver Fleet tends to get dismissed as a trivia question these days – what Archers film did Emeric Pressburger so dislike that he had his writing credit removed? – but it turns out to be a really superb WW2 propaganda picture that deserves to be much better known. A wonderfully charismatic Ralph Richardson stars as a Dutch shipyard owner who, inspired by historical hero Piet Hein, apparently collaborates with the Nazis, all the better to thwart their plans for the two submarines he's building there. The results are definitely a cut above the usual morale boosting efforts of the day. True, the Nazis are overstated caricatures, but Esmond Knight is fun as the lead foil and it's all directed with a tremendous visual sense by Vernon Sewell and Gordon Wellesley. There's ingenuity too, especially in the way 'Piet Hein' reveals a Quisling's identity without breaking his own cover, and the ending is genuinely quite moving. Highly recommended.

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