At the start of World War II, Cmdr. Ericson is assigned to convoy escort HMS Compass Rose with inexperienced officers and men just out of training. The winter seas make life miserable enough, but the men must also harden themselves to rescuing survivors of U-Boat attacks, while seldom able to strike back. Traumatic events afloat and ashore create a warm bond between the skipper and his first officer. Atmospheric sea footage. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Monsarrat's brilliant best seller comes surging to life
Did You Know?
The Compass Rose was played by ex-HMS Coreopsis. She was given the number K49 in the film which was the number of HMS Crocus (sometimes wrongly thought to have been used in the film). The real number of the Coreopsis was K32. See more
Liam Redmond plays the part of "Chief Engineering Rating\\C.E.R. WATTS." However on at least two separate occasions both the ship's Captain Ericson (Jack Hawkins) and later Coxswain Tallow (Bruce Seton - 11th Baronet of Abercorn) clearly call him WATSON. See more
[at the mess table
Getting rattled, John?
Well, whatever we do, these damn U-boats seem to get through the screen every time. We lost almost half our convoy and an escort and are almost two days from Gibralter.
[he gags with disgust;
It's an odd thing to think if nothing else happens, this is probably the worst convoy in the history of sea warfare.
[trying to be comforting
Something to tell your grandchildren.
Yes, indeed, in fact, if you can guarantee I will have grandchildren, I shall recover...
Referenced in Hitler: The Comedy Years
The Chestnut Tree
or "The Spreading Chestnut Tree" (uncredited)
Author unknown, perhaps traditional song
Sung by the sailors in the raft to keep wake See more