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?
If you look carefully, you will see that the rank insignia on Ericson's (Jack Hawkins') sleeves are in a different "font" from those of the other officers on his ship. This is because Ericson is RNR (Royal Navy Reserve: men who had been discharged from the regular navy but were retained as reservists - and indeed the novel makes it clear that Ericson had served at Jutland before joining the Merchant Navy), whilst the other officers are RNVR (Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve - men who joined after the outbreak of the war). See more
After the British sailors have been depth-charged by HMS Compass Rose, the seagulls converging on the corpses can be seen flying backwards. This is due to the cameraman sailing towards the scene in error when it was shot; the film was simply reversed to give the required effect. See more
Steady as she goes, Number One.
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