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The Cruel Sea (1953)

 -  Drama | War  -  19 August 1953 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,671 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 19 critic

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

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Title: The Cruel Sea (1953)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ericson
...
Lockhart
John Stratton ...
Ferraby
...
Morell
John Warner ...
Baker
...
Bennett
Bruce Seton ...
Tallow
Liam Redmond ...
Watts
...
Julie Hallam
Moira Lister ...
Elaine Morell
June Thorburn ...
Doris Ferraby
Megs Jenkins ...
Tallow's Sister
Meredith Edwards ...
Yeoman Wells
Glyn Houston ...
Phillips
...
Tonbridge
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escort | convoy | sea | u boat | survivor | See more »

Taglines:

Monsarrat's brilliant best seller comes surging to life

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det grymma havet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)| (Gaumont Kalee)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lockhart: [at the mess table] Getting rattled, John?
Morell: 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;]
Morell: It's an odd thing to think if nothing else happens, this is probably the worst convoy in the history of sea warfare.
Lockhart: [trying to be comforting] Something to tell your grandchildren.
Morell: Yes, indeed, in fact, if you can guarantee I will have grandchildren, I shall recover...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hitler: The Comedy Years (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

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User Reviews

 
A Tribute to Tony Cox
4 February 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Tony Cox's review is one of the best I have ever read on Imdb and says it all with heartfelt passion, accurately describing the drama and characters motivations in this realistic film of anti U-boat sea warfare throughout WWII.I won't try to emulate his brilliant narrative but just add a few thoughts of my own.Jack Hawkins is always very watchable in any of his films as an actor and seems to inhabit the part of Ericsson, the skipper of "Compass Rose" and "Saltash Castle".He vividly portrays the professional and emotional sides of his character, especially when he utters "...its the war, the bloody war" with tear stained eyes.

One has to disabuse your mind of later Donald Sinden parts and his rather stagey voice and look dispassionatly at his early carrer as he portrays the new No.1 with an interest in learning first aid which inevitably comes in useful when tending the many merchant seaman they meet who have become torpedo victims.Can someone please tell me what "snorkers" are when applied to sausages, as I have never heard this expression, despite living in London all my life.Evidently Stanley Baker loves them!!

This film effectively portrays the whole gamut of wartime emotions from the long Atlantic naval voyage boredom, short moments of high danger and excitement, guilt about not rescuing your own men who need help, sorrow at losing loved ones, training men on new sciences (asdic) and even romance (Viginia McKenna).At the end one feels as though you had actually been on the corvette yourself with the crew.One of the most realistic WWII dramas I have ever seen (and I have all the classics in my library).I rated it 8/10.


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