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 film's huge success confirmed Jack Hawkins
as an international star at the age of 42. 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
[opening lines as narrator
This is a story of the Battle of the Atlantic, the story of the ocean, two ships, and a handful of men. The men are the heroes; the heoines the ships. The only villain is the sea, the cruel sea that man has made more cruel.
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