7.7/10
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56 user 27 critic

The Cruel Sea (1953)

Approved | | Drama, War | 19 August 1953 (USA)
The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

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(by), (screenplay)
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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
...
Ferraby
...
Morell
John Warner ...
Baker
...
Bennett
Bruce Seton ...
Tallow
Liam Redmond ...
Watts
...
Julie Hallam
...
Elaine Morell
...
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

Taglines:

Monsarrat's brilliant best seller comes surging to life

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

19 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det grymma havet  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)| (Gaumont Kalee)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Hawkins wrote in his 1973 autobiography "Anything for a Quiet Life" regarding this film, "All of us in the film were sure that we were making something quite unusual, and a long way removed from the Errol Flynn-taking-Burma-single-handed syndrome. This was the period of some very indifferent American war movies, whereas The Cruel Sea (1953) contained no false heroics. That is why we all felt that we were making a genuine example of the way in which a group of men went to war. See more »

Goofs

Some depth charges are clearly labelled "INERT FILLED." See more »

Quotes

Morell: Whether this war is long or short, it's going to seem long, don't you think?
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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
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User Reviews

 
Even war must bow to the primal force of the Cruel Sea
15 May 2002 | by (Adelaide, South Australia) – See all my reviews

As a study of men thrown into unaccustomed roles, in a time of severe stress, The Cruel Sea has few peers. You live the lives with these men, you share their emotions, their fears, even their losses. The time of absolute despair still gives glimpses of the inner strength some men possess, and others lack, unwilling to be brave enough to face a future, in which they no longer see a role for themselves. This is a movie worthy of many screenings, and enjoyed for what it is, a movie that will challenge the viewer to not judge the characters, but to accept the times, circumstances, and locations were all extreme.

The Cruel Sea is one of my favourite films


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