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 <email@example.com>
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
The ship used for HMS Compass Rose is clearly too old to be a brand new ship. See more
[repairing the engine
Come to see the fun, sir? It won't be long now.
Fine, chief, but the captain's a little worried about the noise. Could you do anything to... tone it down a bit?
Pretty well finished now, sir. We're just flabbin' up the nuts. Could you hear the hammerin' up top?
Hear it? There were U-boats popping up from miles around complaining about the racket.
Featured in Forever Ealing
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