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As the Second World War breaks out, German freighter captain Karl Ehrlich is about to leave Sydney, Australia with his vessel, the Ergenstrasse. Ehrlich, an anti-Nazi but proud German, hopes to outrun or out-maneuver the British warship pursuing him. Aboard his vessel is Elsa Keller, a woman Ehrlich has been ordered to return to Germany safely along with whatever secrets she carries. When Ehrlich's fiercely Nazi chief officer Kirchner commits an atrocity, the British pursuit becomes deadly. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Prior to the start of filming in Hawaii, John Wayne went scuba diving and developed an ear infection. As a result, he was in severe pain for much of shooting. Many of Wayne's scenes could be shot only on his "good" side, since the infected ear was so swollen, and between takes he had to go lie down to rest from the pain. See more »
The Ergenstrasse's pistols are Walther P-38s, which had only been adopted for military use the year before. It is unlikely that such weapons would be found on an old tramp steamer. See more »
I recommend those who are interested in naval warfare to see this film.
This film is purely for entertainment and not of any historical background. Still, navy/sea warfare buffs will enjoy the story of the pursuit by a British destroyer of a German merchant ship across several oceans. The cast is so-so but with the "Duke" (John Wayne) in the lead role the story manages to limp along with some degree of success. The "destroyer" used in the film is in fact HMCS New Glasgow, a frigate then in service with the Royal Canadian Navy. I saw the movie shortly after it's release in 1955 while in my mid-teens; a number of years later I served on New Glasgow and recalled the part played by the ship and crew in the film. Shows how Hollywood will use any "prop" available to fill in scenes. The crew never did get any extra pay for their appearance (nor did the ship)but at least they have the satisfaction of knowing the true identity of the "destroyer." Despite all the above the film is good viewing and will be of interest to many.
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