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The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)

Approved | | Action, War, Drama | 27 March 1956 (USA)
During WW2, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Major Stringer (as Jose Ferrer in closing credits)
...
...
Myrtie
Victor Maddern ...
Sgt. Craig
...
Marine Clarke
David Lodge ...
Marine Ruddock
Peter Arne ...
Marine Stevens
...
Marine Lomas
Graham Stewart ...
Marine Booth
John Fabian ...
Marine Cooney
John Van Eyssen ...
Marine Bradley
Robert Desmond ...
Marine Todd
Walter Fitzgerald ...
Gestapo Comdt.
Karel Stepanek ...
Assistant Gestapo Officer
Beatrice Campbell ...
Mrs. Ruddock
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Storyline

A Royal Marine Reserve Major must work with a veteran Captain and a group of incorrigible recruits to attempt what is generally regarded as a suicide mission: the covert destruction of an entire German shipyard in occupied France. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ten Brave Men Started Out on the Most Desperate Adventure of the War!

Genres:

Action | War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

27 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cockle Shell Heroes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lodge often referred to this movie as a running joke in Spike Milligan's 'Q' series. See more »

Goofs

The limpet mines are placed on the hulls of the ships under the water yet all the explosions occur from inside the ships See more »

Quotes

Captain Thompson: Your men give the impression of being an ill-disciplined rabble. And they'll never get to Bordeaux that way.
Major Stringer: Thompson, I'm training these men, not you. I'm the one who is responsible for the success or the failure of this project, so if you don't mind, we'll do it my way. It may not be the right way, or the Marine way, or the professional way, but it is my way and that's the way I want it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue 1: The Marines were formed 28th. October, 1664. On 29th. April, 1802, His Majesty, King George III, directed that they should be styled THE ROYAL MARINES See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 31 March 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The London I Love
Music by George Posford
Lyrics by Harold Purcell (uncredited)
Sung by Yana (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
A Vastly-Entertaining "Mission", With Delightful Characters--and Ideas...
24 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This has been a favorite movie of mine for many years. Its narrative relates the story of a group of eccentrics--the British Army leaders were looking for imaginative minds--to undertake a hazardous mission is small rowing boats--cockleshells--against the Nazis' ships berthed up a river. The body of this very-entertaining film comprises four parts: 1. recruiting the volunteers. 2. early training of the successful applicants. 3. later training under better discipline and 4. the raid itself and its aftermath. The underlying theme here is that even minds free of dictatorial-system thinking require self-discipline, and regulation by authorities. The films is B/W and very ruggedly filmed. The director was Jose Ferrer also, with major contributions by writers Bryan Forbes, Richard Maibaum and George Kent. Music by John Addison adds greatly to the proceedings. The serviceable cast includes Jose Ferrer as the group's enigmatic and unorthodox leader, Trevor Howard as the man who wants more discipline and is proved correct, Anthony Newley, Victor Madden, Dora Bryan, David Lodge, Peter Arne, Percy Herbert and many others. The highlight of the early part of the film is an illegal challenge exercise--the volunteers hare told to try to get back to camp from a long way off with no resources whatever. Training at managing the kayak-like craft to be used on the raid also provides some early laughs. This is an honest, well-mounted and vastly- entertaining film whose subject is really human nature and the demands made on imagination and on self-discipline in times of war. The great raid itself is staged mostly at night and is extremely well-presented visually and in its blocking. The escape following the success of the raiders' efforts against German ships that are their targets is the final achievement in this taut and very-well-made film. But the individuals, their relationships, characters and actions are what one remembers. A very-well remembered film, and one admired by many, including myself.


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