A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but ... See full summary »
Andrew V. McLaglen
During World War II, the USS Haynes, an American destroyer escort discovers a German U-boat in the South Atlantic. A deadly duel between the two ships ensues, and Captain Murrell must draw upon all his experience to defeat the equally experienced German commander. Written by
Linda Adams <Garridon@aol.com>
The vessel the 'USS Whitehurst' was used in this movie and its captain, Lieutenant Commander Walter R. Smith USN acted as a technical advisor to the film production. Twentieth Century-Fox studio publicity stated that Smith played a role as this ship's Chief Engineer in the movie. Smith is not credited as such nor for any role and CBCS Credits state that Robert Boon portrayed a Chief Engineer in this movie. Apparently, Smith is the character who can be seen in the movie reading the comic 'Little Orphan Annie'. See more »
During the heavy rainstorm there is a shot of the radar antenna against a partly cloudy sky. See more »
Robert Mitchum is the new Captain of a destroyer on patrol in an area of the South Atlantic where there will be little chance for any action, or so the crew thinks. This is a new command for him, he lost his last vessel and was 21 days on life raft. Mitchum though he was in the merchant marine before World War II is as new to the navy as most of his crew.
Lurking beneath is Curt Jurgens in command of a U-Boat. Jurgens is a career navy man who's already given much for the fatherland, two sons lost. His submarine is on courier duty, not looking in fact for any combat.
But they find each other and The Enemy Below is about the cat and mouse game each of them play in trying to destroy the other.
With twelve years in between the end of World War II and the present it was now possible to portray Germans as three dimensional people, something rarely done during the war years. Jurgens at this time was a very big star on the European continent and was now getting roles that would introduce him to American audiences. He's very good as the professional, but tired U-Boat captain who just wants to get home.
He's matched all the way by Mitchum who's got a lot of doubts now having lost one ship already. The crew has some doubts too, but Mitchum proves worthy of the command he's been given.
The Enemy Below won the Academy Award that year for special effects. No ships in a tank, these are real vessels being used for this film.
Look for good performances by supporting players Theodore Bikel as the Executive Officer of the submarine, David Hedison as the Executive Officer of the destroyer and Russell Collins as the ship's doctor on the destroyer. You might note a small role for Doug McClure at the beginning of his career.
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