The Enemy Below (1957)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  8 January 1958 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,543 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 20 critic

During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are good ones, and the engagement lasts for a considerable time.



(screenplay), (novel) (as Commander D.A.Rayner)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Capt. Murrell
Von Stolberg (as Curt Jurgens)
Lt. Ware (as Al Hedison)
Russell Collins ...
Kurt Kreuger ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 January 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Duell im Atlantik  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Robert Osgood, Mitchum fell down one of the ship's gangway while shooting, and was severely injured, requiring him to wear a back brace for the duration of filming. Also, some depth charges fired from the Navy destroyer used in the film were launched accidentally simultaneously causing damage to the ship's rudder and it's hull. See more »


When the first radar echo is detected, and it is classed as possibly a submarine, the captain doesn't want to spook the (possible) sub into a 'crash dive'. In reality, there is no such thing as a 'crash dive', all dives are performed quickly, as it's good practice. See more »


Doctor: Captain Murrell oughtn't to be here at all. He's as weak as a kitten. A man that gets his ship torpedoed and spends 25 days on a raft in the North Atlantic oughtn't to have to hit the ball again with only a few days in the hospital. I guess there aren't enough commanding officers to go around. Well, at least they gave him an easy ship.
Lt. Bonelli: Huh! Boy, easy's no word for it. Listen, he'd get more rest on this boat...
Lieutenant Ware: Ship!
Lt. Bonelli: Ship, boat, what's the difference? He'd still get more rest here than he would ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: WORLD WAR II THE SOUTH ATLANTIC See more »


Edited into Airwolf (1984) See more »


So leben wir alle Tage
Traditional German folksong sung to the tune of the "Dessauer Marsch"
English lyrics written specially for The Enemy Below (1957)
Sung by Curd Jürgens and the crew of the U-Boat
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A pleasant surprise.
27 July 2003 | by (Rugby,UK.) – See all my reviews

A US Destroyer plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with a German U-Boat in the South Atlantic during World War Two.

Despite this film getting fairly regular screenings on UK TV over the years, I saw it for the first time in its entirity over the weekend. Considering the era in which it was made, I was pleasantly surprised by its straightforward story and solid production. Rather than have some superfluous romantic sub-plot dragging it down, it instead concentrates on the professionalism of those involved on both sides. Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens portray the opposing Captains impressively as men who take no pleasure in the prospect of killing, but carry out their jobs to the best of their considerable abilities. The supporting cast include Theodore Bikel, David Hedison and a very young looking Doug McClure.

A combination of good technical credits, sure handed direction, good acting and a sympathetic depiction of the German crew ensure that the film holds up very well today. It may not be 'Das Boot' but its certainly entertaining.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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