The Enemy Below (1957)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  8 January 1958 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,750 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 21 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 <>

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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 January 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Duell im Atlantik  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the two lead characters in this movie, the American captain John Murrell played by Robert Mitchum was an English captain in the D.A. Rayner novel 'The Enemy Below' that this film is based on. See more »


During the heavy rainstorm there is a shot of the radar antenna against a partly cloudy sky. See more »


BMSN Robbins: Hey Corky, how do you suppose the captain knew when to turn this old tub?
BMSN Corky: Because he's the captain, and that's the reason he is and you ain't!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Crimson Tide (1995) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A classic!
8 September 2004 | by (Detroit, MI) – See all my reviews

Have to agree with "bob the moo" on this one. I've seen it probably two dozen times, and will see it many more, I'm sure. One of my favorite "war" movies (w/Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens as destroyer and submarine captains, respectively). My other faves are "Platoon," "Full Metal Jacket," "Decision Before Dawn," (w/Oskar Werner and Richard Basehart--most excellent!), and of course, Kubrick's "Paths of Glory," w/Kirk Douglas, Adoph Menjou and George MacReady.

More than a blood-and-guts war movie (though it has plenty of terrific action scenes), it's more of a man-vs-man "cat and mouse" story. Absolutely excellent direction (by Dick Powell) and some terrific cinematography. Terrific scene between Jurgens and Theodore Bikel (who plays his Exec. Officer), that is nothing but facial gestures and eyebrows.

A very "moral" tale, it shows that even sworn enemies serving their countries in wartime can show respect and compassion toward each other, especially since they're all men-of-the-sea: sailors. Conversations between Mitchum and his ship's doctor and between Jurgens and his exec officer mirror each other. Note the scene of the American sailors pulling the German sailors aboard their lifeboats near the end; Mitchum helping rescue the U-boat captain and his exec after ramming them.

Great tale, well-scripted, acted, directed and shot. An model of how to make a terrific story into a movie.

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