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The Enemy Below (1957)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  8 January 1958 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,497 users  
Reviews: 86 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 4 wins & 1 nomination. 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


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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?


The name of the British vessel the 'HMS Hecate' from this movie's source novel 'The Enemy Below' by D.A. Rayner was changed for this film to the name the 'USS Haynes'. See more »


The DE has doctor onboard. A doctor was not part of the standard compliment of destroyer escorts. 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 Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966) 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

Two men, caught in the conflict of WWII, engage in a hunt-and-seek situation that has only one final outcome.
28 December 2004 | by (Front Royal, VA) – See all my reviews

"The Enemy Below" released in 1957, was one of those films directed by Dick Powell, and starring Robert Mitchum, that sparked with genuine realism and utmost attention to detail. This film also showed the harsh realities in war, and the dedication that men on both sides of the conflict can give to the task appointed. Mitchum plays the commander of a US Naval vessel that has the task of seeking out and destroying enemy submarines; having just recently lost one command, he is going to make sure such doesn't happen twice. The renowned German actor, Curt Jurgens, portrays the submarine commander whose presence has been detected by Mitchum's destroyer, and the chase is on.

Both commanders, Mitchum and Jurgens, in their characters, reveal that each was firm in their beliefs toward their respective countries. While Jurgens is not a gung-ho Nazi, he does have a firm dedication to his fatherland, and what it was before the war. Mitchum has the same firm devotion to his country, and what he is doing is the right course to bring a successful ending to the war, ultimately. There is a lot of verbal discussion during the course of the film, who is right, why are we engaged in this action, etc., but both commanders are desperately trying to out think and outmaneuver the other.

There were several good movies made during the 50s, this film, "The Enemy Below",and "Run Silent, Run Deep" come to mind, and are certainly worth a view. This film does give a look at both sides involved in the type of chase done here. An 8/10

38 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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