An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
In 1952, as the Korean War rages on, American officers land in Kyoto. Among them are Major Ceve Saville, assigned to a fighter squadron, and Lieutenant Carl Abbott. The latter neglects his ... See full summary »
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>
In an ironic twist, the engineering officer, played by the ship's real-life commander Walter R. Smith, is seen reading a "Little Orphan Annie" comic while, in the same scene, an enlisted sailor is reading Edward Gibbon's classic "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." See more »
During the initial torpedo attack it is stated that the range is 1,000 yards. The speed of the torpedoes is set at 30 knots. The U-boat captain is told the running time for the torpedoes will be 1 minute 40 seconds. At 30 knots it requires only 1 minute to move 1,000 yards. Therefore, even allowing for some additional spread in the range, the run time could not be anywhere near the stated time. See more »
[Discussing the new captain]
I still don't see why they didn't move Ware up. He's been exec long enough.
My dear Mackenson, the only craft I've ever commanded was a yawl in the Miami yacht races. And the nearest I ever came to winning that was twenty-ninth. The Navy may have been desperate enough to put me in uniform, but not foolish enough to let me sail away by myself.
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Opening credits prologue: WORLD WAR II THE SOUTH ATLANTIC See more »
So leben wir alle Tage
(Drinking Song) (uncredited)
Traditional German folksong sung to the tune of the "Dessauer Marsch"
English lyrics by Charles Henderson
Sung by Curd Jürgens and the crew of the U-Boat 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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