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The Silent Enemy (1958)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 337 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

In the Mediterranean in 1941 the Italians start using underwater chariots to mine the undersides of allied ships. Explosives expert Lionel Crabbe arrives in Gibralter to organise defences, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dawn Addams ...
Third Officer Jill Masters, W.R.N.S.
Michael Craig ...
Leading Seaman Sid Knowles
John Clements ...
The Admiral
Sidney James ...
Chief Petty Officer Thorpe
...
Able Seaman Morgan
...
Able Seaman Fraser
Ian Whittaker ...
Ordinary Seaman Thomas
...
Tomolino (as Arnoldo Foa)
Gianna Maria Canale ...
Conchita
Massimo Serato ...
Forzellini
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ...
Rosati (as Giacomo Rossi-Stuart)
Carlo Giustini ...
Fellini (as Carlo Justini)
Raymond Young ...
Celloni
David Lodge ...
Sergeant
Edit

Storyline

In the Mediterranean in 1941 the Italians start using underwater chariots to mine the undersides of allied ships. Explosives expert Lionel Crabbe arrives in Gibralter to organise defences, but finds only two British divers available to help him. Even more worrying, it seems likely that the Italians are secretly using neutral Spain across the bay as their key base. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

4 March 1958 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Froschmann Crabb  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the book "A Biography Of Sid James", James was offered the role of Chief Petty Officer Thorpe on the recommendation of his friend Laurence Harvey, but their friendship ended during the filming. He found Harvey to be "pompous and full of his own importance". It's said that the two never spoke to each other again after filming had ended. See more »

Goofs

When Crabbe and his divers are diving on the aircraft wreck to search for the briefcase, they come upon an aircraft engine that is supposed to be from the wreck.. the engine has no carburetor and a couple of the valve covers are missing. Obviously, this was not a running engine. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fantastic blend of history and adventure
29 July 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A superb wartime adventure, the Silent Enemy is the true story of Lieutenant Crabbe, a Royal Navy bomb and mine disposal officer sent to Gibraltar on a urgent mission to undo damage being inflicted on the fleet by sly Italian frogmen led by a brilliant underwater engineer. Though he has never dived before Crabbe takes to the underwater world like a fish, and with the help of a plucky NCO and dedicated but tiny band of men turns back the hidden menace. Crabbe and his courageous crew ultimately stop the Italian 10th Flotilla divers from turning the tide of the war.

Characters and acting are sharp. Cinematography and staging on land and especially underwater are very good. Writing is great too. The military historical significance is that these underwater demolition techniques and technologies are the precursors of modern Navy SEALs, Special Boat Squads, etc. The movie significance is that the characters and plot elements foreshadow every James Bond and action movie that's ever had frogmen, underwater fight scenes, secret ships, mini-subs, or stealty sub-surface saboteurs. Being drawn from real life, I found The Silent Enemy even more compelling.


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