65 user 18 critic

Sink the Bismarck! (1960)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 11 February 1960 (USA)
3:00 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.



(screen story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

IMDb at Comic-Con 2016

Visit our Comic-Con section to see what's trending, watch celebrity interviews, follow event coverage, browse cosplay photos, take our Fan IQ quizzes, and more.

Browse IMDb's Guide to Comic-Con

2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of how the British attacked German dams in WWII by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A true WW2 story: the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, Ian Hunter
633 Squadron (1964)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway. The factory supplies fuel for the Nazi effort to launch rockets on England during D-Day.

Director: Walter Grauman
Stars: Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris, Maria Perschy
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Burton, James Mason, Robert Newton
Midway (1976)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dramatization of the battle that was heralded as the turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow, Lyndon Brook
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible German invasion of the UK.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton
Dunkirk (1958)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dramatization of the British Expeditionary Force's 1940 retreat to the beaches of France and the extraordinary seaborne evacuation that saved it from utter destruction by Nazi Germany.

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

During WW2 in North Africa, a medical field unit must cross the desert in their ambulance in order to reach the British lines in Alexandria.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WW2, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer
Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan


Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Shepard
Anne Davis
Captain Lindemann (as Carl Mohner)
Laurence Naismith ...
First Sea Lord
Geoffrey Keen ...
Karel Stepanek ...
Commander in Chief (King George V)
Maurice Denham ...
Commander Richards
Captain Banister
Captain (Prince of Wales)
Jack Watling ...
Signals Officer
Captain (King George V) (as Jack Gwillam)
Mark Dignam ...
Captain (Ark Royal)
Ernest Clark ...
Captain (Suffolk)
John Horsley ...
Captain (Sheffield)


Chronicles the breakout of the Bismarck during the early days of World War Two. Seen both from the point of view of the many naval vessels on both sides and from the central headquarters of the British where the search for the super battleship was controlled. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Personal! Powerful! Human! Heroic!


Action | Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

11 February 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sink the Bismarck  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The producers knew that the use of miniatures and explosions would have to look very realistic to be successful. They hired Howard Lydecker, one of the legendary Lydecker brothers--the other was Theodore Lydecker--who were generally considered to be the best special effects team in the industry. They had spent decades perfecting their craft at Republic Pictures. See more »


Swordfish torpedo bombers are shown taking off with slung torpedoes, and the torpedo propellers are spinning in the wind. The purpose of the nose propellers is to arm the torpedo. To avoid premature arming the nose propellers would be wired to prevent spinning in the air. When the torpedo hits the water the greater resistance would break off the wires and the torpedoes would then be armed after a few rotations. See more »


First Workman: They can't do this to me, I'm in a reserved occupation!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LONDON MAY 1941 See more »


Referenced in Doing Time (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sad movie
7 April 2003 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

The German battleship Bismark was one of the finest warships ever built. She carried 8 15-inch guns and a powerful secondary battery and could make 30 knots. It wasn't one of the biggest or most powerful battleships ever built. The Japanese had the Yamato and Mushashi towards the end of the war, juggernauts with 18-inch cannons. There's a limit to gigantism of course, and in the case of battleships it had to do with whether they could fit physically through the Panama Canal, a concern the Japanese had long put behind them. So the Bismark wasn't the sort of sacred monster that sheer size would make her. But she LOOKED absolutely great. Sleek, well balanced, with her superstructure done the way an architect might have done it, not an engineer. She looked built for speed, and endurance too. For an example of the opposite trend, take a look at Rodney or Nelson. More powerfully armed, with 9 16-inch guns carried in three turrets, all set forward of the superstructure. Man, that is one ugly design. And, more than that, Bismarck's crew were highly trained and she was equipped with one of the world's best optical fire-control systems. It wasn't just luck that sank the Hood and damaged any smaller ships that go too close; it was good shooting. (Her shooting didn't fall off until that final bombardment.) Winston Churchill called her "a masterpiece of naval construction," although not in this movie. She kept large elements of the fleet pinned down at home simply by sitting in her protected port and being available.

I must have seen this movie a dozen times and each time I begin by wondering if I'll be able to sit through it again. (I've got some of the exchanges memorized.) I generally make it, though. It's too good in its own dated way to pass up.

The model work is not bad at all for its time. The reviewer who said this film called for black and white was correct. It looks cold and frightening on the North Atlantic. Almost everything would have been, or at least seemed, gray even if it had been shot in color. The peformances are up to professional standards. More is a different character here from his usual jocular one -- frosty, demanding, and no nonsense. Until finally, overcome with emotion, he breaks down in an understated scene. Dana Wynter, his assistant, spots him and discreetly leaves him alone. She's too beautiful to criticize as an actress. She radiates purity and anima and gently draws More out of his shell. Naismith is a familiar face, as are many of the others. And there is a running gag in this underground bunker where More is plotting the Bismarck's demise. Nobody knows what time it is or, if they know it's 9 o'clock, they don't know if its morning or evening. Even the Germans aboard the Bismarck are lent some humanity by the script writers. The cadets look like earnest fresh-faced kids. The Captain is a practical man, worried about his ship and his crew. Only Karel Stepanek, as Lutjens, belongs in another, much earlier movie, say one made in 1943. He is well out of the frame established in the rest of the film. Stricken with awe when he gets a birthday greeting from You-Know-Who. Some of the dialogue is made up, out of necessity. Who knows what went on on the Bismarck's bridge, especially during that last catastrophic shelling? Back in the bunker, Dana Wynter looks down at the wooden models on her chart where a dozen British warships surround the single Bismarck and pound her to pieces. "I don't feel like cheering," she says. Well, "War is all hell." Maybe that's why human beings seem to need another one every twenty years or so, to remind ourselves.

What a waste of great ships, and of good men, on both sides. And an argument could even be made that Bismarck's sister ship, the Tirpitz, played an even more important part in the war simply by staying put and tying down so many British ships that were needed elsewhere. Our side "wins," of course. Our side almost always wins when we're the side that's funding the movie. A lot of viewers will expectably feel relief when the threat represented by Bismarck is over, but they probably won't feel much like cheering.

29 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did Bismarck have a Captain? mel-pearce47
Bismarck tried to surrender WisdomThreeNine
Confusing battles svenrufus
Diologue During Gun Loading Sequence BruiseLee
Classy Dana Wynter jstock426
Any hope for a new 'Bismarck' film? josiahfleming
Discuss Sink the Bismarck! (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: