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John G. Avildsen
George C. Scott,
A German living in India during World War II is blackmailed by the English to impersonate an SS officer on board a cargo ship leaving Japan for Germany carrying a large supply of rubber for tyres. His mission is to disable the scuttling charges so the captain cannot sink the ship if they are stopped by English warships. Written by
Daniel Bruce <email@example.com>
This is not the first movie with the title "Morituri" nor is it the first World War II movie with this title. Morituri (1948), a German film, was made seventeen years prior to this movie, and it was the first German film made after the war which was about the Second World War. See more »
An interesting and rather dark war story that takes place aboard a German merchant vessel during WWII. The black and white filming adds to the generally drab and realistic ambiance of the ocean crossing. Marlon Brando's expatriate is trapped into a scheme of espionage/sabotage, and his grim, softly sneering coolness gives the character of Robert Crain an added dimension. Yul Brynner plays the captain of the ship, out of favor with the Nazi party and under surveillance, yet still "pragmatically patriotic" to the Fatherland. Brynner is an oft-underrated actor because of the larger-than-life roles he played, but this film better showcases the subtlety he was capable of, and at times his performance excels. This is a complex and tense war movie that views both sides through a curtain of ugliness, yet captures moments of honor and loyalty and even kindness, a facet that other war movies in this genre often lack. The realism of the shipboard action is crucial--you could get a flutter of seasickness just watching--and all of the characters show depth and detail. No spoilers here; try to find this flick at the video store and watch it a couple of times. It's worth the search.
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