A war pacifist is blackmailed to pose as an SS officer and to disable the scuttling explosives on freighter carrying rubber cargo to be captured by the Allies.



(novel) (as Werner Joerg Luedecke), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Mueller
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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 <danbec@one.net.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


World War II, Espionage, adventure and human lives have never before been combined so explosively


Action | Drama | Thriller | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

September 1965 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Saboteur: Code Name Morituri  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,290,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard both also appeared in Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and Superman (1978). See more »


Esther's hairstyle is of the Sixties, not the war years. See more »


Robert Crain: I was blackmailed to the strains of Mozart.
See more »


Referenced in Undergrunnen (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Bleak, fascinating war pic
28 August 2001 | by (upstate NY) – See all my reviews

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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