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Andrew V. McLaglen
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In March 1943, in the World War II, the Germans use the neutral harbor of the Portuguese colony of Mormugoa to transmit information to a U-Boat about the allied ships to sink them in international waters. In Calcutta, the British Intelligence assigns Colonel Lewis Pugh and Captain Gavin Stewart to spy in Goa and they discover that there are three German vessels anchored in the area and the famous spy Trompeta is based in Goa. They kidnap Trompeta to interrogate him but Lewis accidentally kills the spy after fighting with him in the runaway car. Meanwhile Gavin has one night stand with the gorgeous and elegant Mrs. Cromwell, who is the partner of Trompeta. They fail in their mission, but Lewis and Gavin convince their chief to use the veterans from Calcutta Light Horse led by the retired Colonel W.H. Grice to travel to Goa on board of the old ship Phoebe, pretending to be drunken businessmen on holiday. They prepare to destroy the Ehrenfels and the two other Nazi radio ships and get ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This movie's closing credits state this movie's "End title[s] [feature black-and-white photo] pictures of the burning of [the three German Nazi ships] 'Ehrenfels', 'Drachenfels' and 'Braunfels' ([on] March 10, 1943) and their salvage eight years later [in 1951]." See more »
Underwater mines were attached to the German ship but none of the underwater explosions set off sprays of water from below the surface of the water. See more »
The Sea Wolves is based on a true incident in which a bunch of middle aged and more than middle aged old soldiers from the British Raj in India got together and blew up three German freighters interned in the Port of Goa on the western coast of India.
The British had a delicate diplomatic problem. For over 300 years Goa and some surrounding suburb was Portugese territory and Portugal under Salazar was neutral in World War II. Made it a place for a whole lot of intrigue. The Nazis had a transmitter on one of those ships that was relaying information about allied shipping and the U-boats were cleaning up.
You might ask why it was the Nazis and not the Japanese. Very simply the Japanese never developed any real submarine capability just as the Nazis disdained developing aircraft carriers. Had both done so, World War II might have turned out differently, at least that's a pet theory of mine.
Gregory Peck and Roger Moore get the job of doing something about the spying and the transmitter. Roger Moore goes into Goa and does a little counterespionage. He certainly as James Bond has the right credentials. He even has a fling with the head Nazi who is a woman played by the very beautiful Barbara Kellerman.
Peck trains a force of former members of the Indian army now retired and waiting for the Raj to end as everyone but Winston Churchill knew it would. David Niven, Trevor Howard, Allan Cuthbertson, Patrick MacNee are some of men employed to go into Goa harbor and do away with those ships.
These are patriotic men whose country is in her biggest crisis and feel helpless in not being able to be of service. It's that way when you've spent your life in the military. When the opportunity knocks, they kick down the door.
In a recent biography of David Niven it's mentioned that Niven enjoyed being reunited with his Guns of Navarone co-star Gregory Peck and another guy who he had worked with, Trevor Howard. But the film was done in actual location in India and it was sometimes 140 degrees fahrenheit. It was pretty stressful and it exacerbated the symptoms of an undetected Lou Gehrig's disease that eventually took David Niven from us.
I remember in the early sixties Goa was eventually just taken over by India. The Portugese had a lease there just as they did at Macao and the British did in Hong Kong. But the Indians just weren't that patient.
The Sea Wolves is a good and entertaining film about a little known and very minor operation during World War II.
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