IMDb > U-571 (2000)
U-571
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U-571 (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Jonathan Mostow (story)
Jonathan Mostow (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for U-571 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 April 2000 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
You won't come up for air until it's over! See more »
Plot:
A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Hollywood history See more (594 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Matthew McConaughey ... Lt. Andrew Tyler

Bill Paxton ... Lt. Cmdr. Mike Dahlgren

Harvey Keitel ... CPO Henry Klough

Jon Bon Jovi ... Lt. Pete Emmett

David Keith ... Maj. Matthew Coonan

Thomas Kretschmann ... Capt.-Lt. Gunther Wassner

Jake Weber ... Lt. Hirsch

Jack Noseworthy ... Seaman Bill Wentz

Tom Guiry ... Seaman Ted 'Trigger' Fitzgerald

Will Estes ... Seaman Ronald 'Rabbit' Parker

Terrence 'T.C.' Carson ... Steward Eddie Carson

Erik Palladino ... Seaman Anthony Mazzola

Dave Power ... Seaman Charles 'Tank' Clemens

Derk Cheetwood ... Seaman Herb Griggs

Matthew Settle ... Ens. Keith Larson

Rebecca Tilney ... Mrs. Dahlgren
Carolyna De Laurentiis ... Prudence Dahlgren
Dina De Laurentiis ... Louise Dahlgren
Burnell Tucker ... Adm. Duke
Rob Allyn ... Ensign
Carsten Voigt ... German Chief Hans
Gunter Würger ... Lt. Kohn
Oliver Stokowski ... German E-Chief
Arnd Klawitter ... German Hydrophone Operator

Kai Maurer ... German Planesman
Robert Lahoda ... German Engineer
Peter Stark ... German Lookout

Erich Redman ... German Bosun
William John Evans ... Marine Sergeant (as Sergeant William John Evans)

Robin Askwith ... British Seaman
Jasper Wood ... Petty Officer
Martin Glade ... Gunner Officer
Oliver Osthus ... Depth Charge Officer
John William Falconer ... Other Sergeant (as Corporal John William Falconer)
Cory Glen Mathews ... Other Sergeant (as Corporal Cory Glen Mathews)
Valentina Ardeatini ... Mrs. Peggy Larson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Norman Campbell Rees ... Military Police Sergeant (uncredited)

Directed by
Jonathan Mostow 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Jonathan Mostow (story)

Jonathan Mostow (screenplay) and
Sam Montgomery (screenplay) and
David Ayer (screenplay)

Produced by
Alan Collis .... co-producer
Dino De Laurentiis .... producer
Martha De Laurentiis .... producer
Hal Lieberman .... executive producer
Lucio Trentini .... line producer
 
Original Music by
Richard Marvin 
 
Cinematography by
Oliver Wood 
 
Film Editing by
Wayne Wahrman 
 
Casting by
Carol Lewis 
 
Production Design by
William Ladd Skinner  (as Wm. Ladd Skinner)
Götz Weidner 
 
Art Direction by
Maria-Teresa Barbasso 
Marco Trentini (art direction)
Robert Woodruff 
 
Set Decoration by
Robert Gould 
Cynthia Sleiter 
 
Costume Design by
April Ferry 
 
Makeup Department
Enzo Cera .... assistant hair stylist
Eloisa De Laurentiis .... makeup artist: second unit
Elisabetta De Leonardis .... hair stylist
Giancarlo De Leonardis .... hair stylist
Francesca De Simone .... assistant hair stylist
Renato Francola .... makeup artist: second unit
Paola Genovese .... hair stylist: second unit
Vincenzo Mastrantonio .... makeup artist: second unit
Frances Mathias .... hair stylist
Francesco Nardi .... assistant makeup artist
Luigi Rocchetti .... key makeup artist
Luigi Rocchetti .... makeup designer
Maurizio Silvi .... makeup artist
Mauro Tamagnini .... hair stylist: second unit
 
Production Management
Kristin S. Burke .... production manager
Manuela Cacciamani .... production secretary
Mario Francini .... unit manager
Teresa Kelly .... post-production supervisor
T. David Pash .... production manager
Roberta Y. Shintani .... production supervisor
Stefano Spadoni .... unit production manager
Lucio Trentini .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
M. James Arnett .... second unit director
Inti Carboni .... first assistant director: reshoots
Inti Carboni .... second second assistant director
Federica Ciciarelli .... assistant director
Christian Dwiggins .... second second assistant director: visual effects unit
Luca Lachin .... first assistant director: second unit
Kuki López Rodero .... first assistant director (as Juan Carlos Rodero López)
Alberto Mangiante .... second assistant director
Giampiero Pelusi .... trainee assistant director
Kenneth Scicluna .... second second assistant director: visual effects unit
Yozo Tokuda .... second assistant director: second unit
Pascal Vaguelsy .... third assistant director: second unit
 
Art Department
Annick Biltresse .... art department coordinator: Rome
Erin Boyd .... swing gang (as Erin Gould)
Robert Branham .... production illustrator
Giuseppe Carrozza .... propmaker
Roberto Carrozza .... propman
Gina B. Cranham .... set designer
Giulia Chiara Crugnola .... set designer
Lucio Di Domenico .... assistant art director
Peter Dürst .... propman (as Peter Duerst)
Eva Eastman .... assistant set decorator
Franco Fabietti .... head carpenter
Antonio Fraulo .... property master
Daniela Giovannoni .... set designer
Gregory S. Hooper .... set designer
Philip Keller .... storyboard artist
Alessandro Luciano .... production illustrator
Roberto Magagnini .... on-set dresser
Domenico Mancino .... blacksmith
Bryan Marinoff .... head painter (as Bryan David Marinoff)
Irene Mifsud-Bonnici .... art department coordinator: Malta
Antonio Murer .... propman
Sebastiano Murer .... propman
Joseph G. Pacelli Jr. .... set designer
Dennis J. Parrish .... property consultant (as Dennis Parrish)
Eric Ramirez .... lead man
Eric Ramsey .... storyboard artist
Alessandro Santucci .... set designer
Letizia Santucci .... assistant set decorator
Armando Savoia .... assistant set decorator
Richard Skinner .... set designer
Eric Sundahl .... set designer
Marcello Turco .... head painter
Fernando Valento .... construction coordinator
Francesco Valento .... carpenter
Karen Wilson .... storyboard artist
Tracey Wilson .... storyboard artist
Dean Wolcott .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Petra Bach .... adr editor
Don Banks .... boom operator
Keith Bilderbeck .... sound designer
Keith Bilderbeck .... sound effects editor
Keith Bilderbeck .... sound effects recordist
Gary Coppola .... foley mixer
Andrea Dallimonti .... boom operator
Adriano Di Lorenzo .... assistant sound
Frank Fleming .... sound recordist
Tim Gedemer .... sound designer
Tim Gedemer .... sound effects editor
Sandy Gendler .... sound designer
Sandy Gendler .... sound effects editor
Cindy Jo Hinkleman .... first assistant sound editor
David Horner .... adr mixer
Brian W. Jennings .... assistant sound editor (as Brian Jennings)
Brian W. Jennings .... background sound editor (as Brian Jennings)
Jon Johnson .... supervising sound editor
Erick Jolley .... assistant sound editor
Sean Keegan .... foley mixer
Rick Kline .... sound re-recording mixer
Val Kuklowsky .... supervising adr editor
Gregg Landaker .... sound re-recording mixer
Greg LaPlante .... digital mastering
Steve Maslow .... sound re-recording mixer
Charles Maynes .... sound effects designer (as Charles B. Maynes)
Charles Maynes .... sound effects editor (as Charles B. Maynes)
Charles Maynes .... sound effects recordist (as Charles B. Maynes)
Tor McAfee Kingdon .... additional adr mixer
Brion Paccassi .... dubbing recordist (as Brion A. Paccassi)
Angelo Palazzo .... sound designer
Angelo Palazzo .... sound editor
Michele Perrone .... adr editor
Roberto Petrozzi .... sound mixer: second unit
Miguel Rivera .... foley editor
Miguel Rivera .... sound editor
Miguel Rivera .... sound effects recordist
Scott Schmidt .... adr recordist
Ivan Sharrock .... production sound mixer
Edward M. Steidele .... foley artist
Bruce Stubblefield .... sound editor
Donald Sylvester .... foley editor (as Don Sylvester)
Chris Trent .... foley mixer
Jerry Trent .... foley artist
Robert Troy .... dialogue editor
Tanya F. Yarbrough .... assistant sound editor (as Tanya Yarbrough)
Philip Rogers .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Guy Tsujimoto .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Jan Aaris .... special effects foreman
Jan Aaris .... special effects technician: underwater unit
Daniel Acon .... special effects
Marc Banich .... special effects supervisor
Marc Banich .... special effects technician: underwater unit
Gary D. Bierend .... special effects technician: underwater unit (as Gary Bierend)
Danilo Bollettini .... special effects
Al Broussard .... special effects technician: underwater unit
Massimo Cardajoli .... special effects technician
Kenneth Cassar .... special effects crew
Mario Cassar .... special effects crew
Antonio Corridori .... assistant special effects supervisor
Antonio Corridori .... special effects coordinator
Maurizio Corridori .... special effects
Stefano Corridori .... special effects technician
Mike Edmonson .... special effects technician: underwater unit
Edwin J. Escobar .... special effects crew (as Edwin Joseph Escobar)
Roberto Espinoza .... special effects
Allen Hall .... special effects coordinator
Matthew Hall .... special effects crew
Richard O. Helmer .... special effects supervisor: underwater unit (as Richard Helmer)
Gary L. Karas .... special effects crew (as Gary Karas)
Joe Montenegro .... assistant special effects supervisor
Cristofer Parente .... special effects technician
Franco Ragusa .... special effects: second unit
Mike Reedy .... underwater special effects technician
Ted Ross .... special effects crew
Douglas D. Ziegler .... special effects technician: underwater unit (as Doug Ziegler)
 
Visual Effects by
Victor Abbene .... visual effects: chief lighting technician
Jonathan Alvord .... Avid editor
Mario Bagnato .... visual effects director of photography
Jeffrey Edward Baksinski .... motion & tracking supervisor: Cinesite
Kelly Bechtle-Woods .... digital artist: 3D animator
Thad Beier .... visual effects supervisor: Hammerhead Productions
Robert Bonillas .... model maker
Shawn Broes .... visual effects editor
Kenneth Cassar .... visual effects crew
Kenneth Cassar .... visual effects
Vito Consoli .... model maker
Gilbert Correa .... model maker
Carole Cowley .... digital effects producer: Cinesite
Gregory Creaser .... imaging/timing supervisor: Digiscope
Chris Crowell .... digital compositor
Erin M. Cullen .... roto supervisor
Sandy DellaMarie .... visual effects coordinator: Pacific Title Digital
Jamie Dixon .... lead animator: Hammerhead Productions
Peter Donen .... visual effects supervisor
Tommy Dorsett .... visual effects editor: POP Film
Syd Dutton .... special visual effects: Illusion Arts
Christian Dwiggins .... visual effects assistant
David Dwiggins .... visual effects producer
Jack Edjourian .... miniature design and engineering
Chris Flynn .... lead digital compositor: Pacific Title & Art Studio
Mark Freund .... visual effects supervisor: Pacific Title & Art Studio
Joe Gareri .... visual effects executive producer: POP Film
George Gervan .... digital paint artist
George Gervan .... digital roto artist
Richard Gervan .... digital paint artist
Richard Gervan .... digital roto artist
Glen Gustafson .... visual effects
Martin Hall .... digital paint artist
Brian Hanable .... digital effects compositor
Maureen Healy .... digital paint artist
Richard O. Helmer .... visual effects supervisor
Rick Holman .... model maker
Meredith Hook .... paint and rotoscope artist: PacTitle
Heather Hoyland .... digital compositor
Lubo Hristov .... visual effects art director: Cinesite
Karen Klein .... digital artist
Tad Krzanowski .... special model effects supervisor: minatures
Kenny Lam .... digital compositor (as Ken Lam)
Jennifer Law-Stump .... digital effects artist: Pacific Title Digital
Mark Tait Lewis .... compositing supervisor: Cinesite
Marcel Martinez .... digital compositor
Darin McCormick-Millett .... visual effects producer: Pacific Title Digital
Kelvin McIlwain .... matte artist
Valerie McMahon .... digital artist
Fritz Meier .... visual effects production assistant
Kama Moiha .... digital compositor: Cinesite
Kenneth Nakada .... matte artist: Illusion Arts
Jennifer Nelson .... visual effects assistant coordinator
Henric Nieminen .... visual effects coordinator
Ron D. Peake .... model maker (as Ron Peake)
Jim Pearson .... marine coordinator: visual effects unit
Arnaud Peiny .... visual effects
Kenneth Quilicoy .... model maker
Dante Quintana .... technical assistant supervisor
John Ramsey .... model maker
Clark Schaffer .... model maker
Kino Scialabba .... matte painter
Kenneth Scicluna .... visual effects assistant
Rasha Shalaby .... digital compositor
Monty Shook .... shop supervisor: Grant McCune Design
Dave Simmons .... digital paint artist
Gemma Sirol .... visual effects assistant
Thomas J. Smith .... digital effects supervisor: Cinesite
David Sosalla .... digital effects supervisor: POP Film
Bill Taylor .... special visual effects: Illusion Arts
Peter Alun Thomas .... film scanning and recording technician
R. Gern Trowbridge .... electrician: visual effects unit
Mike Wassel .... matte artist: Illusion Arts
Bob Wiatr .... digital effects compositor
Steve Wright .... digital compositor: Cinesite
Toby Gallo .... system administrator (uncredited)
Lynn Garrido .... model maker (uncredited)
Fred Jimenez .... 2D technical assistant (uncredited)
Kenneth Littleton .... digital effects supervisor (uncredited)
Brandon McNaughton .... digital compositor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Hank Amos .... utility stunts
Matthew R. Anderson .... marine stunts
Seth Arnett .... stunt coordinator: second unit
Carrie Caignet .... water safety
Mitchell Dean .... water safety
Team Filmka .... stunts
Jiri Horky .... stunt double: Will Estes
Jiri Horky .... stunts
Dusan Hyska .... stunts
Cinda-Lin James .... stunt rigger
Jindrich Klaus .... stunts
Robert Lahoda .... fire stunts
Mark Norby .... stunt double
Alessandro Novelli .... stunt double
Emiliano Novelli .... stunts
Claudio Pacifico .... italian stunt coordinator: second unit
Jaroslav Peterka .... stunts
Gianluca Petrazzi .... stunts
Jan Petrina .... stunt double: David Keith
Jan Petrina .... stunts
Jaroslav Psenicka .... fire stunts
Joe Rabl .... stunt actor
Pat Romano .... stunt coordinator
Patrik Stanek .... fire stunts
Patrik Stanek .... stunts
Massimiliano Ubaldi .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Berglund .... first assistant camera: second unit
Michole Bergstrom .... video assistant
Mickey Bergstrom .... video operator
Vincenzo Carpineta .... camera operator
Bruno Colanzi .... key grip: second unit
James B. Crawford .... gaffer (as James Crawford)
Marco Cuzzupoli .... assistant camera
Darrin DeLoach .... assistant camera: additional unit
Daniele Dessena .... grip
Umberto Dessena .... grip
Francesco Di Giacomo .... assistant camera
Antonello Emidi .... assistant camera
Giuseppe Falcone .... assistant camera
Stefano Falivene .... focus puller
David Farrugia .... lighting technician
Richard Foreman Jr. .... special photographer: underwater poster shoot
Paolo Frasson .... grip
Antonio Gasbarini .... gaffer: second unit
Roberto Gentili .... focus puller: second unit
Alberto Grassi .... generator operator
Sascia Ippoliti .... crane operator
Ermanno Lubich .... assistant camera
Gianmaria Majorana .... camera operator
Daniele Massaccesi .... camera operator
John Metz .... camera loader
Rexford L. Metz .... director of photography: second unit (as Rexford Metz)
Matteo Ortolani .... video assist operator
Francisco Pintore .... second assistant "a" camera
Flaviano Ricci .... grip
Alberto Rogante .... electrician
Marco Sacerdoti .... focus puller: "a" camera
Marcello Salaca .... camera technician
Emiliano Topai .... second assistant camera
Doriano Torriero .... best boy
Michael T. Travers .... key grip (as Michael Travers)
Mario Tursi .... still photographer
Riccardo Umetelli .... focus puller: second unit
Fabio Zamarion .... camera operator: second unit
 
Casting Department
Ross Baxter .... extras casting
Kate Dowd .... casting: Europe
Sara Lewis .... casting associate
Gail Stevens .... Casting Europe
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Angela Beale .... costumer
Jayme Bednarczyk .... costumer: second unit
Maura Bellini .... dress maker
Donna Berwick .... assistant costume designer
Stefano De Nardis .... assistant costume designer
Augusto Grassi .... costume supervisor
Askia Won-Ling Jacob .... costumer
Claudio Manzi .... assistant costume designer
Bettina Pontiggia .... costumer
Roberta Pontiggia .... costumer
Vittorio Torrieri .... tailor
Maurizio Torti .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Gordon Antell .... first assistant editor
Karen Dimmig .... assistant editor
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Stephen R. Sheridan .... color timer (as Steve Sheridan)
Liberata Zocchi .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... orchestrator (as Peter Anthony)
Bruce Babcock .... orchestrator
Julian Bratolyubov .... music preparation
Brad Dechter .... orchestrator
Sandy DeCrescent .... orchestra contractor
Daryl B. Kell .... supervising music editor
Richard Marvin .... orchestrator
Dennis S. Sands .... music recordist (as Dennis Sands)
Dennis S. Sands .... music scoring mixer (as Dennis Sands)
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Ken Thorne .... orchestrator
Darren N. Henson .... score: O'Henry Sound Studios (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Paolo Bernardini .... driver
Sean Glenn .... driver: additional photography
Anthony T. Mazzola .... driver: additional photography (as Anthony Mazzola)
John Proctor .... transportation coordinator: additional photography
Katryna Samut-Tagliaferro .... transportation coordinator
Mauro Stefanucci .... transportation manager
 
Other crew
Monica Amadori .... helicopter pilot
Edmondo Amati Jr. .... set manager: second unit
Daniel Bailey .... zodiac captain (as Danny Bailey)
Jon Baker .... armourer
David Balme .... historical advisor
Francesco Belfiore .... personal assistant to actor
Rebecca Booth .... production assistant
Linda Bowen .... assistant accountant
Brian Bradeley .... submarine captain
Paul Brehme .... assistant: Mr. Mostow
Lisa Burnside .... zodiac captain
Sabrina Canale .... personal assistant: Mr. Jon Bon Jovi and Mr. Bill Paxton
Ezio Canesso .... helicopter pilot
Danny Dade .... tank supervisor
Robert Dawson .... title designer
Gianfranco De Rosa .... set manager
Shirley Delovich .... assistant: Mr. De Laurentiis
Dianne Dreyer .... script supervisor
Dave Ellin .... submarine captain
Carla Ferroni .... production liaison
Hector Freeman .... assistant: Mr. De Laurentiis
Charlie Galea .... rescue diver
Rita Galea .... production coordinator: Malta
Patrick Hannifin .... technical advisor
Karina Hickman .... zodiac captain
Harry L. Julian Jr. .... marine supervisor (as Harry Julian Jr.)
Harry L. Julian Sr. .... assistant marine coordinator (as Harry Julian Sr.)
Hilary Julian .... assistant marine coordinator
Lance Julian .... marine coordinator (as Captain Lance Julian)
Marcus Maria Jung .... voice-over (as Marcus Jung)
David Kahn .... cryptographic consultant (as Dr. David Kahn)
Samba Kosak .... personal assistant
Mitchell Kramer .... zodiac captain
Elvira Lamastra .... assistant: Mr. De Laurentiis
Sabina Lepri .... set production assistant
Michael Lichtenegger .... production liaison
Mahnaz Mary Mahdavi .... accountant: USA and Europe
Dennis Mahoney .... assistant accountant
Norma Marie Mascia .... production coordinator: second unit
Douglas W. McHenry .... post-production accountant
Mario Mercuri .... account service representative
J.C. Merrill .... assistant marine coordinator
Jacqueline Murphy .... unit nurse
Gianluca Nardulli .... assistant unit publicist
Gary Nixon .... location accountant
Christina Nudi .... assistant choreographer
Tim O'Hair .... studio executive
Hilde Odelga .... production coordinator
Jeff Partin .... zodiac captain
Francesco Pavolini .... set production assistant
Jim Pearson .... additional marine support
Al Perry .... diver
Al Perry .... water safety
Annie Rhodes .... assistant: Mr. Mostow
Luigi Riitano .... location accountant
Dresden Shumaker .... assistant: Mr. Mostow
Michael Smith .... production accountant
Leontine Snell .... choreographer
Nick Spetsiotis .... assistant marine coordinator
Cheryl Starbuck .... script supervisor: second unit
Cid Swank .... unit publicist
Franca Tasso .... production liaison
Branko Tomovic .... voice-over
Dirk Vahle .... aerial coordinator
Doug Valenzuela .... zodiac captain
Antonella Villanti .... assistant accountant
David Aaron .... armorer (uncredited)
Mark Chambers .... production safety (uncredited)
Ante Novakovic .... assistant: Harvey Keitel (uncredited)
Denis O'Sullivan .... assistant: Harvey Keitel (uncredited)
Jennifer Stivala-Beckwith .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Elisabetta Tomasso .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Rachel Lipman .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for war violence
Runtime:
116 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) (original rating) | Canada:PG (Nova Scotia) (re-rating on appeal) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Chile:14 | Denmark:15 | Finland:K-14 | France:U | Germany:16 | Hong Kong:IIB | Iceland:14 (original rating) | Iceland:16 (video rating) | Ireland:15 | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:M | Norway:15 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Spain:7 | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12 | USA:PG-13

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The "German" aircraft flying over the sub in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is an Italian Fiat G.59 trainer, first flown in 1948.See more »
Goofs:
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: As shown in the movie, the code book which cracked Enigma during the Battle of the Atlantic was the long weather code book. This was only captured once - by the British. Subsequent attempts by the US failed as the book would dissolve on contact with water. The film does not purport to be telling a true story; a notice at the end acknowledges the real-life ships whose crews captured Enigmas.See more »
Quotes:
Chief Klough:What the hell are those yardbirds doing to my boat?See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in La guerra en el cine (2003) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
My Heart Stood StillSee more »

FAQ

Is this a historically accurate film?
Did U-boat crews really shoot survivors?
See more »
190 out of 274 people found the following review useful.
Hollywood history, 2 March 2002
Author: Prosinecki from Croatia

This is a review written by a specialist on the U-boat warfare:

First off, I am pleased to say my worst fears were not realized. This movie is not a retelling of the capture of the Enigma machine from U-110 with Americans substituted for British. The only thing the historical incident and the movie have in common is that both include an Enigma machine and a U-boat.

The basic premise of the movie is this: It is spring, 1942. (Although not stated explicitly in the movie, this coincides with the implementation of the 4-rotor Enigma machine and the subsequent intelligence blackout which proved quite inconvenient for the Allies.) Allied intelligence learns that a crippled U-boat is awaiting a rendez-vous with a supply submarine. An American World War I S-class submarine and its crew are disguised to resemble that supply submarine, with the goal of boarding the U-boat and seizing the Enigma. Naturally the operation does not go as smoothly as predicted. The American boarding party ends up trapped on the U-boat and must figure out how to get home with their prize.

The special effects, including sound effects, are good, and there are lots of satisfying explosions and interesting underwater camera views. The plot is a bit predictable, and seems to owe a lot to many previous submarine movies, including Das Boot. There are a few technical issues that purists will notice; for example, American S-boats were not actually equipped with radar, an awful lot of bullets were sprayed around the interior of the U-boat without appearing to damage anything vital, and the plan to open the torpedo tubes at a depth of 200 meters seemed ill-advised, to say the least.

One scene was disturbing, however. Early in the film, the U-boat comes upon a lifeboat full of British sailors. The U-boat commander orders his gunner to kill them all, because "The Führer has ordered us not to pick up survivors." It is disappointing to see the myth of U-boats executing occupants of lifeboats perpetuated yet again. The truth about the Laconia order is it did forbid picking up survivors but did not specify that they be shot, simply that they not be rescued or aided as well as the only case on record in World War II in which a U-boat purposely fired on survivors in the water.

In general, this is a good action film. It's no Das Boot, but then I knew it wasn't going to be. For one thing, it lacks the emotional impact and suspense of Das Boot; also, the grim wartime mood that pervaded Das Boot is absent from this movie. In fact, for U-571 the World War II setting seems almost incidental, as the plot could be adjusted easily to fit any other twentieth century war, real or fictional, involving submarines.

In sum, this is not really a World War II movie. It's a submarine movie with nonstop action and plenty of explosions.

29 April, 2000: One more thing which needs to be mentioned. In an interview in the 23 April Washington Post, the director, Jonathan Mostow, states that the movie Das Boot was "based on a lie" because "[...] it pretended that the captains and crews were submariners first, and only incidentally Nazis. They were dedicated Nazis; they had to be to fight that hard."

As anyone familiar with U-boat history knows, this is nonsense. It is well known that the U-boat arm was the least political of any of the German military branches in World War II. While some U-boat men were indeed confirmed Nazis, many were not. Men fight hard in every war, not for reasons of ideology, but for reasons of personal survival and out of a sense of duty and obligation to their group or unit. Mostow's opinion on this particular topic is just that - an opinion, apparently not founded on any knowledge of U-boat history or military psychology

Was the above review useful to you?
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