An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot.... See full summary »
Lieutenant Joe Rossi is 1st Officer on a Liberty Ship in a great convoy bound from Halifax to Murmansk. After German subs crushed the convoy his ship loses the convoy and is heading alone to Murmansk. In spite of attacks by German planes and subs he get the ship safely to Murmansk...Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
Director Lloyd Bacon's contract with Warner Bros. expired during production. Jack L. Warner told him, "Finish the picture and we'll talk about it," but Bacon wasn't willing to continue without a contract. Warner fired him and brought in Byron Haskin to finish the film. See more »
When the German sub's Hydrophone Officer picks up the propeller noise from the 'Northern Star' the First Officer he alerts amongst others the Radio Operator who sits listening - in a submerged sub. See more »
Lt. Joe Rossi:
No matter how many tanks and planes and guns you pile up, no matter how many men you got, it doesn't mean a thing unless the men get the stuff when they need it.
See more »
Raymond Massey and Humphrey Bogart as captain and first mate of a merchant marine ship, see their first ship sunk by a German U-boat. They get a second ship and with some of their surviving crew from the first ship join an international convoy taking supplies to the Soviet Union.
From Halifax to Murmansk quite a flotilla of merchant ships from a whole lot of countries that had declared war on the Axis. The convoy was something like a sea going wagon train which was developed because individual ships were easy prey for submarines. The seagoing wagon train got a destroyer escort and they were armed now as well.
The merchant seaman were not technically part of the armed forces. But that didn't mean they weren't seeing a lot of action as Action in the North Atlantic so clearly demonstrates. Bad enough when the Lend lease was to Great Britain, but when we became allies with the Soviets the only places it could go were the ports of Murmansk and Archangel when they were ice free. That meant a voyage along the long Norwegian coast line which was occupied by Germany.
Bogart and Massey give strong portrayals of dedicated merchant seaman whose life is tough enough in peace time. But they certainly have the right stuff in time of war. Some of the crew of their ship is Dane Clark, Sam Levene, Peter Whitney, and Alan Hale who really steals every scene he's in.
Action in the North Atlantic is filled with a lot of the flag waving that characterized Hollywood era World War II films. The derring do heroics are kept to a minimum. The situations the seaman encounter are quite real for the perilous undertaking they were involved in.
It could probably be remade today and maybe with some of today's stars showing a new generation what it was like to be a merchant seaman in World War II>
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