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.
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>
Near the end of the picture, as the ship is nearing Murmansk, several Russian airplanes fly out to meet them. One of the pilots keeps gunning his engine in short bursts. There are three short bursts followed by a long one. Movie audiences of the 1940s would immediately recognize this as the three dots and a dash of the Morse code "V". "V for Victory" was heavily used as a slogan during World War II. 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 »
I got faith in God, President Roosevelt, and the Brooklyn Dodgers in the order of their importance.
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Humphrey Bogart was a full fledged star when he made this film. Other Hollywood stars not in the military at the time including John Wayne and Errol Flynn were winning the war on screen so why not Bogart. "Action In The North Atlantic" was a natural.
Bogie Plays Joe Rossi, a first mate on a Merchant Marine freighter. The ship gets blown out of the sea and rammed by a Nazi Sub. Bogie gets a new ship, the ship gets even, and delivers their cargo to their destination(Russia of all places).
All of the typical war movie stereotypes are there. Raymond Massey in a departure from his many villainous roles of that era was the father figure Captain. The Warner Brothers Stock Company were all there led by Alan Hale, Sam Levine, and Dane Clark( who for the first time in his career used this name given to him by Bogart--previously he acted under his real name Bernard Zanville).
In addition, Ruth Gordon and Julie Bishop are there for the perfunctory wife/girlfriend scenes.
The title says it all. Except for a few scenes on land most of the film takes place on board ship. Lloyd Bacon and Raoul Walsh(uncredited)make the battle scenes realistic with the guidance of Byron Haskin.
The dialogue some of which was written by John Howard Lawson came under some controversy. In the 1950s Lawson was named as one of the Hollywood 10 and was blacklisted. As relations between the US and Russia deteriorated anti communist factions pointed to this film as pro russian.
In truth this is a one of the great WWII dramas. It is a stirring tribute to the unsung heroes of the conflict, the Merchant Marines
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