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Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

Passed | | Action, Drama, War | 12 June 1943 (USA)
Trailer
2:15 | Trailer

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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.

Directors:

Lloyd Bacon, Byron Haskin (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

John Howard Lawson (screenplay), Guy Gilpatric (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Lt. Joe Rossi
Raymond Massey ... Capt. Steve Jarvis
Alan Hale ... Boats O'Hara
Julie Bishop ... Pearl O'Neill
Ruth Gordon ... Mrs. Sarah Jarvis
Sam Levene ... Abel 'Chips' Abrams
Dane Clark ... Johnnie Pulaski
Peter Whitney ... Whitey Lara
Dick Hogan ... Cadet Ezra Parker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Virginia Christine ... Pebbles (scenes deleted)
Ray Montgomery ... Aherne (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. thunderous story of the men of the merchant marine!

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

12 June 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heroes Without Uniforms See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Barbara, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,600,000, 31 December 1943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two replica ships were built on the Warner Brothers sound stages before John Howard Lawson's screenplay for this movie was even completed. See more »

Goofs

The Liberty ship "John Fitch" is launched twice during the closing montage. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Joe Rossi: [about Wright's gun crew] They're takin' 'em kinda young these days, ain't they?
Ens. Wright: We're *getting* them young, Mr. Rossi, we're not taking them. Those boys all volunteered for this duty.
Lt. Joe Rossi: Don't get me wrong, Ensign, I'm not objecting to their youth. I'm all for it.
Ens. Wright: They've all been trained for this job.
Lt. Joe Rossi: Well, I hope so, because just between you and me, Mr. Wright, I don't think *my* men could hit the deck with their hats.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The colorized version and many b&w TV prints, are edited to fit a two-hour time slot. Most of the cuts involve the interactions of the crew (notably Alan Hale Sr) in the rec room and virtually all of Raymond Massey's domestic scenes with Ruth Gordon with the exception of his actual arrival home. Also omitted are most of the scenes of the cook, extended scenes of the destruction of Massey's ship early on as well as several interstitial and transitional scenes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in McHale's Navy: Movies Are Your Best Diversion (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
(uncredited)
aka "The Red, White and Blue"
Played when the Seawitch heads out to sea
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Far Crueler Ocean...
3 March 2007 | by annatropeSee all my reviews

This comparatively little-known film should have done for the Merchant Sailors of WWII what "The Cruel Sea" did for the image of the Royal Navy. The men who sailed the convoy ships were treated appallingly by the owners of the vessels they crewed, who indeed where quick to institute "retroactive stoppage of pay" clauses upon receiving word of a ship's being lost. They also were subject to verbal --even physical-- abuse by their own countrymen, who routinely mistook them for "Service Shirkers". "Action" is one of the few films that gives them their due.

This film is remarkable on many counts. Not only is the acting rock solid, and the story in itself a fine "sea saga", but the director has managed to avoid many potential pitfalls thrown into in his path by the War (Propaganda?) Department. The obligatory leave-taking scenes are touching, but not maudlin; the even more obligatory "speech-making" is impassioned, but never embarrassingly so. And the Enemy is portrayed as a thoroughly competent if ruthless professional, as dedicated to his own trade as the convoy Sailors are to theirs. (I for one did not find the lack of English "subtitles" a problem --I could pretty well figure out what the U-Boat skipper and his crew were up to.)

To repeat my opening comments,-- this film, though not as well-circulated as "The Cruel Sea", certainly should rank as its equal.


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