6.9/10
373
13 user 3 critic

The Silver Fleet (1943)

Jaap van Leyden is in charge of a shipyard in newly occupied Holland. At first he collaborates with the Germans because it is the easiest course to follow. Later a child's rhyme reminds him... See full summary »

Directors:

Vernon Sewell (as Vernon Campbell Sewell), Gordon Wellesley

Writers:

Vernon Sewell (as Vernon Campbell Sewell), Gordon Wellesley
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Richardson ... Jaap van Leyden
Googie Withers ... Helène van Leyden
Esmond Knight ... von Schiffer
Beresford Egan Beresford Egan ... Krampf
Frederick Burtwell Frederick Burtwell ... Captain Müller
Kathleen Byron ... Schoolmistress
Willem Akkerman ... Willem van Leyden
Dorothy Gordon ... Janni Peters
Charles Victor Charles Victor ... Bastiaan Peters
John Longden ... Jost Meertens
Joss Ambler Joss Ambler ... Cornelis Smit
Margaret Emden Margaret Emden ... Bertha
George Schelderup George Schelderup ... Dirk
Neville Mapp Neville Mapp ... Joop
Ivor Barnard ... Admiral
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Storyline

Jaap van Leyden is in charge of a shipyard in newly occupied Holland. At first he collaborates with the Germans because it is the easiest course to follow. Later a child's rhyme reminds him of his patriotic duty, but how best to resist the Nazis without endangering his wife and fellow workers ? Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DANGERS OF DEVOTION! to a woman DISGRACE! to a man DISHONOR! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

P.H. contre Gestapo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film's opening prologue is a quotation from writer John Webster (1580?-1634) from his play The Duchess of Malfi, Act IV, Scene 2 [See: The Duchess of Malfi (1938) ; Stage 2: The Duchess of Malfi (1972); Rehearsal: The Killings of Cariola (1992) & Hotel (2001)]. It states: "I know death hath ten thousand several doors. For men to take their exits." See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "I know death hath ten thousand several doors

For men to take their exits". See more »

Soundtracks

Piet Hein's Name Is Short
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Jan Pieter Heije
English Lyrics by Tommie Connor
Music by Johannes Viotta
Arranged by Allan Gray
Sung by the teacher and the students in the school
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Submarine sabotage
28 May 2016 | by Alex da SilvaSee all my reviews

Dutch shipyard owner Ralph Richardson (van Leyden) works with the Nazis to allow his yard to manufacture submarines. Only does he? He certainly is at the helm in his organization to the extent that the townspeople don't trust him or his family that includes wife Googie Withers (Helene) and son Willem Akkerman (Willem). At the same time, the mysterious Piet Hein is masterminding some anti-Nazi underground sabotage. Can the 2 planned submarines be completed for Nazi use or can Piet Hein and his colleagues win the day?

First of all, the identity of Piet Hein is obvious from the very beginning but this is not to the detriment of the film. Just the opposite. It is necessary for the audience to know who he is in order for the film to work. The main cast – Richardson and Withers - are good and that includes young Willem Ackerman. I don't normally like kids in films but he plays his part well. However, at the opposite end of the spectrum, Bobby Davro turns up to play a comedy Gestapo officer with scrunched up face, woeful accent and typical comedy shouty Nazi attitude, He is dreadful! The film loses a mark for his performance given that he has so much screen time. Davro should just stick to performing bellyflops as he is most recently famous for.

The story doesn't rush things but this adds to the sentimentality of the proceedings at the film's end when the idea of human sacrifice comes into play. It's a sad end that is aimed to rally the audience to support the war effort and be brave. The film is told in flashback by Withers as she reads a diary and it is a good mechanism to unravel the story.


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