14 user 4 critic

The Silver Fleet (1943)

Jaap van Leyden (Sir Ralph Richardson) 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 ... See full summary »


Vernon Sewell (as Vernon Campbell Sewell), Gordon Wellesley


Vernon Sewell (as Vernon Campbell Sewell), Gordon Wellesley




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 ... Cornelis Smit
Margaret Emden Margaret Emden ... Bertha
George Schelderup George Schelderup ... Dirk
Neville Mapp ... Joop
Ivor Barnard ... Admiral


Jaap van Leyden (Sir Ralph Richardson) 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


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


Drama | War


See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This opening prologue is a quotation from writer John Webster (1580?-1634) from his play The Duchess of Malfi, Act IV, Scene 2. It states: "I know death hath ten thousand several doors. For men to take their exits." See more »


Jaap van Leyden: The truth is that a Nation will only live as long as it has people ready to die.
[spoken and diary entry]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

For men to take their exits". See more »


Piet Hein's Name Is Short
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 »

User Reviews

Aside from a slightly overlong ending and preachy ending, a very good wartime propaganda film
2 April 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The Silver Fleet" is a reference to a fleet of Dutch ships that managed to score a huge victory over the Spanish back in 1628. Not only was this title used because the film was about the Dutch resistance to the Nazis, but because the anonymous leader of the resistance at the shipyards called himself Pieter Heyn--the man who commanded this Dutch fleet in the 17th century.

The film begins with the capitulation of the Dutch when they were invaded by the Germans in 1940. At that time, the head of a local Dutch shipyard, Jaap van Leyden (Ralph Richardson), was asked by the Nazis to re-open the yard and begin building ships for the Axis. Van Leyden realizes he really has no choice--the Nazis WILL begin building ships there. So, he agrees to run the shipyard for the Nazis and is outwardly a real Hitler-lover. However, his real plan is to use his position to vandalize the ships. But, because EVERYONE (including his own family) believes he's a collaborator, his life is very difficult. What acts of sabotage will this 'Pieter Heyn' perpetrate? See the film.

I like the quiet nature of this movie. It is very patriotic but only at the end did it go overboard to sentimentality and ultra-patriotism. Up until then, it was a solid thriller and seemed very realistic. The end was good but his letter and the things leading up to it went on a bit too long--though this was the style during WWII--to make everything obvious and rousing. Had the ending been a bit more subdued, I think it would have aged a bit better. Still, Richardson and the rest were wonderful and the film kept my interest from start to finish.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

1 July 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Silver Fleet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed