7.6/10
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The Cruel Sea (1953)

Approved | | Drama, War | 19 August 1953 (USA)
Trailer
2:16 | Trailer

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The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director:

Charles Frend

Writers:

Nicholas Monsarrat (by), Eric Ambler (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Hawkins ... Ericson
Donald Sinden ... Lockhart
John Stratton ... Ferraby
Denholm Elliott ... Morell
John Warner John Warner ... Baker
Stanley Baker ... Bennett
Bruce Seton ... Tallow
Liam Redmond ... Watts
Virginia McKenna ... Julie Hallam
Moira Lister ... Elaine Morell
June Thorburn ... Doris Ferraby
Megs Jenkins ... Tallow's Sister
Meredith Edwards ... Yeoman Wells
Glyn Houston ... Phillips
Alec McCowen ... Tonbridge
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Storyline

At the start of World War II, Cmdr. Ericson is assigned to convoy escort HMS Compass Rose with inexperienced officers and men just out of training. The winter seas make life miserable enough, but the men must also harden themselves to rescuing survivors of U-Boat attacks, while seldom able to strike back. Traumatic events afloat and ashore create a warm bond between the skipper and his first officer. Atmospheric sea footage. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Surging to Life on the Screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Det grymma havet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)| Mono (Gaumont Kalee)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

It was widely said at the time that if this film had been a Hollywood production both Jack Hawkins and Donald Sinden would have been nominated for Oscars. See more »

Goofs

When the Compass Rose is disabled and preparing for the night while the repairs are underway, the captain orders the utmost silence be kept to avoid detection by an enemy sub. On the other hand, the ASDIC has been merrily pinging away all the time for hours on the stationary ship, which submerged subs can of course hear across great distances. See more »

Quotes

Bennett: And I'm the First Lieutenant - I do all the work around here!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hitler: The Comedy Years (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Chestnut Tree
or "The Spreading Chestnut Tree" (uncredited)
Author unknown, perhaps traditional song
Sung by the sailors in the raft to keep wake
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Tribute to Tony Cox
4 February 2004 | by m0rphySee all my reviews

Tony Cox's review is one of the best I have ever read on Imdb and says it all with heartfelt passion, accurately describing the drama and characters motivations in this realistic film of anti U-boat sea warfare throughout WWII.I won't try to emulate his brilliant narrative but just add a few thoughts of my own.Jack Hawkins is always very watchable in any of his films as an actor and seems to inhabit the part of Ericsson, the skipper of "Compass Rose" and "Saltash Castle".He vividly portrays the professional and emotional sides of his character, especially when he utters "...its the war, the bloody war" with tear stained eyes.

One has to disabuse your mind of later Donald Sinden parts and his rather stagey voice and look dispassionatly at his early carrer as he portrays the new No.1 with an interest in learning first aid which inevitably comes in useful when tending the many merchant seaman they meet who have become torpedo victims.Can someone please tell me what "snorkers" are when applied to sausages, as I have never heard this expression, despite living in London all my life.Evidently Stanley Baker loves them!!

This film effectively portrays the whole gamut of wartime emotions from the long Atlantic naval voyage boredom, short moments of high danger and excitement, guilt about not rescuing your own men who need help, sorrow at losing loved ones, training men on new sciences (asdic) and even romance (Viginia McKenna).At the end one feels as though you had actually been on the corvette yourself with the crew.One of the most realistic WWII dramas I have ever seen (and I have all the classics in my library).I rated it 8/10.


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