13 user 2 critic

The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | June 1955 (USA)
In the North Sea in 1944, passengers of a downed Royal Air Force transport aircraft talk about their lives while awaiting rescue in their dinghy.


Lewis Gilbert


Lewis Gilbert (screenplay), John Harris (novel) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Redgrave ... Air Commodore Waltby
Dirk Bogarde ... Flight Sgt. MacKay
Anthony Steel ... Flying Officer Treherne
Nigel Patrick ... Flight Sgt. Singsby
Bonar Colleano ... Sgt. Kirby
James Kenney ... Cpl. Skinner
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Cpl. Robb
Griffith Jones ... Group Capt. Todd
Jack Watling ... Flying Officer Harding
Guy Middleton ... Squadron Leader Scott
Ian Whittaker Ian Whittaker ... A.C.2 Milliken
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Lt Patrick Boyle, Sea Otter Pilot
George Rose ... Tebbitt
Glyn Houston ... Knox
Victor Maddern ... Gus Westover


During autumn 1944, a Royal Air Force Hudson carrying a very important passenger in possession of highly secret information is shot down and ditches in the North Sea. Fighting the elements and trying to keep up morale, the occupants of the aircraft's dinghy talk about their lives awaiting the rescue they hope will come. This movie's title reflects the motto of the R.A.F.'s Air Sea Rescue Service, one of whose high speed launches battles against its own mechanical problems, enemy action, time, and the weather to locate and rescue the downed crew and the vital secret papers they carry. Written by Terry60

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SURGING DRAMA! Excitement that leaps from the screen!


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The title refers to the motto of the R.A.F.'s Directorate of Air Sea Rescue, which was created on February 6, 1941, and later became known as the "R.A.F. Search and Rescue Force". See more »


When Gp Capt Todd is speaking to Mrs Watley at the railway station two airmen wearing the three-bladed propellor badge of the Senior Aircraftman pass by. This rank was not introduced until 1950. See more »


[first lines]
Group Capt. Todd: My name is Group Captain Todd. During the war I commanded an RAF station on the east coast of England. This is the story some of the men of an air-sea rescue unit who served under my command. They didn't fly, but went to sea in high-speed launches. Their job - to rescue their comrades from the sea.
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Referenced in The Golden Gong (1985) See more »


The Man on the Flying Trapeze
Music by Gaston Lyle
Lyrics by George Leybourne
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User Reviews

War thriller at sea for efficient nail-biting, with Dirk Bogarde getting desperate..
20 September 2017 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This is a surprisingly efficient rendering of one of many rather unknown but important operations in the second world war, the rescuing of stranded air pilots shot down by Germans and landed in the North Sea. Sea Otters and boats had to search for them in bad weather and stormy seas amid mine fields and over vast areas, and sometimes some could be rescued, even if snatched right out of the claws of the enemy almost getting at them first. This film in addition features some excellent actors in leading roles, like Nigel Patrick as the almost bullying leader of the rescue crew, bu he just had to be like that, Michael Redgrave as custodian of state secrets at peril stranded in a dinghy in the middle of nowhere in the North Sea, with Dirk Bogarde in a critical role as a major security risk among the shipwrecked. The film is partly unbearable, as it doesn't hesitate to give a very intimate insight into the conditions of the stranded on board the dinghy in hard weather night and day on the threshold of death, but it is well worth waiting for the finale. Let's see if you have any nails left after that.

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Release Date:

June 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sea Shall Not Have Them See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Angel Productions, Apollo See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
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