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The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)

Approved | | Action, War, Drama | 27 March 1956 (USA)
During World War II, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director:

José Ferrer

Writers:

Bryan Forbes (screenplay), Richard Maibaum (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
José Ferrer ... Major Geoffrey Stringer
Trevor Howard ... Captain Hugh Thompson
Dora Bryan ... Myrtle
Victor Maddern ... Marine Sgt. Craig
Anthony Newley ... Marine Clarke
David Lodge ... Marine Ruddock
Peter Arne ... Marine Corporal Stevens
Percy Herbert ... Marine Lomas
Graham Stewart Graham Stewart ... Marine Booth
John Fabian John Fabian ... Marine Cooney
John Van Eyssen John Van Eyssen ... Marine Bradley
Robert Desmond Robert Desmond ... Marine Todd
Walter Fitzgerald ... Gestapo Commandant
Karel Stepanek ... Assistant Gestapo Officer
Beatrice Campbell Beatrice Campbell ... Mrs. Ruddock
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Storyline

A Royal Marine Reserve Major must work with a veteran Captain and a group of incorrigible recruits to attempt what is generally regarded as a suicide mission: the covert destruction of an entire German shipyard in occupied France. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ten Brave Men Started Out on the Most Desperate Adventure of the War!

Genres:

Action | War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

27 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cockle Shell Heroes See more »

Filming Locations:

Portugal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Los Angeles Times" in April 1956 reported that this movie's United States Premiere in San Diego, California was attended by members of the United States Marine Corps. See more »

Goofs

When Thompson is recounting his career to Stringer in the Mess, the steward is seen to come in and exchange the near empty decanter for a fuller one. The steward is seen to remove a silver collar from the original and place it on the new decanter. Thompson picks up the new decanter and refills his glass. When he returns the decanter to the table, the collar has gone. See more »

Quotes

Captain Thompson: Corporal Stevens.
[Stevens steps forward and salutes, and Thompson returns the salute]
Captain Thompson: Do you usually let your men slouch about in that fashion?
Marine Stevens: No, sir. We've just finished an exercise, and...
Captain Thompson: I'm not interested in what you've finished.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue 1: The Marines were formed 28th. October, 1664. On 29th. April, 1802, His Majesty, King George III, directed that they should be styled THE ROYAL MARINES See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 31 March 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

A Life on the Ocean Wave
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Russell
Arranged by John Addison
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fine Film
3 April 2006 | by kbuc263924See all my reviews

I was ten-years-old, growing up during the war in England, when this, and other raids were being made against the Nazis.

In 1955, I had completed a three-year enlistment with the U.S. Marines, and therefore extremely interested in commando-style warfare.

"Cockleshell Heroes" was entertaining, even though Columbia Pictures capitalized on a suicide mission and glorified it, thus overlooking the rugged training, and horrible cost in lives.

Nonetheless, glory aside, the film triumphantly displays loyalty, dedication, that is the trademark of the Royal Marines. But after reading the first person account of the raid, you don't really appreciate what these heroic men did until you read the book.

The first misconception given in the film is that this was a commando unit, when in fact, the dozen selected, were regular Marines who volunteered. The hardships endured don't come across as hard in the movie as they do in the book. The loss of food, inability to move for hours at a stretch, not able to relieve themselves, are just a few of the oversights that would have shown the ruggedness of the mission.

However, even with some sour notes, I still like the film for showing the Marines as one of the best fighting forces in the world.


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