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The Enemy Below (1957)

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During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director:

Dick Powell

Writers:

Wendell Mayes (screenplay), D.A. Rayner (novel) (as Commander D.A. Rayner)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Capt. Murrell
Curd Jürgens ... Von Stolberg (as Curt Jurgens)
David Hedison ... Lt. Ware (as Al Hedison)
Theodore Bikel ... 'Heinie' Schwaffer
Russell Collins ... Doctor
Kurt Kreuger ... Von Holem
Frank Albertson ... Lt. Crain
Biff Elliot ... Quartermaster
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Storyline

During World War II, the USS Haynes, an American destroyer escort discovers a German U-boat in the South Atlantic. A deadly duel between the two ships ensues, and Captain Murrell must draw upon all his experience to defeat the equally experienced German commander. Written by Linda Adams <Garridon@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The death battle of the sub-killer and the killer-sub ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

17 January 1958 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Obračun na Atlantiku See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,910,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The slogan in the U-boat ("Führer befiehl, wir folgen") translates as "The leader commands, we follow". See more »

Goofs

After the submarine bottoms, Capt. Murrel orders the engine room to reduce turbine speed slowly, supposedly to fool the submarine into believing the ship has gone away. This would never work, because the only way to slow is to reduce propeller speed. This change is obvious to even the most inexperienced sonar operator, and they would never be fooled into thinking the escort had departed. See more »

Quotes

Doctor: Remember our talk on the bridge - the weighty one, death and destruction? You might be interested to know that I've seen another reason for hope. Found it in a funny place, too... in the middle of an ocean, right in the middle of a war.
Captain Murrell: You had to come a long way to find it, though, didn't you, Doc?
Doctor: It was worth the trip.
Captain Murrell: Maybe.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: WORLD WAR II THE SOUTH ATLANTIC See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
(My Comrade) (uncredited)
Music by Friedrich Silcher (1825)
Lyrics from the poem by Ludwig Uhland (1809)
Arranged by Leigh Harline
Sung at the funeral
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Landlubbers will get a mild education on destroyer vs. sub warfare in this one.
4 August 2006 | by DeusvoltSee all my reviews

Since WWI, most people thought of the submarine as the hunter. Hitler called them his "wolves." But towards the middle of WWII, with the use of sonars, air reconnaissance and fast destroyers, the U-boat's mastery of sea warfare came to an end. For comments and statistics on the survival chances of German U-boat crews, watch Das Boot and The Eagle Has Landed.

I always thought Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), with Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster), was the older movie because it was in black and white while this was in color. Aside from the color, Enemy was also better technically crafted overall. But for me what puts Enemy well over Run Silent is the very effective characterization of the enemy U-boat Commander (portrayed by Curd Jurgens). In Run Silent, the captain and the crew of the Japanese destroyer hunting the American sub were practically faceless unknowns.

I notice that the U-boat commander has a "von" in his name indicating a noble lineage. Same as George Ritter von Trapp (of the famous singing family)a baron who commanded a U-boat in WWI. I understand the Kriegsmarine attracted a better class of educated and highly cultured people which is why the infamous Heydrich was cashiered from the German navy under the Weimar Republic. Incidentally, the US Navy was led to victory in the Pacific by another descendant of the Prussian junkers class, the petty nobility whose members usually made a career of the military. That would be Chester von Nimitz although his immediate ancestors gave up the "von" when they settled in the New World.

Dick Powell, singer and light comedy actor did a fantastic job writing the screenplay and directing this movie.


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