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The Enemy Below (1957)

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2:17 | Trailer
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 Deadliest Cat and Mouse Game of the Sea! 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

Average Shot Length = ~8.7 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~6.3 seconds. See more »

Goofs

When the German "detonators" are activated, pendulums start swinging. Pendulums are NEVER used aboard ship. The normal rocking of a ship in a seaway makes pendulums an unreliable method of activating a timing device. 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

Edited into Wonder Woman: Formula 407 (1977) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A classic!
8 September 2004 | by kalexSee all my reviews

Have to agree with "bob the moo" on this one. I've seen it probably two dozen times, and will see it many more, I'm sure. One of my favorite "war" movies (w/Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens as destroyer and submarine captains, respectively). My other faves are "Platoon," "Full Metal Jacket," "Decision Before Dawn," (w/Oskar Werner and Richard Basehart--most excellent!), and of course, Kubrick's "Paths of Glory," w/Kirk Douglas, Adoph Menjou and George MacReady.

More than a blood-and-guts war movie (though it has plenty of terrific action scenes), it's more of a man-vs-man "cat and mouse" story. Absolutely excellent direction (by Dick Powell) and some terrific cinematography. Terrific scene between Jurgens and Theodore Bikel (who plays his Exec. Officer), that is nothing but facial gestures and eyebrows.

A very "moral" tale, it shows that even sworn enemies serving their countries in wartime can show respect and compassion toward each other, especially since they're all men-of-the-sea: sailors. Conversations between Mitchum and his ship's doctor and between Jurgens and his exec officer mirror each other. Note the scene of the American sailors pulling the German sailors aboard their lifeboats near the end; Mitchum helping rescue the U-boat captain and his exec after ramming them.

Great tale, well-scripted, acted, directed and shot. An model of how to make a terrific story into a movie.


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