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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 U-Boat seen in this movie is far roomier and more spacious, cleaner and tidier than the real German U-boats of World War II (which were more realistically depicted in the later movie Das Boot (1981)). During the Second World War, these subs did not have passageways and private rooms and were dirty and cramped. Since the U-boat's "head" (toilet) could not be used at depth, the crew was forced to use buckets which, during depth charge attacks, frequently spilled. It was said that when a U-boat returned to base the smell inside the boat was enough to make dockworkers who went aboard vomit. See more »

Goofs

World War 2 destroyer escorts had two main engines and two propellers. Underwater shots of the model used in the movie show only one propeller. See more »

Quotes

Von Stolberg: [listening on hydrophone] Now American, turn the right way and I'll give you a pretty present.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #9.22 (1959) 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

 
Tense and intriguing WWII submarine drama about an implacable sea chase
3 September 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Inexorable duel of great stars into a submarine and a destroyer . During World War II, an American destroyer escort 'USS Haynes' (it was played by the real 'USS Whitehurst') captained by a tough skipper (Robert Mitchum) meets a German U-Boat commanded by an intelligent captain (Curt Jurgens) . Both captains are good ones, and the engagement lasts for a considerable time . Both of them pursuit one another and square off in the South Atlantic . This movie's closing epilogue states: "Twentieth Century-Fox wishes to thank the Department of Defense and the United States Navy for their assistance in the production of this motion picture."

Thrilling as well as exciting battle of wits between two skippers who gradually come to respect each other . Both of whom are a compellingly balanced match as two clever as well astute captains . This nail-biter is a tightly-knit drama centered on the relentless sea maneuvers of a destroyer going after a submarine and vice versa . The film is famous as one of the best WWII submarine movies, though some scenes at sea, however, suffer from the utilization of obvious models in a just as obvious studio tank . Interesting screenplay , being based on the novel by D.A. Rayner and the book and it's dust-jacket can be seen at the beginning of one of this movie's trailers . German player Curt Jurgens made his major mark on the international scene and it was American movie debut for German actor . The cast spent about a month filming on board this vessel. Many of the crew of the 'USS Whitehurst' appeared in this movie. Secondary cast is frankly good such as Theodor Bikel , Frank Albertson , Russell Collins , and this picture marks the feature film movie debuts for David Hedison -as Al Hedison- and Doug McClure . 20th Century-Fox production notes for this movie from the AMPAS Library declare that the 'USS Whitehurst' was a battle-hardened veteran from the Second World War which had during World War II been stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Harold Rosson's colorful and vivid cinematography , including spectacular maritime scenes , though set in the South Atlantic Ocean of World War II, this movie's ocean scenes were filmed in the Pacific Ocean. . The motion picture was stunningly directed by former movie star Dick Powell who efficiently captures the claustrophobic up and undersea tension ,; this was one of the final theatrically released movies of director Dick Powell who soon after worked exclusively in television.

This suspenseful sea epic represents one of a select group of a few World War II submarine movies which have won the one single Academy Award in a technical category, that's just only the one Oscar in either special effects or sound editing. These movies include ¨Crash Dive¨ ; ¨Torpedo Run¨ and ¨U-571¨. The non-WW II sub-movie, ¨The Hunt for Red October¨ also won just the one Oscar as did the WW 2 part sub-movie 49th Parallel , but for Best Original Story . Furthermore , other important films about submarine are ¨Run Silent Run Deep¨, ¨Crimson tide¨ by Tony Scott with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman; ¨K19¨ with Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson and the best ¨Das Boot¨ (1982) by Wolfgang Petersen with Jurgen Prochnow .


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