6.6/10
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10 user 2 critic

The Silent Enemy (1958)

In the Mediterranean in 1941 the Italians start using underwater chariots to mine the undersides of allied ships. Explosives expert Lionel Crabbe arrives in Gibraltar to organise defenses, ... See full summary »

Director:

William Fairchild

Writers:

Marshall Pugh (adapted from the book "Commander Crabb" by), William Fairchild (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Harvey ... Lieutenant Crabb, R.N.V.R.
Dawn Addams ... Third Officer Jill Masters, W.R.N.S.
Michael Craig ... Leading Seaman Knowles
John Clements John Clements ... The Admiral
Sidney James ... Chief Petty Officer Thorpe
Alec McCowen ... Able Seaman Morgan
Nigel Stock ... Able Seaman Fraser
Ian Whittaker Ian Whittaker ... Ordinary Seaman Thomas
Arnoldo Foà ... Tomolino (as Arnoldo Foa)
Gianna Maria Canale ... Conchita
Massimo Serato ... Forzellini
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ... Rosati (as Giacomo Rossi-Stuart)
Carlo Giustini Carlo Giustini ... Fellini (as Carlo Justini)
Raymond Young ... Celloni
David Lodge ... Sergeant
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Storyline

In the Mediterranean in 1941 the Italians start using underwater chariots to mine the undersides of allied ships. Explosives expert Lionel Crabbe arrives in Gibraltar to organise defenses, but finds only two British divers available to help him. Even more worrying, it seems likely that the Italians are secretly using neutral Spain across the bay as their key base. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1958 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Froschmann Crabb See more »

Filming Locations:

Gibraltar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Romulus Films,Remus See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie's dedication states: "This film is dedicated to the frogmen of all nations who have died beneath the sea and in particular to the memory of Commander Lionel Crabb, G.M., R.N.V.R." [See: Lionel Crabb]. See more »

Goofs

When Crabbe and his divers are diving on the aircraft wreck to search for the briefcase, they come upon an aircraft engine that is supposed to be from the wreck.. the engine has no carburetor and a couple of the valve covers are missing. Obviously, this was not a running engine. See more »

Quotes

Ordinary Seaman Thomas: We really have got the job haven't we? You won't change your mind?
Lieutenant Crabb, R.N.V.R.: Not unless you change yours.
Ordinary Seaman Thomas: Oh no, sir, but there is one small point I think I should mention...
Lieutenant Crabb, R.N.V.R.: What's that?
Ordinary Seaman Thomas: I can't swim!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ALEXANDRIA

DECEMBER 19th. 1941. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fantastic blend of history and adventure
29 July 2001 | by jeffchanSee all my reviews

A superb wartime adventure, the Silent Enemy is the true story of Lieutenant Crabbe, a Royal Navy bomb and mine disposal officer sent to Gibraltar on a urgent mission to undo damage being inflicted on the fleet by sly Italian frogmen led by a brilliant underwater engineer. Though he has never dived before Crabbe takes to the underwater world like a fish, and with the help of a plucky NCO and dedicated but tiny band of men turns back the hidden menace. Crabbe and his courageous crew ultimately stop the Italian 10th Flotilla divers from turning the tide of the war.

Characters and acting are sharp. Cinematography and staging on land and especially underwater are very good. Writing is great too. The military historical significance is that these underwater demolition techniques and technologies are the precursors of modern Navy SEALs, Special Boat Squads, etc. The movie significance is that the characters and plot elements foreshadow every James Bond and action movie that's ever had frogmen, underwater fight scenes, secret ships, mini-subs, or stealty sub-surface saboteurs. Being drawn from real life, I found The Silent Enemy even more compelling.


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