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Under Ten Flags (1960)

Sotto dieci bandiere (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 15 September 1960 (USA)
German raider, using various disguises, forces British ship to surrender. Story told from German point of view.

Director:

Duilio Coletti

Writers:

Bernhard Rogge (diaries), Vittoriano Petrilli (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Heflin ... Captain Bernhard Rogge
Charles Laughton ... Admiral Russell
Mylène Demongeot ... Zizi (as Mylene Demongeot)
John Ericson ... Krüger
Cecil Parker ... Col. Howard
Folco Lulli ... Paco
Alex Nicol ... Knoche
Liam Redmond ... Windsor
Eleonora Rossi Drago ... Elsa
John Lee
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... Adm. Benson
Grégoire Aslan ... Master of Abdullah (as Gregoire Aslan)
Peter Carsten ... Lt. Mohr
Helmut Schmid
Gian Maria Volontè ... Samuel Braunstein (as Gianmaria Volontè)
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Storyline

In 1941, the British Admiralty is worried about the large number of Allied ships being destroyed in the Pacific Ocean by a mysterious enemy vessel. Initially, British Admiral Russell suspects that a German submarine is the culprit. However, the few revealed pieces of the mystery point to a German Navy surface warship.The British don't know it yet but the enemy ship in question is the German raider Atlantis commanded by Captain Rogge.His success in sneaking upon unsuspecting enemy vessels is due in large part on Atlantis' ability to disguise itself in a benign, non-combatant, neutral ship.To achieve this ruse, the Atlantis uses props, camouflage, paint, fake foreign flags and even theatrical costumes for its crew to make itself appear something it's not.When Atlantis is close to its prey, it reveals its true identity and opens fire sinking the duped victim. Finally realizing the truth, Admiral Russell decides to set traps in order to persuade Atlantis to reveal its position to a ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The killer-ship of a thousand disguises ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Mason and Laurence Olivier were the two front runners for the role eventually played by Charles Laughton. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, the recon aircraft overflying the ship is a Grumman S2 ASW aircraft. The S2 went into service in the US Navy in the early 1950s, and was retired from the US Navy in 1976. Major clues are the Magnetic Anomaly Detector probe protruding from the aircraft tail, the ESM pod behind the pilot's position, and the floodlight on the outboard on the leading edge of the starboard wing. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: LONDON 1941

ADMIRALTY See more »

User Reviews

 
Great for history teachers....
24 April 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Under Ten Flags" may not be the most exciting war film ever made. It lacks the scope or star power of films like "The Guns of Navarone" or "The Eagle Has Landed". However, it more than makes up for it because unlike most war films, it's historically accurate--at least in all the major details. As a retired history teacher, I really, really appreciate that--as too many films play fast and loose with the facts. In this case, it's interesting enough that it didn't need a lot of embellishment.

The film is about a German ship that harassed British shipping in the Atlantic. It was able to do this so successfully because the ship appeared to be just another merchant ship. And, the title of the film is a comment about how the ship could quickly be changed to look like a boat from many different friendly nations. So, again and again, when British naval ships neared, the German craft changed appearances to make it seem quite innocuous. But, with torpedoes, guns and a crack crew, this was a very lethal ship. The problem for the British is that they needed to find it.

As for the captain of this German ship (played by Van Heflin), he was an interesting fellow. He was, foremost, a professional and not a Nazi party man. This made for many interesting moments in the film, as he tried to fight cleanly--in a manner that minimized deaths--especially to civilians. The contrast of this and some of his blood-thirsty Nazi crew was profound...and real.

Overall, a very interesting film because it was so unusual, thoughtful and well written. Well worth your time--especially if you want to see what WWII was really like.

By the way, being the history buff, I notice little details too--such as the striking blonde who is dressed and coiffed circa 1960--not WWII.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Under Ten Flags See more »

Filming Locations:

Syracuse, Sicily, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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