5.2/10
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Hell Boats (1970)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 20 March 1970 (Denmark)
An American commander, serving under the British Royal Navy in 1942, is assigned to blockade the island of Malta and told to formulate a plan to destroy the Nazi arsenal in Sicily.

Director:

Paul Wendkos

Writers:

Anthony Spinner (screenplay), Donald Ford (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franciscus ... Lt. Comdr. Jeffords, R.N.V.R.
Elizabeth Shepherd ... Alison
Ronald Allen ... Comdr. Ashurst, R.N.
Reuven Bar-Yotam ... C.P.O. Yacov (as Reuven Bar Yotam)
Mark Hawkins Mark Hawkins ... Lieut. Barlow, R.N.
Magda Konopka ... Luciana
Drewe Henley ... Sub. Lt. Johnson, R.N.
Inigo Jackson Inigo Jackson ... C.P.O. Stanhope
Takis Emmanuel ... Salvatore
Philip Madoc ... 'E' Boat Captain
John G. Heller ... Rheinhardt
David Savile David Savile ... Lieut. Wallace, R.N.
Sean Barrett ... Sub. Lt. Hendrickson, R.N.V.R.
Bernard Davies Bernard Davies ... Cramer
Moultrie Kelsall ... Vice Admiral Ashurst
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Storyline

An American commander, serving under the British Royal Navy in 1942, is assigned to blockade the island of Malta and told to formulate a plan to destroy the Nazi arsenal in Sicily.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their job: HIT IT HEAD-ON! Their target: HELL-ON-EARTH!

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1970 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Baskin See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Mangela, Malta See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Moultrie Kelsall replaced Ronald Adam. See more »

Goofs

In the opening battle scene, the colliding boats explode before they hit each other. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Understated and Sensitive
2 February 2007 | by no2-10See all my reviews

Superficially it's a war drama of the tiny motor torpedo boats which did much unsung work in WW2, but the naval battles merely provide an exciting story in which an even more special romantic drama is wrapped up. The difficult love triangle involves the stuffy, awkward Brit and his unhappy wife, complicated by the arrival of the flamboyant American. The three play their parts beautifully as the tension rises; husband suspects wife, she is agonisingly torn between the two, lover tries to win her over.

Additionally there is an element of professional respect between the officers, which only serves to frustrate their base instincts, as the competent yet uncertain Brit tries to hold onto both a command and a wife he knows he doesn't deserve, and the daring yet sensitive American (a divorcée?) starts to see some semblance of bravery fighting to break out from the Brit's inhibited facade. Very like real life, the path of love does not run true, and the result is thus more realistic than one would expect from a movie. The madcap plans to outwit the enemy mimic perhaps, the deceptions played out in the romance.

This may not be a totally memorable film, but it has some finely understated beauty, which quietly avoids using hackneyed stereotypes, and mawkish efforts at pathos.


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