Based upon the novel "The Good Shepherd" by C S Forester, this is the thrilling story of an Allied convoy crossing the North Atlantic in 1942 as it faces relentless attack by a German submarine wolf pack. The leader of the convoy's destroyer screen is a US Navy commander making his first Atlantic crossing. The story focuses on the his command responsibility as he fights the cold, the relentless night, the brutal sea, and his deep fatigue as he chases down the attacking submarines in the deadly game of cat and mouse. The exciting story, a thrilling ride-along with the beleaguered captain, so deeply portrays the elements of battle command that for a long period of time the book was used as a text at the US Naval Academy.Written by
A doodle can be seen with the accompanying text 'Kilroy was here'. This is a symbol that became popular during this time, where it was custom for American serviceman to draw it wherever they were stationed. See more »
In the movie, three of the four convoy escorts were large modern fleet destroyers - the Fletcher class USS Keeling/Greyhound, the Battle-class-looking HMS James/Harry, and the Grom-class-looking Polish ORP Viktor/Eagle. While such a mix of escorts at times did happen, it was very rare - a sizable majority of escort warships for North Atlantic convoys were ships that were usually smaller and slower, and, depending on type, were called frigates, corvettes, destroyer escorts, sloops, armed trawlers, sub chasers, coast guard cutters, minesweepers, and World War 1-era destroyers. The HMCS Dodge/Dicky was an example of such a ship, a smaller, slower Flower-class corvette.
These smaller ships were more dedicated for anti-submarine work, often having the same anti-sub armament as a full modern fleet destroyer. Fleet destroyers, however, with their higher speed, torpedo tubes, and more numerous and larger sized main guns, were more used to escort major warships and in other situation where they might see combat with enemy surface warships. See more »
Honestly, I decided to write a review to counter some of the more trivial reviews found in this thread and to try and present an objective perspective of this film.
Firstly, the dialogue in this movie is typical for a movie depicting World War II Naval life and is accurate to the time period. Do not watch this film if you expect anything other than period correct Naval terminology or the constant passing of orders between the captain and the crew, as you are not going to be satisfied with this movie. Ninety percent of the dialogue in this movie relates to the business of conducting asymmetrical naval combat in a high-speed situation and is way too short to have a grand introspective or extrospective expose on the psychology of warfare or one's place in the world. Sadly, the short length of this film prevents any adequate amount of time dedicated to forging interesting and dynamic characters or a complex plot with a villain that was somewhat pointless. If anything, the director should have lengthened the film to expound upon the narrative and bring our cautious, somewhat hesitant, captain to life or pick a handful of critical Sailors to develop a relationship with within 80-minute time constraint.
Secondly, there are better movies or shows that depict the Battle of the Atlantic which brings me to my second point. If anything; this film should have been broken into a mini-series, like Das Boot or a full feature series like Band of Brothers or The Pacific. Had the directors decided to embark upon that route, we could have had a significantly stronger plot and been able to identify with the characters in a more empathetic way. As a former United States Navy Sailor, I felt right at home with the style, accuracy, and briskness with which the film endeavored to portray. However, I did not find myself overly attached to any of the featured characters. In fact, the film attempts to "show" us that we should feel shocked, saddened, or disheartened by the plight of these Sailors, however, without any in-depth character development, I found it difficult for me to feel any more than somewhat saddened, and by the time that I did experience this emotion, the movie moved onto another chaotic event. Reflecting upon the movie now, maybe that is the point of the plot? Maybe, the film tries to showcase that the chaos of battle does not grant us a moment of emotional expression aside from the adrenaline rush of combat or a life-threatening event. In any case, if you are looking for significant character development, and a grander view of the Battle of the Atlantic at large, this is certainly not the film for you.
Lastly, I do not, in any capacity, feel like I wasted an hour and half of my life like some of the other viewers felt. For me, it was a nostalgic trip back into an old life that I long forgotten and I enjoyed every minute of this film despite its shortcomings. Has Tom Hanks done better? Certainly. Did I think he did a poor job with this film? Absolutely not. While my main complaint is that this film could have been significantly longer, I am left with a desire to want to explore more in regards to the treacherous Battle of the Atlantic and the men of all nations who participated.
Overall - I was pleasantly surprised with this movie, and while I felt that this film could have been produced as its own mini-series in order to develop the plot and the characters better, I thoroughly enjoyed my time, and I am sure I will return to it again in the future.
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