Skip to comments.The Cruel Sea (1953)
Posted on 03/28/2014 9:50:24 PM PDT by rlmorel
Opening in the autumn of 1939 just as the Battle of the Atlantic begins, Lieutenant-Commander George Ericson, a British Merchant Navy and Royal Naval Reserve officer, is recalled to the Royal Navy and given command of HMS Compass Rose, a newly built Flower class corvette intended for convoy escort duties. His sub-lieutenants, Lockhart and Ferraby, are both newly commissioned and without experience at sea.
The new first lieutenant, James Bennett (Stanley Baker), is an abusive martinet. Despite these initial disadvantages, the ship's company gains hard experience and becomes an effective fighting unit. At first their worst enemy is the weather...
I was very surprised to see this actor below...recognize him?
And the angles and shots were very, very good, I thought in many scenes, including this one where a guy is yelling out the order for the British equivalent of the Special Sea and Anchor Detail.
The footage of ships in heavy seas was very typical...I spent a few months in the North Atlantic back in the Seventies, and it brought back some memories there.
The difference in the use of filmed models and film footage almost made the movie seem like it had been directed by two different people in turn. But I thought the acting throughout was very good.
Saw ‘Sink the Bismarck’ not long ago, might have some similarities, the Brits used those little planes, World War I vintage to attack that ship.
An uncle joined the Coast Guard in 1942 so he could provide valuable war service by protecting girls at the beach ;)
He got out of training, was sent on the North Africa invasion and spent the rest of the war on convoy escort in the North Atlantic.
When I asked him about it what I got back was &@$£¥%#!!! Coast Guard.
The movie is superb. The book is even better.
I downloaded the “Sink the Bismarck” in B&W on torrent, I still yet to see that “The Cruel Sea.” My grandpa gave me DVD of the “Battle of Britain.” Seems some British breeds are born warriors, that’s why retaking Falkland almost piece of a cake.
The Battle of the North Atlantic was a cruel war with very little quarter given by the U-boats or the weather.
Then again, pretty much any movie with Jack Hawkins is going to be good. And Stanley "I'm the first leftentant and don't you forget it" Baker -- he is just excellent. "Snorkers, good-oh!"
The line in the movie that says it all, though, that says it all about a lot of things, is when the Captain wearily explains his bad mood: "It's the war. It's the whole bloody war."
In that trailer, when Hawkins was speaking to a subordinate, and he called him;”...number one...”. it stirred my memory:
Where have I heard that voice saying a VERY similar thing? (calling someone a number)
Then it came to me -
In the first Star Trek pilot “The Cage,” Majel Barrett was “Number One.” She was later Nurse Chapel in the series.
I once saw a documentary that explored the old movie making technologies. The hardest scenes to recreate via modeling were ships at sea and fire. The sea scenes were model ships placed in tanks of water and it was almost impossible to create an artifical wave on such a small scale that would look realistic.....
An excellent movie - one of the best. Despite the carping about blending scenes with actual footage, it is a superb tribute to the men who fought the battle of the Atlantic.
It’s one of the few war movies I’d recommend (the other two are the Bridges at Toko Ri and Sands of Iwo Jima).
My father joined the CG for very much the same reason at the end of 1940, he felt there was going to be a war. Spent the end of 1941 through the 1944 on convoy escort.
Was sent West to Kali to pick up a new ship for the invasion of Japan. His opinion was very much the same as your Uncle.
I’m not a book person. I have read very few books in my life, but when I was a teenager, I read “The Cruel Sea” and was enthralled by it. I recall being scared to death, as I was transported aboard the “HMS Compass Rose”.
This was filmed in 1941..It's the classic home front rally the people type of movie, made when the war's outcome was still in the balance. It's a great film..
The "ocean scenes" look like they were made in a swimming pool with an 8mm camera..
I've long wondered if adding soap to breakup the water's surface tension, or using some entirely different liquid could have achieved better results?
Me too. Really captures the tragedy of the lost lives. Bill Holden really did a great job in that role.
I was an Army Brat in Japan, 1951-1961.
We made six crossings of the Pacific on MSTS during that decade.
MSTS was often called “The Army’s Navy.” Civilian skipper and crew, named for long dead Army heros. Our last trip back was on the General W. A. Mann into Oakland, CA.
Troops on the fantail and bow. Military dependents in five levels, bunched in tiny staterooms in the midsection. Two weeks at sea on each crosing.