An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
Lieutenant Joe Rossi is 1st Officer on a Liberty Ship in a great convoy bound from Halifax to Murmansk. After German subs crushed the convoy his ship loses the convoy and is heading alone to Murmansk. In spite of attacks by German planes and subs he get the ship safely to Murmansk...Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
According to the book "Bill Collins Presents the Golden Years of Hollywood", "For certain scenes, amazingly created on the screen, a replica of a ten thousand-ton tanker was built inside Warner Brothers sound stages six and seven. Each stage contained one half the ship's hull and deck-housing fixtures. This ship had to be torpedoed with its gasoline cargo on fire [for the movie]. Then a Liberty Ship was constructed on the same two sound stages for later scenes in the film. Furthermore, the size of these sets prohibited their being fixed on rocking equipment. The rocking had to come from the camera, so the camera was mounted on a crane to simulate movement!" See more »
Harness support cables are visible when Jarvis abandons ship and climbs down the knotted rope. See more »
Capt. Steve Jarvis:
[to a departing German U-boat after it has rammed his survivor lifeboat]
Go on, laugh, you apes! You've had your blood and fire to make you laugh, but I swear to God our time is comin'! We'll pay ya back! We'll hunt ya down and slice ya like a piece of cheese!
Lt. Joe Rossi:
Oh, they can't hear you.
Capt. Steve Jarvis:
No, but God can.
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The colorized version and many b&w TV prints, are edited to fit a two-hour time slot. Most of the cuts involve the interactions of the crew (notably Alan Hale Sr) in the rec room and virtually all of Raymond Massey's domestic scenes with Ruth Gordon with the exception of his actual arrival home. Also omitted are most of the scenes of the cook, extended scenes of the destruction of Massey's ship early on as well as several interstitial and transitional scenes. See more »
"Let me tell you something about my iron nerve, son..."
Well this is one movie title that's certainly not misleading. There's tons of action in this gripping WW2 movie about the Merchant Marine. I might even go so far as to say it's got the best and most realistic action sequences from any WW2 movie I've seen. I'm talking about movies made during the era not stuff made decades later with a gazillion dollar budget, of course. The story's about an American tanker crew that survives their ship being sunk by a German U-boat and spend eleven days adrift at sea before being rescued. They later return to sea on a Liberty ship leading a convoy. Once again they have to deal with the Nazis.
What's not to like? It's a WW2 movie with colorful Warner Bros. character actors Alan Hale, Dane Clark, Peter Whitney, and Sam Levene backing up Humphrey Bogart and Raymond Massey. There's only a couple of (minor) female roles, played well by Julie Bishop and Ruth Gordon. Yeah the plot's pretty basic and the characters may seem clichéd but it's all put together so well that I didn't mind. There's something to be said for using a successful formula.
The script is great with lots of funny lines and stirring speeches. Good music, both score and a nice rendition of Night and Day from a dubbed Julie Bishop. The photography is beautiful. The special effects are exceptional. The direction is terrific, especially in those spectacular action scenes. This is all the more remarkable when one considers director Lloyd Bacon didn't get to finish the picture. Bogart is great (as always) and his fans will love this one. Pretty much anyone who enjoys WW2 movies, particularly those from WB, will like this a lot. It's an emotional, exciting two hours of solid entertainment.
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