Cruel Sea

Overview

In this seagoing military drama set in World War II, Lt. Comdr. Ericson Jack Hawkins is made captain of a British corvette, a small escort vessel used to guide and protect convoys traveling through the Atlantic. Ericson had his confidence severely shaken during his last command, in which he lost his ship and most of its men following an attack by a German U-boat. As he leads a new and largely inexperienced crew aboard the H.M.S. Compass Rose, Ericson is once again thrown into a life-and-death dilemma that forces ...
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Overview

In this seagoing military drama set in World War II, Lt. Comdr. Ericson Jack Hawkins is made captain of a British corvette, a small escort vessel used to guide and protect convoys traveling through the Atlantic. Ericson had his confidence severely shaken during his last command, in which he lost his ship and most of its men following an attack by a German U-boat. As he leads a new and largely inexperienced crew aboard the H.M.S. Compass Rose, Ericson is once again thrown into a life-and-death dilemma that forces him to choose between destroying an enemy ship and sparing the lives of his own men. The Cruel Sea featured breakthrough early performances from Denholm Elliott and Virginia McKenna, and it was based on a best-selling novel by Nicholas Monsarrat, who stipulated that the film rights could be sold only to a British company.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
It is extremely rare for a film on World War II to take a subtle, understated approach, but that is exactly what The Cruel Sea does, and the result is one of the most underrated and moving war films. Director Charles Frend takes an almost documentary approach to this story of British seamen. There is little plot except depicting the men's daily fight for survival, and although there are battle scenes, and effective ones at that, The Cruel Sea derives its principal strength from its ability to make the audience identify with its characters. In scene after scene, whether they are in battle or visiting their girlfriends or wives back home, the war is always present on their faces and in their body language. Frend handles many key sequences with an exhilarating lack of bombast, more often than not placing primary focus on the characters' reaction to the drama. But this is also not the stiff-upper-lip stoicism that is sometimes present in British war films; the emotion is there, it is just not jammed down the viewer's throat. Jack Hawkins is terrific as the civilian seaman who finds himself as a naval officer, and the supporting cast includes Donald Sinden and Denholm Elliott. The film's black-and-white documentary feel allows the filmmakers to incorporate stock footage, and also adds to the authentic feel of the picture. And the music score, like the film itself, is emotional without being overwhelming. The Cruel Sea ultimately achieves the unexpected: It explores the effect of war on its combatants without ever succumbing to sensationalism or jingoism.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2006
  • UPC: 013131493993
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Hawkins Lt. Cdr. Ericson
Donald Sinden Lt. Keith Lockhart
John Stratton Sub-Lt. Ferraby
Denholm Elliott Sub-Lt. Morell
Stanley Baker Lt. Bennett
Virginia McKenna Julie Hallam
Bruce Seton Bob Tallow
Liam Redmond Jim Watts
Moira Lister Elaine Morell
June Thorburn Doris Ferraby
Megs Jenkins Glad Tallow
Meredith Edwards Yeoman Wells
Glyn Houston Phillips
Alec McCowen Tonbridge
Leo Phillips Wainwright
Dafydd Havard Signalman Rose
Fred Griffiths Gracey
Laurence Hardy Sellars
Sam Kydd Carslake
Jonathan Singer Gray
Barry Steele Broughton
Walter Fitzgerald Warden
Gaston Richer
Anthony Snell
Jack Howard
Harold Jamieson
Warwick Ashton
John Warner Sub-Lt. Baker
Gerard Heinz Polish Captain
Gerik Schjelderup Norweigan Captain
Andrew Cruickshank Scott Brown
Barry Letts Raikes
Harold Goodwin ASDIC Operator
George Curzon Admiral at party
Ronald Simpson R.N. Captain
Don Sharp Lieut.-Commander
Herbert C. Walton The Waiter
Russell Waters Air Raid Warden
Technical Credits
Charles Frend Director
Alec McCowen Director
Eric Ambler Screenwriter
Michael Balcon Executive Producer
Gordon Dines Cinematographer
Anthony Mendleson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jim Morahan Production Designer
Leslie Norman Producer
Syd Pearson Special Effects
Alan Rawsthorne Score Composer
Peter Tanner Editor
Chic Waterson Camera Operator
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Cruel Sea
1. Main Titles [2:14]
2. A Story of Two Ships [5:11]
3. Training [6:07]
4. Stormy Weather [6:18]
5. Drunk On Duty [6:21]
6. Enemy Attack [6:41]
7. The Gibraltar Run [5:51]
8. Contact [10:45]
9. Second Thoughts [6:31]
10. Repairs [6:06]
11. Engaging the U-Boat [10:37]
12. The Party [4:47]
13. Bittersweet Homecoming [10:16]
14. Abandon Ship! [6:23]
15. The Survivors [6:43]
16. Wounds of War [5:13]
17. Something to Live For [2:55]
18. Obsession [7:50]
19. The Final Hunt [8:23]
20. End Credits [1:13]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Cruel Sea
   Chapter Selections
   Play
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