In Which We Serve

In Which We Serve

Director: David Lean

Cast: John Mills, Bernard Miles

     
 

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Few morale-boosting wartime films have retained their power and entertainment value as emphatically as Noël Coward's In Which We Serve. To witness Coward's sober, no-nonsense direction (in collaboration with his co-director/editor, David Lean) and to watch his straightforward portrayal of navy captain Kinross, one would never suspect that he'd built hisSee more details below

Overview

Few morale-boosting wartime films have retained their power and entertainment value as emphatically as Noël Coward's In Which We Serve. To witness Coward's sober, no-nonsense direction (in collaboration with his co-director/editor, David Lean) and to watch his straightforward portrayal of navy captain Kinross, one would never suspect that he'd built his theatrical reputation upon sophisticated drawing-room comedies and brittle, witty song lyrics. The real star of In Which We Serve is the British destroyer Torrin. Torpedoed in battle, the Torrin miraculously survives, and is brought back to English shores to be repaired. The paint is barely dry and the nuts and bolts barely in place before the Torrin is pressed into duty during the Dunkirk evacuation. The noble vessel is finally sunk after being dive-bombed in Crete, but many of the crew members survive. As they cling to the wreckage awaiting rescue, Coward and his men flash back to their homes and loved ones, and, in so doing, recall anew just why they're fighting and for whom they're fighting. Next to Coward, the single most important of the film's characters is Shorty Blake, played by John Mills. (Trivia note: Mills' infant daughter Juliet Mills appears as Shorty's baby.) Even so, the emphasis in the film is on teamwork; here as elsewhere, there can be no stars in wartime. For many years, the only prints available to television were from the bowdlerized American version, which crudely cut out all "hells" and "damns." Fortunately, this eviscerated American release has since been shelved in favor of the full, glorious 115-minute version.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Noël Coward and David Lean's In Which We Serve was a landmark film on several levels, some of them deceptive. It marked the official directorial debut of top-flight editor Lean, who had previously directed much of the Gabriel Pascal adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara. And it brought Coward, then the leading light of the theater on both sides of the Atlantic, to the screen as an actor/director, performing a role modeled closely on Lord Mountbatten. But its most important attribute was also its least appreciated: its structure, which owed a great deal to Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) in breaking up the action into flashback vignettes and non-linear storytelling. Coward and Lean had studied the Welles film closely in pre-production, and they applied its lessons about film narrative to a topical, contemporary action setting. In Which We Serve is arguably the popular film that best took the breakthroughs of Citizen Kane and ran with them into new dramatic territory.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2004
UPC:
0798622311023
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Westlake
Time:
1:54:00

Special Features

Biographies; Filmographies; Photo gallery; Interactive menus; Jump to scene; Dolby sound; PC/MAC compatible

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Noël Coward Captain Kinross
John Mills Ordinary Seaman Shorty Blake
Bernard Miles Chief Petty Officer Walter Hardy
Celia Johnson Alix Kinross
Joyce Carey Mrs. Hardy
Kay Walsh Freda Lewis
Derek Elphinstone Number One
Richard Attenborough Young Sailor
Robert Sansom "Guns"
Michael Wilding "Flags"
Philip Friend "Torps"
Ballard Berkeley Engineer Commander
James Donald Doctor
George Carney Mr. Blake
Kathleen Harrison Mrs. Blake
Hubert Gregg Pilot
Kenneth Carton Sub. Lieut. R.N.V.R.
Geraldo's Orchestra Themselves
Brefni O'Rorke Dr. Drake
Kay Young Barmaid
Michael Whittaker Sub
John Varley Secco
Caven Watson Brodie
Geoffrey Hibbert Joey Mackeridge
Frederick Piper Edgecombe
Lionel Grose Reynolds
Leslie Dwyer Parkinson
Charles Russell Fisher
John Singer Moran
Robert Moreton Coombe
John Boxer Hollett
Walter Fitzgerald Col. Lumsden
Gerald Case Capt. Jasper Fry
Daniel Massey Bobby Kinross
Ann Stephens Lavinia Kinross
Dora Gregory Mrs. Lemmon
Penelope Dudley-Ward Maureen Fenwick
Barbara Waring Mrs. Macadoo
Eileen Peel Mrs. Farrell
Lesley Osmond Nell Fosdick
Wally Patch Uncle Fred
Everley Gregg Nurse
Roddy Hughes Photographer
Norman Pierce Mr. Satterthwaite
Juliet Mills Frieda's Baby
Johnnie Schofield Coxswain

Technical Credits
Noël Coward Director,Score Composer,Producer,Screenwriter
David Lean Director,Editor
Anthony Havelock-Allan Associate Producer
Thelma Myers Editor
Ronald Neame Cinematographer
Tony Sforzini Makeup
Sydney Streeter Production Manager
Douglas Woolsey Special Effects

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Chapter 1 [10:02]
3. Chapter 2 [8:52]
4. Chapter 3 [8:37]
5. Chapter 4 [12:05]
6. Chapter 5 [9:55]
7. Chapter 6 [8:30]
8. Chapter 7 [10:07]
9. Chapter 8 [10:42]
10. Chapter 9 [10:31]
11. Chapter 10 [10:13]
12. Chapter 11 [11:04]
13. Chapter 12 [1:23]

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