The Silver Fleet


In this war drama, set during WWII, an engineer in a Dutch shipyard assists the Nazis with the construction of two new kinds of submarines and finds himself a social pariah. However, little do they know that the engineer has loaded the hapless vessel with dynamite.
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In this war drama, set during WWII, an engineer in a Dutch shipyard assists the Nazis with the construction of two new kinds of submarines and finds himself a social pariah. However, little do they know that the engineer has loaded the hapless vessel with dynamite.
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Special Features

Photo Gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The Silver Fleet was one of a tiny handful of films produced by The Archers (aka Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger) but not directed or written by them. And it has many of the virtues of The Archers' wartime productions, in addition to comparing favorably to several Hollywood films of the era which also sought to depict resistance to the Nazi occupation in Europe. Ralph Richardson (who was also associate producer here) is a marvel of subtlety and studied nuance as the seeming Dutch collaborator who outwits all of those around him, almost too successfully for his own good. Googie Withers is almost his match as the man's long-suffering wife, and their relationship is completely convincing as the emotional center of this drama -- when directors Vernon Sewell and Gordon Wellesley aren't producing Hitchcock-ian chills and thrills. They go beyond Hitchcock's slickness, however, with some finely etched and nuanced performances by Esmond Knight as the Gestapo's chief representative in the port city where Richardson's shipyard is based, and Philip Leaver -- best remembered today as the sinister magician in Hitch's The Lady Vanishes -- as the nervous chief of police. Valentine Dyall also turns in a superb late-in-the-picture appearance as Markgraf, the occupied Netherlands' principal government official -- he provides an unusual wartime look at the sometimes soft-spoken, seemingly genial face of Nazi officialdom. Sewell's script is laced with small political subtleties of that sort, as well as throwaway near-comedic asides by Richardson that make parts of this very serious thriller seem almost humorous in spots. That is balanced by a direct, early reference to the Nazis' technique of using food and starvation to manipulate the activities and sympathies of occupied peoples', a strategy that was visited with special cruelty upon the Dutch later in the war. The only place where the movie nearly runs off the rails is Allan Gray's overly dramatic scoring in a couple of early scenes, but that moment quickly passes. What's more, as a wartime British production (done on not too big a budget), the somewhat spare, threadbare look to the movie matches perfectly with what one would expect to see in Nazi-occupied Holland. Compare The Silver Fleet to, say, MGM's Reunion In France, made the same year and steeped in glamour with a gorgeous Joan Crawford, an awkward Philip Dorn, and a silly John Wayne at its center, and suddenly this nearly-forgotten Powell/Pressburger production seems like a lost masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/15/2011
  • UPC: 089859866821
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Vci Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,658

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ralph Richardson Jaap van Leyden
Googie Withers Helene van Leyden
Esmond Knight Von Schiffer
Beresford Egan Krampf
Frederick Burtwell Capt. Muller
Willem Akkerman Willem van Leyden
Dorothy Gordon Jannie Peters
Charles Victor Bastiaan Peters
John Longden Jost Meertens
Valentine Dyall Markgraf
Philip Leaver Chief of Police
Ivor Barnard Admiral von Rapp
John Arnold U-Boat Navigator
Lt. Schouwenaar U-Boat Captain
Lt. van Dapperen U-Boat Lieutenant
Kathleen Byron Schoolmistress
Joss Ambler Cornelius Smit
Margaret Emden Bertha
George Schelderup Dirk
Neville Mapp Joop
John Carol Johann
Lawrence O'Madden Capt. Schneider
Anthony Eustrel Lt. Wernicke
Charles Minor Bohme
Technical Credits
Vernon Campbell Sewell Director, Screenwriter
Gordon Wellesley Director, Screenwriter
Cecil Cooney Camera Operator, Cinematographer
John Dennis Sound/Sound Designer
Desmond Dew Sound/Sound Designer
Emeric Pressburger Producer
Allan Gray Score Composer
Erwin Hillier Cinematographer
Alfred Junge Production Designer
Michael Chorlton Editor
Michael Powell Producer
Ralph Richardson Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rank Collection: The Silver Fleet
1. Intro [5:48]
2. School Room [6:57]
3. Quislings [8:35]
4. Informant [7:11]
5. Trials [9:46]
6. Who is Piet Hein? [2:24]
7. A Lion's Tale [4:11]
8. Family Reunion [5:34]
9. False Valve [8:35]
10. Bomb [8:16]
11. Trust Me [9:36]
12. The Picture [7:01]
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Disc #1 -- Rank Collection: The Silver Fleet
   Play Movie
      Scenes 1-6
      Scenes 7-12
      Dolby 5.1
      English Subtitles: On/Off
         English Subtitles: On
         English Subtitles: Off
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