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Directed by Dick Powell
USA 1957

 

Director Dick Powell was the juvenile or young tenor in many musicals, who made a strange about-face and turned to often convincing tough guy roles. His most memorable one was in the film noir "Murder, My Sweet. " Later he produced an directed five features, of which Number Four, "The Enemy Below" is by far the best, and good by any standards.

It is a World War II submarine yarn about an American destroyer captained by Robert Mitchum who is hunting down a German sub in a cat-and-mouse game. The U-Boat is commanded by Curt Jurgens. His able second and good friend is played by Theodore Bikel.

A sure-handledly directed film, it may be formulaic, but with a difference, mostly because of the interesting resemblances and differences between Mitchum and Jurgens, and some solid characterizations in other roles. Naturally, it has the expected quota of stiff upper lip and "Up periscope!", some bits about humanity, and last minute sentimental touches thrown in.

Within the war film genre there is a sub-genre about undersea warfare. Within the latter, there is a sub-sub-genre--as here-- which celebrates the respect that brave, professional commanders feel for their opponents' skill and courage. There's a job to be done, and it must get done without hate, without showing the enemies as cruel men, if not monsters. In fact the main German opponents are humanized and rather "sympatisch. " The opposing commanders are not rah-rah or gung-ho, but tired of war and disillusioned.

Excerpt from Edwin Jahuel's review located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 25th, 1957

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DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Also available in The Heroes of War Collection - Naval Battles which includes  The Frogmen, Morituri,  and Sink the Bismarck!
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:37:27
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.0 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 4.0), DUBs: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• 3 Movietone News Reels
• Trailers 


DVD Release Date: May 5th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

 

Comments:

Perhaps a notch below what we might consider to be Fox's usual competent standard for DVD transfer. The image is a bit hazy, differing from similar genre Fox releases of this period. Colors are bright but I suspect some manipulation as skin tones shift to reddish hue in certain sequences. Still, it is hardly much to gripe about if you are watching on a tube - the image is still anamorphic and progressive with consistent audio and optional subtitles. They are included 3 MovieTone newsreels, which is an extensive supplement by Fox's usual 'bare-bones' editions. The deal-maker in this package is the price tag at around $10 for one of the better submarine-naval thrillers, and possibly the best to come out of the 50's. The films is excellent folks.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in The Heroes of War Collection - Naval Battles which includes  The Frogmen, Morituri,  and Sink the Bismarck!
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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