Directed by Charles Frend
UK 1953

 

  A sterling, old-fashioned war film of the type too readily devalued these days. Jack Hawkins gives perhaps his most notable performance as the captain of a Royal Navy corvette, suggesting as much life above as below that stiff upper lip, while Eric Ambler's adaptation of Nicholas Monsarrat's book gives the minnows their due as the enlisted men face storms and German U-boats with more courage than experience. Best of all, Frend's documentary style puts us smack in the middle of the Atlantic - the cruel sea indeed.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film guide located HERE


Based on Nicholas Monsarrat's best selling novel, which was in turn derived from his experiences on the North Sea convoys, The Cruel Sea is set in the middle of €the battle of the Atlantic', as the U-boats attempted to destroy British shipping lanes and starve the country into surrender. The film follows the men of the Compass Rose, a small corvette protecting the merchant shipping, as they deal with the unseen menace of the submarines and the pressures of life at sea.

The film rejects a conventional narrative structure in favour of a more episodic treatment of its subject. It also rejects the conventional Boy's Own heroics; it never glosses over the horrors of war and shows that these horrors can have consequences. Captain Jack Hawkins has to live with the guilt he feels after making some difficult decisions and likeable characters die needlessly.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 24th, 1953

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DVD Review: Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in Anchor Bay's British War Collection with The Cruel Sea / The Ship That Died of Shame / Went the Day Well? / The Dam Busters and The Colditz Story

         

Distribution Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:06:36 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 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 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• one page liner notes with essay by Gary Hertz

DVD Release Date: October 17th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

 

 

Comments:

This was originally available in Anchor Bay's British War Collection (with The Cruel Sea / The Ship That Died of Shame / Went the Day Well? / The Dam Busters and The Colditz Story) but now becomes available as an individual with a minor savings for purchasing in the boxset - I'd also recommend The Dam Busters and The Colditz Story.

Decent image on this progressive DVD transfer from Anchor Bay. A very slight greenish haze and a hint of chroma are the only detractions. There is minor damage (speckles and light scratches) but that never interfered with my viewing. Audio was unremarkable but stable enough - shame no optional subtitles are offered. Bare bones with no extras (save the page liner notes) the come-on here is the film - very enjoyable - moderately paced film -essentially a grand character study. Recommended!

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in Anchor Bay's British War Collection with The Cruel Sea / The Ship That Died of Shame / Went the Day Well? / The Dam Busters and The Colditz Story

         

Distribution Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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