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(aka "Canoe Commandos" or "Survivors Two" or "The Survivors" or "Cockle Shell Heroes")

 

Directed by José Ferrer
UK / USA 1955

 

At the height of the Second World War, a battalion of German ships are safely docked at the "unassailable" port of Bordeaux. Newly promoted Major Stringer (José Ferrer, also behind the camera as director) has a unique idea send a team of commandos out in collapsible canoes, have them paddle seventy miles upriver in arduous conditions and blow up the German ships with limpet mines.

Also starring Trevor Howard and Christopher Lee, The Cockleshell Heroes is the true story of one of the most daring raids in British military history, and Eureka Classics is proud to present the film in its worldwide debut on Blu-ray.

***

A British major leads a suicide mission to take out a German shipyard in occupied France in The Cockleshell Heroes (1955). This war movie marked the American film debut of Trevor Howard and it was also the second directorial effort for actor Jose Ferrer who also had the starring role. Irving Allen and Albert R. Broccoli, one of the producers of the James Bond film series, joined forces to produce this film for Warwick Pictures and Columbia which was an expensive motion picture for its time.

"The screenplay by Bryan Forbes and Richard Maibaum," according to Michael Munn in Trevor Howard: The Man and His Films, "followed the exploits of 10 marines as they went through training for a special mission to canoe their way into Bordeaux harbour and mine German shipping. Like The Way Ahead, it began with typical barrack-room humour and culminated in tragedy and drama. Said Trevor, 'The best thing about Cockleshell Heroes was filming in Portugal. Beautiful country.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 16th, 1955

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:48.487        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,192,410,280 bytes

Feature: 28,840,654,848 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.74 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,192,410,280 bytes

Feature: 28,840,654,848 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.74 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand New and Exclusive interview with film historian Sheldon Hall (30:02)


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 15th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Eureka Blu-ray (July 2019): Eureka have transferred The Cockleshell Heroes to Blu-ray. It looks very pleasing in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio although there is evidence that it was shown in CinemaScope at 2.55:1 (magnetic stereo prints) as well. I don't see extensive 'mumps' in this 1080P presentation. It has some light damage but the colors and detail are quite decent with a smidgeon of gloss. It has a modest green cast and can occasionally look waxy but the overall image quality was acceptable in-motion on my system.

On their Blu-ray, Eureka use a linear PCM 2.0 channel mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. IMDb shows the film to have had a 4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) theatrical showing. The effects have some depth but are flat. There is a score by John Addison (Tom Jones, Guns at Batasi, The Man Between, A Taste of Honey, The Honey Pot, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Smashing Time, Strange Invaders) plus Yana's The London I Love and The Cockleshell Heroes March performed by The Band of the Royal Marines. The music sounds quite effective. Eureka offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

Eureka include a new 1/2 hour interview with film historian Sheldon Hall who discuses the production and how it evolved. He wrote "Epics, Spectacles, and Blockbusters: A Hollywood History".

The Cockleshell Heroes is a superior action-war effort. It showed a less-exposed unit (The British version of the Navy Seals). Great to see new stuff like this on Blu-ray. Thank you Eureka! 

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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