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The Cruel Sea


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1 collectible from CDN$ 32.51


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton, Denholm Elliott, John Warner
  • Directors: Charles Frend
  • Writers: Eric Ambler, Nicholas Monsarrat
  • Producers: Leslie Norman, Michael Balcon
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CILW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #414 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Nicholas Monsarrat's novel is an unflinching, realistic and emotionally involving account of naval life during the Second World War in which the "heroes" are the men, the "heroines" the ships and the "villain" is not so much the German U-Boats lurking below as "the cruel sea" itself. This 1953 film has become a classic of British cinema largely because it is a straightforward, no-frills adaptation of the book and retain's much of the original's compelling yet almost understated dramatic focus. On convoy duty in the North Atlantic, the crew of HMS Compass Rose face as a matter of routine the threat of destruction from U-Boats as well as a constant struggle against the elements. The convoys themselves are Britain's only lifeline and their loss would lead to certain defeat, but in the early years of the war the ships sent to protect them can do almost nothing to prevent the U-Boat attacks. Jack Hawkins gives one of his finest performances as Captain Ericson, the commander who has to balance destroying the enemy against saving the lives of the men under his care. In one unforgettable scene--a crucial turning point for all the characters--he must decide whether to depth charge a suspected submarine despite the presence of British sailors in the water. As with the book, the individual officers and their lives are carefully delineated, helped by the strength of a cast of (then) young actors (notably Donald Sinden and Denholm Elliot). Ultimately what makes The Cruel Sea such an undeniable classic is that it has neither the flag-waving jingoism nor the war-is-hell melodrama so common to most war movies: instead it relates in an almost matter-of-fact way the bitterness of the conflict at sea fought by ordinary men placed in the most extraordinary of circumstances. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Colville on Aug. 20 2004
Format: VHS Tape
If I were asked to recommend three great movies about any Allied or Axis army, navy and air force in World War II, they would be "The Desert Fox", "The Cruel Sea" and "Twelve O'Clock High". All three were made in black and white soon after the war, and all have the unmistakable realism of true accounts.
"The Cruel Sea", based on the famous Nicholas Monsarrat novel of the same title, lend its story beautifully to the stark contrasts and subtle mid-tones of black and white film (you don't get all those mid-tones of grey in color film). The story is grippingly personal, tragic and redeeming, gradually and painfully building the intense bond of camaraderie that seems to be particularly strong among navy people - probably because the sea can be the loneliest and most unforgiving place on earth (hence the title). Recalling the names Compass Rose and Saltash Castle, you'll taste the freezing brine of the North Atlantic, smell the mix of diesel fuel, blood and cordite, and hear the cries of your mates drowning in your wake. The real deal in black and white.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I read "The Cruel Sea" at 15 in 1951 and then went to the movie in trepatation, that it would turn out to be the same awful disapointment at seeing a similar film distoration of the books of Horatio Hornblower that I had devoured as a yong boy. With great relief the film "The Cruel Sea" was all I had hoped. My father who had been the captain of five warships during the "Battle of the Atlantic", including two corvettes, and who had lived for five years the very pages of Nicolas Monsarrat's book, and in the 'shoes' and mind of Jack Hawkins, thought it very well done, as it captured the essence of the struggle. The movie stands up very well today. Please never succumb to the siren notion of colouring the black and white original.
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By Maurice A. Rhodes TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 16 2014
Format: DVD
If your feet don't freeze and your heart chill from the ice then you can handle this. The story of the very brave sailors who manned the corvettes in WWII in the battle of the Atlantic. I was fortunate that I also got the real word from my brother, whose corvette was sunk in warmer waters. He was one of only 13 men who survived the sinking of the HMCS Louisburg in an aerial torpedo attack by an Italian torpedo bomber. The only thing he said was good about it was the water was warmer than the Northern Atlantic. When I watched this movie with him he twitched and had to leave the theater. So I guess it was pretty cose to a genuine account.
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By K. Anderson on May 25 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A very good old 1953 movie about the Corvette escort ships that protected the merchant vessels from German U-Boats during WW2. This particular one however was a defective DVD with 15 minutes of the movie missing from the disk in the middle. While the seller (importcds___) refunded my purchase price, original shipping and return shipping they made it quite clear that receiving a replacement item was out of the question. Acceptable service only, they should make the effort to do as the customer asks. Contacting Amazon.ca resulted in a serviceable replacement item through Amazon.com that did not cost any extra so all was well in the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Transcontinental Traveller on Nov. 7 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you wanted an idea of what it was like to live through the Battle of the Atlantic, then you want to watch this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doug Richardson on July 28 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A naval classic with a tremendous cast. So many of the older films are simply unavailable in normal retail outlets.
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By Josephine Wake on May 17 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I haven't yet seen the DVD as I can't play it. The movie was wonderful and I saw it several times when it first came out. However, I was NOT told this would be a region 2 movie (i.e. playable in Europe) with the result that I cannot play it on any of my equipment. I was, and still am, furious.
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