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
I enjoy Maritime war stories,The only Corvette left to my knowledge is located In Halifax N.S. Canada HMCS Sackville.
So this was of special interest.
I have it on tape & it will put away safe. Great DVD, great classic!Published 3 months ago by Old One 49
I got stiffed like a number of others when I discover the DVD was region 2 and was unable to play it on my DVD. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. Thompson
Over the years I have watched this movie many times on TV. The DVD is very clear and easy to see and hear. It also arrived on time.Published 4 months ago by MN9130
excellent movie but DVD is not viewable on North American players.Published 5 months ago by Keith Wolbaum
Won't play due to REGIONAL restrictions, Stupid senior didn't understand on ordering but didn't discover error until after opening. Caveat Emptor eh?Published 5 months ago by bk
Wrong format for North America; even tho I missed the format in the specs perhaps your suppliers should avoid sending PAL formatted DVD's to North America.Published 6 months ago by Brian J. Craig