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Saturday Night Cinema: The Enemy Below (1957)

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Tonight’s Saturday Night Cinema classic is The Enemy Below, starring Hollywood great Robert Mitchum. Needless to say, they don’t make movies like this anymore.

“One of the best war movies ever made. Color.  Mitchum stars as the captain of an American destroyer escort in the South Atlantic dueling with a U-Boat.  Thematically I would rate it mildly anti-war. ‘I have met the enemy and he is us.'” (GR reader DH)

1957. Taut, tense, in a fight-to-the-death by two captains who have become cynical about the war. One has lost his wife to a U-Boat, one has lost two sons to the war.

The Enemy Below is a study of submarine warfare from the vantage point of both sides. Robert Mitchum plays the captain of an American destroyer, who despite having lost his family in the war endeavors to let his head rule his heart in combat. Curt Jurgens co-stars as a German U-boat commander, depicted as being as honorable and compassionate as Mitchum. The two men develop a grudging mutual respect as they pursue one another throughout the North Atlantic. Based on a novel by D. A. Rayner, The Enemy Below was the last theatrical film directed by Dick Powell, who hereafter concentrated on his extensive television work. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Set in World War II, The Enemy Below is a suspenseful tale of submarine warfare between the Americans and the Germans.

Robert Mitchum plays Murrell, the captain of an American destroyer who, having lost his family in the war, decides to go into combat.

Noted German actor Curt Jurgens (“The Blue Angel” remake) plays Von Stolberg, the U-boat commander, who’s as decent and honorable gentleman as Mitchum’s Murrell.

Despite the politics, the two men develop a peculiar mutual respect as they pursue one another throughout the North Atlantic.

(Emanuel Levy)

Thanks to DH for the movie tip.

The Enemy Below (1957)

IT’S EASY to see why Twentieth Century-Fox picked up “The Enemy Below,” the British novel by Comdr. D. A. Rayner, and made a movie out of it. The story about a surface vessel in a duel to the death with an enemy undersea craft has a ready-made element of running suspense that would give an automatic unity to any film hewing to the basic narrative of the original.The result that went on display yesterday at the newly reopened Mayfair bears out the advance judgment…..

 

 

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