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The Sinking of the Laconia [DVD] [2010]


Price: £5.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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£5.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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The Sinking of the Laconia [DVD] [2010] + The Crimson Ocean [DVD] + Before The Fall [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Andrew Buchan, Franka Potente, Ken Duken, Brian Cox, Lindsay Duncan
  • Directors: Uwe Janson
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Mar. 2011
  • Run Time: 171 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GXY9M2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,304 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

On the 12th September 1942 the Laconia - a cruise ship turned troop ship - was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-156 commanded by Werner Hartenstein. She carried a motley crew of women, children, wounded soldiers and Italian Prisoners of War. Having sunk the ship, Hartenstein should have left them to their uncertain fate in the water but instead he made the incredible decision to save as many lives as he could. A true story of unexpected gallantry and humanity in the fog of war.

Special features:
The Sinking of the Laconia: Survivors' Stories (30 mins feature);
Biographies;
Photo Gallery;
Bibliography; The Laconia Crew Manifest (DVD-ROM content);
Admiral Dönitz Nuremburg Trial transcript (DVD-ROM content).

As seen on BBC2.
Written by Alan Bleasdale.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Volker G. on 7 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The 'Sinking of the LACONIA' ran on Germa TV under the title LACONIA. After having read several first class reviews in the English speaking press, I failed to recognize their positive assessment. Apparently the cut of the German version was different, creating a somewhat different impression, if not to say moreless seems to almost have destroyed the positive impression English speakers seemed to have had.
So I ordered the 'original' from Amazon and found out that my impression was essentially correct. The English original is not only different, the sequences are in a different (original)order and - make more sense. An almost different movie so it seems.I can but strongly recommend to watch the 'original'.
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By David Rowland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found the film thoughtful, exciting, moving and memorable and did not find it at all slow as some critics did. I think they may have expected or wanted an action packed war film, the kind that has been churned out by Hollywood for decades where there are plenty of bangs for your bucks and where there is no need for the audience to use too much grey matter but thank God it wasn't that kind of a film.

The Laconia incident which took place in the second world war on 12 September 1942 is little known by the public for reasons that are not difficult to understand but it was an extremely significant episode and had very important consequences. After it happened the allied authorities did not want the public to know that a U-boat commander could be humane and had given survivors food and water after a ship was torpedoed. If such acts did become widely known it would be more difficult for the British public to hate all Germans and this would not help the war effort. The German authorities also did not want the incident known by their public because it could be perceived as a weakness and lack of resolve so it suited both sides not to publicise the incident too much and so it did not become widely known until long after the war.

The Laconia, an old Cunard ocean liner of 20,000 tons had on board about 2,000 civilians and Italian prisoners of war and was heading back to England from the middle east and in the middle of the south Atlantic U-156 under the command of Captain Werner Hartenstein hit the liner with two torpedoes believing it was a troopship and therefore a legitimate target in wartime. The prisoners of war in the hold tried to escape and some were shot by their Polish guards but they were eventually released.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
Like a lot of people I have heard of the RMS Laconia, and about the German U-boat that came to its aid after sinking it. That is really that all of us know unless we bother to delve into the matter more deeply. It is just one of those things that gets glossed over because in reality it is a dirty little secret.

I believe that there was another RMS Laconia before this, in the first world war, that was also torpedoed and sunk, so I don't think I will ever travel on a ship with this name. If you are thinking of watching this expecting some great gung-ho war film, then don't bother, this isn't like that. Like many ships the Laconia was requistioned for military use at the outbreak of war. So thus it was originally a cruise liner with some armaments added. When this was spotted by U-156, who identified this as a military vessel, they rightly took active action. The commander of the U-boat though, Werner Hartenstein stayed in the area, and he started having a feeling that not all was right. There was no response to the distress signal from the Laconia, and it soon became apparent that there were a lot of people in the water who were of different nationalities, some of them Italian. Although the Laconia was used as a military vessel, at the time it was carrying a few hundred allied soldiers, coming on for two thousand Italian POWs, and just under a hundred civillians. Forgetting about war Harrtenstein then did the most humane and honourable thing, and followed the 'unwritten code of the sea'. Ironically after sinking a ship he and his crew then set about saving survivors, showing a purely brave and selfless action.

With many survivors on his U-boat, and towing lifeboats, of course Hartenstein needed assistance.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chiefcritic on 10 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
This was a great piece of television. Wonderful script, brilliant acting by Ken Duken as the German UBoat Captain, by Andrew Buchan as the young british merchant navy officer, Franka Potente as they mysterious german passenger, and Lindsay Duncan as an upper class passenger. I would have given it 5 stars except for weird and awkward scenes in which the Americans are portrayed as buffoons...maybe this was deliberate - I think it must have been, but it still grated by comparison to the rest of the programme.

The Laconia Incident was a remarkable moment in the war, like the Christmas Day Truce in 1914 (which is remarked upon by some characters in Sinking of the Laconia) I found the drama to be incredibly moving, and well worth the price of the DVD
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Mun Gavin on 9 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this DVD. The uniforms, boat interiors etc all looked very authentic to me - a bit of German/European attention to detail! The characters were well cast and the inevitable male/female "interaction" was appropriate. It held my attention for the two episodes (obviously a made-for-TV production) and I can thoroughly recommend it. The U-boat commander, Hartenstein, must have been an incredible human being (the story is factual) and the interviews with survivors of the Laconia, on the bonus DVD, give testimony to this. One also realises that Admiral Doenitz (C-in-C of Germany's U-boat fleet) must have been "understanding" to have tolerated Hartenstein putting his U-boat in harm's way in trying to rescue survivors of the ship.
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