37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic WWII heart felt story.
During the early dark years of the last war, British cinema managed to produce this epic. With a cast of all the best available, and headed up by the upright and perfect Noel Coward, the story followed the life and adventures of a single ship and her crew in a hetic but short existance.The story is based loosely on the exploits of Lord Louie Mountbatten and his ship...
Published on 16 July 2000
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too much like a play
There is a movie quite like this one, made later and a lot better, I recommend the Cruel Sea.
In Which We Serve is worth viewing, it is a propaganda movie from WW2 for a nation unsure of its future and in 1942 thisgs did look bleak for England and the Commonwealth.
The movie isn't bad at all but feels more like a play than a movie. It uses some...
Published on 18 May 2008 by Gisli Jokull Gislason
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5.0 out of 5 stars Present for my wife,
5.0 out of 5 stars Service with a Smile,
Yep! Only it was made and mostly financed by Noel Coward. By and for himself, of course, but there is always enough left over to delight. 'Soft' propaganda but shot with almost unlimited access to real ships and real hardware which makes it a semi-documentary, too. I love it.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magnificent World war 2 classic,
5.0 out of 5 stars Second best Navy film ever?,
This review is from: In Which We Serve (Restored) [DVD] (DVD)Made in 1942, whilst WWII was at its height, it's inevitable there's a large slice of propaganda in this. At times, it can be a bit twee, a bit saccharine, and, with Noel Coward in the starring role, it is inevitably terribly, terribly English. For all that, it's never mawkish or overly sentimental. Told as a series of vignettes, mostly in flashback, it is the story of one ship & its crew. It's probably unlikely that one ship & its crew went through all of the incidents that the fictional HMS Torrin does, but it is quite certain that all of the incidents did happen to one ship or another, and probably many. The various episodes are all entirely true to life as it was then, and slip seamlessly from one to the next without any need to force them together artificially. If the film is a trifle formulaic at times, it is nevertheless well & tightly scripted throughout, structurally & in detail. It is also well cast & well acted, with all the characters, however sketchily developed, being as believable as the situations they face.
As a final footnote, it seems that, whilst I've questioned whether everything that happened might have happened to a single ship & its crew, the career of HMS Torrin was based on that of an actual ship, HMS Kelly. Commisioned in late August 1939, just before hostilities began, torpedoed in 1940 but not sunk, her final fate was the same as Torrin's. The one major incident in the film that isn't in her career is Dunkirk. At that time she was out of commission, due to the afore-mentioned torpedo damage. She did, however, assist in the evacuation of allied forces from Norway. The original of Capt (D), by the way, was no lesser a person than Lord Louis Mountbatten.
Whilst I try to be sparing with 5 star reviews, I can't do other than give this the 5 it fully deserves. The best Navy film ever? You've probably already guessed it. Made in 1953, thus without any propaganda sweetening; rawer, rougher, The Cruel Sea would get a full 10 / 10, where I would give In which We Serve "only" 9 or 9.5. Whichever edition you acquire (I have a different one to this Restored version), it's well worth the money & bears repeated watching.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Funny to think this is such a little island, isn't it?",
This review is from: In Which We Serve (Restored) [DVD] (DVD)Opportunities to see Noel Coward recite Noel Coward were necessarily inhibited by his death, but he has left among his filmed artifacts this stunning little achievement, perhaps the quietest war film, probably the most British. To be sure, it veers maudlin once or twice, and the whole production is suffused with the blood of righteousness - but not self-righteousness. This is the kind of movie that makes me want to join the Navy, I who get seasick in the bath.
How does a middle-aged homosexual song-and-dance man support the war effort? By producing a bang-up answer to Wyler and Ford, a vivid recruitment poster for the side of decency and respect. Brutal, tender, horrible, and full of hope, IN WHICH WE SERVE sings the victory song of both shellfire and home fire without mention of glory or distinction. Noel Coward's acting is a marvel of disinterested conviction. Nobody could speak faster, or with more precision, and that with the stiffest of upper lips.
No one wrote dialog at once so arch and comfortable, either, except maybe Kipling. Coward celebrates the most sophisticated level of civilization, the blithe, eloquent man of society who has managed not to become jaded. He embraces his England with a respectfully familiar pinch on the cheek, and he kisses her with the most restrained of passions in front of the children. But he also loves with all his heart the simple proletarian bedrock from whence he sprang, and he allows the working classes to display as much humanity and emotion as he denies his own character.
There is much stage-like, not to say stagey, in the production, which shouldn't be very surprising given its principal antecedents. The film is sometimes expressionistic in design, the angles and sets a terrifying collage of unsettling, theatrical images in contrast to the reassuring tea cozy and the ramrod-straight captain on the quarterdeck. The symbols are profoundly simple and the effect is disarmingly true.
As Coward says over a drink, "Perfect; it's not a bit too sweet." Well, it is rather, but mix another pitcher of Bovril and sherry and don't complain, there's a good chap.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There'll Always Be An England,
This review is from: In Which We Serve (Restored) [DVD] (DVD)This film has a special place in my WW 11 memory bank because my uncle served in the Royal Navy during the war and was sunk by a German U boat in 1940. He survived to get another destroyer. IWWS has been floating around television in VHS and then DVD for some time but the prints were all horrible. The movie looked awful. I thought IWWS would be a great project for Criterion to redo, they seem to take a special interest in many British films from that era. However, 2008 ITV restoration has done such a wonderful redo it probably isn't necessary. This DVD has vivid black and white,virtually no grain, audio clear, and some wonderful extra material about making IWWS. Thanks to all those concerned with this project.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We few, we happy few,
David Lean and Noel Coward conceived and created this classic wartime propaganda movie, based on a real incident involving war hero Lord Mountbatten. Coward also stars in the film, along with other luminaries of British stage and screen such as John Mills, Celia Howard, and Richard Attenborough.
The film portrays a British destroyer that is bombed and sunk by Luftwaffe fighters; as the survivors bob about in a dinghy they remember their loved ones back home, and the good times they have shared. Coward plays the ship's captain, and despite not entirely convincing in this role he generally acquits himself well.
As a patriotic expression of British wartime courage and determination the film succeeds, and Coward's stated intention to contribute to the war effort was largely well received at the time. Some mannered performances and stilted dialogue is inevitable in a movie made in the 1940s, but overall this classic deserves its good reputation.
There are some interesting DVD extras in this package, a cardboard sleeve adds to the feeling of quality; well worth the price
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic,
This review is from: In Which We Serve (Restored) [DVD] (DVD)Excellent film. Can never get tired of watching it.
If you enjoyed the cruel Sea, then you should enjoy this classic war-at-sea film.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
This review is from: In Which We Serve (Restored) [DVD] (DVD)As an ex Royal Navy man , I found the film very life like as regards the "Navy".
It is well scripted, well acted,funny & sad.
It gives you a glimpse of life during war time, no holds barred.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic,
This review is from: In Which We Serve (Restored) [DVD] (DVD)aahh ,what can i say noel cowerd playing mountbaten john mills a tight little story very good moral booster and i liked it.
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In Which We Serve (Restored) [DVD] by David Lean (DVD - 2008)