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The Cruel Sea [Blu-ray] 
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Digitally restored edition of the classic film.
Special Features include:
- Interview with Sir Donald Sinden
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
A big boast? Maybe, but consider this. What other war film grasps the ordinary man's experience of war better than this understated masterpiece.
Jack Hawkins, as the captain of the doomed corvette Compass Rose, gives the best performance of his career. The most famous scene in the film - when he sends depth charges through a crowd of foundering seamen after a U-boat - sees him torn apart. Yet, when it comes to explanations, he says, quite rightly - 'it's the war, just the war.' One cannot imagine such a harsh, unmelodramatic response making into a film today. All he can do is try and drink the images away and how many other Royal Navy men - watching this film at cinemas in the 50s - would not feel the same.
There are professional sailors in the ship's company, but the majority are there for the duration of the war. Men who never thought of going to sea or fighting. Seeing how they adapt, and suffer, is extremely poignant.
A film where the narration can talk about the importance of 'dying without wasting anyone's time' is extremely powerful stuff. There is no attempt to make it glorious; no attempt to prosecute good men in the dubious court of hindsight - it's just men doing what had to be done, with varying degrees of success.
There is none of the spectacle of the big 60s and 70s 'epics' with massive all-star casts - like 'The Longest Day' or 'A Bridge Too Far' - nor the bolted on 'anti-war' sentiments of films from the later sixties. World War Two was there to be fought and won and these were the men that did it.Read more ›
What makes this movie so good is its matter-of-factness. There are no heroics, just men learning their jobs and doing their duty, with some who die and some who survive. The scene where Captain Ericson decides to use depth charges to destroy a suspected submarine hiding below a group of struggling survivors from a torpedoed freighter is harrowing. The DVD I saw has a good but by no means first-class image transfer.
The novel, The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat, is largely forgotten now. It remains one of the most evocative books to come out of WWII. The movie is well worth seeing. The book is certainly well worth reading.
The Cruel Sea manages to convey the dedication to duty, the uncertainty of life, the cynicism of planning for a future, the self doubts and insecurities of men making life deciding decisions and trying to keep their private lives in tact as well.
The "Compass Rose" was sent out to track and destroy enemy submarines and ships.She was a corvette,and played hide and seek herself sitting at the bottom of the sea as depth charges from above seek them out.
One of the Compass Roses officers cracks under the strain and has to be hospitalised,whilst another goes home on leave to find his spoiled wife
(played brilliantly by Moira Lister) is more concerned with her social life and her friends than she is of a husband home on leave.
The Cruel Sea is one the great British movies, certainly every bit as good as it's main rivals for the title, The Third Man,The English Patient,and Lawrence of Arabia.For me,it's the best of all British films,thanks largely to the performance of Jack Hawkins.Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm so pleased I can get some of the oldiebutgoodie films. arrived quicklyPublished 10 days ago by larne
I found the quality of the movie excellent. The restoration was marvelousPublished 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
I like this film more than "In Which We Serve" which is a complement indeed. Superb acting, outstanding character development and very nice integration of war footage. Read morePublished 2 months ago by T. J. Friedman
I first saw this film in about 1956 when it was still on 16mm. A fantastic film which I've watched many times since.Published 2 months ago by Alison & Michael Ogden
Get this quality classic film in blu ray. I got this for my late father 22years service in the. Royal Navy. He watched it so. many times. Read morePublished 3 months ago by erick s.