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Sailor Of The King [DVD]
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War drama adapted from the novel by C.S. Forester. During World War II, under the command of Captain Richard Saville (Michael Rennie), cruiser signalman Andrew 'Canada' Brown (Jeffrey Hunter) heads out in pursuit of a German warship. The cruiser hits the Nazi raider with a torpedo but is sunk in the process and Brown is taken prisoner. While Saville hurries to reach the ship, Brown risks his life in an attempt to stop the German's from getting away. In time it becomes clear that, unbeknown to them, Saville and Brown have a connection that goes beyond any military operation...
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They part and you hear no more of it.
Next we meet the naval officer Michael Rennie during the second world war in the pacific where he is involved in tracking down and destroying a German battleship the Essen.
The story concentrates on a Canadian naval rating Brown. He says his father is dead and his mother who is English brought him up in Canada with a love of the the navy.
He is a crack shot but is in signals. His ship is sunk and he escapes form captivity to give the Germans who have a damaged ship grief.
Richard Savile ( Michael Rennie) is now in command of a squadron of British ships hunting a raider called the Essen. He wants to engage the ship but is low on fuel so sends in two others The German raider outguns the British but is hit by a torpedo and has to stop for repairs.
One of the cruisers is sunk and only two survivors are taken on board by the Germans. One is the Canadian rating Brown. he manages to escape and is able to hold up the Germans for some time enabling the British to close with the Essen
One of the German survivors of the Essen tells the British there is a rating ashore who held them up.
We then go to the ending which either Brown died and Richard Savile meets his mum realising it is the lady he met all those years ago. There is then an alternative ending which is Brown is alive and receives the Victoria Cross.
It is a great story and even though I have seen it quite a few times it never fails to be an emotional ending.You still left in doubt as to whether Brown was Savile's son or whether he realises this fact.
A great British war film with a cracking story.
At the time that this film was made, there were still numbers of British warships around that had survived the war and (rather as in the "Battle of the River Plate" film) were available for filming. In this case we have the 'Town' class cruiser HMS Glasgow and the 'Dido' class cruiser, HMS Cleopatra taking the part of the ships of the British cruiser squadron and the fast minelayer, HMS Manxman, dolled up as a German surface raider, with a rather obvious set of plywood turrets! Never mind, for the naval 'buff', this is priceless stuff.
It might be argued that some of the acting is a bit wooden, but that was the style of the time. This is a great tale of 'daring-do' and one which is hugely entertaining. Would that the modern 'blockbuster' could tell a tale so well and so simply without CGI! Buy it and enjoy it!
The boy grows up in Canada joins the British Navy and as he is a crack shot he is able to prevent and slow down the repairs of a German Warship, by picking of the workers from a vantage point on a nearby cliff.
There are two possible endings shown on this DVD, shame there isn't one where the Mother and Father don't actually get together again - but that is probably just my soft heartedness that likes to see happy endings..
I bought this primarily for a look at the binoculars/ optical gear which I could recall from seeing it several years ago and for the close up detail of the ships themselves.
The picture quality is good and knowing the movie I was not disappointed so no complaints, plays well and the disc was technically perfect.
What more can one say - surprised to learn that the lead actor was later to play "Christopher Pike in the pilot of "Star Trek" sadly he died a fter an on set sccident.
Good movie in this format - detail wise the odd goof but only anoraks who don't get out much (like me) will lament on.... good movie for the era.
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