- Actors: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison, Theodore Bikel, Russell Collins
- Directors: Dick Powell
- Writers: D.A. Rayner, Wendell Mayes
- Producers: Dick Powell
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- VHS Release Date: 26 April 1999
- Run Time: 93 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00004CKID
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342,324 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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In the North Atlantic during World War Two, an American destroyer detects a German U-boat. The American commander, Captain Murrell (Robert Mitchum), embarks on a game of cat and mouse with his German counterpart (Curt Jurgens).
The Enemy Below and Sink the Bismarck! form a double feature of semi-classic CinemaScope-era WWII naval dramas sailing from the Fox vault onto DVD for the first time.
In The Enemy Below Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens are respectively captains of a US destroyer and a German U-boat whose vessels come into conflict in the South Atlantic. Both are good men with a job to do, the script noting Jurgens' distaste for Hitler and the Nazis and engaging our sympathy with the German sailors almost as much as the Americans. Made at the height of the Cold War of the 1950s, the film delivers a liberal message of cooperation wrapped inside some spectacular action scenes and a story that builds to a tense and exciting, moving finale.
Sink the Bismarck! is a British film dating from three years later and adopts a more documentary style in recounting the race against time to track and destroy what was in 1941 the most powerful battleship then built, the Bismarck. Shot in gleaming black and white so as to make use of genuine WWII archive footage, the film is held together by the introduction of a fictional naval officer in overall command of the operation, played excellently by Kenneth More. To add some human warmth he is given a tentative romantic subplot with a WREN played by the luminous Dana Wynter. Though initially slow to gather steam, Sink the Bismarck! finally delivers an epic, thoroughly horrifying conclusion.
On the DVD: The Enemy Below and Sink the Bismarck! come as a two-disc set with multiple language and subtitle options, including English for Hard of Hearing, but no extras other than the original trailers. These are presented at 16:9 and 2.35:1. Both are rather faded, but are fine examples of an era when watching the previews didn't guarantee a migraine. Both films are anamorphically enhanced in their original 2.35:1 CinemaScope, and, bar a little grain in some shots and the inevitably inferior archive footage, the picture quality is excellent. The Enemy Below boasts sturdy three-channel sound (left, front, right) while Sink the Bismarck! is in very well mixed stereo. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Sink The Bismark (B&W) is an interesting and moving film (a relative of mine went down with the Hood) concerning the British Navy's attempts to track down and sink Hitler's "pride & joy" the (purportedly) invincible battleship Bismark.
The Enemy Below (Colour) is a fictional account of a deadly game of cat & mouse between a US Navy destroyer and a Nazi U-boat. Robert Mitchum as the US Captain and Curt Jurgens as the U-boat commander both give emotional performances. Jurgens especially is brilliant - his facial expressions alone convey all you need to know about the man.
The special effects have not dated at all - "Are you mad? " I hear you say! No, I'm not because even as a child I could see that models were being used, but I was enjoying the story and performances so much I didn't care! Unlike the movies today where it's also obvious when CGI is being used, but the story and acting is abysmal so, the entire movie is ruined!
I thoroughly recommend both these movies from a time when they actually entertained.