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24 March 1953

The Cruel Sea is a 1953 British war film starring Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, Denholm Elliott, Stanley Baker, Liam Redmond, Virginia McKenna and Moira Lister. Made by Ealing Studios seven years after the end of the Second World War, it was directed by Charles Frend and produced by Leslie Norman.

The film portrays the conditions in which the Battle of the Atlantic was fought between the Royal Navy and Germany's U-boats, seen from the viewpoint of the British naval officers and seamen who served in convoy escorts. It is based on the best-selling 1951 novel of the same name by former naval officer Nicholas Monsarrat, though the screenplay by Eric Ambler omits some of the novel's grimmest moments.

Storyline

At the start of World War II, Cmdr. Ericson is assigned to convoy escort HMS Compass Rose with inexperienced officers and men just out of training. The winter seas make life miserable enough, but the men must also harden themselves to rescuing survivors of U-Boat attacks, while seldom able to strike back. Traumatic events afloat and ashore create a warm bond between the skipper and his first officer. Atmospheric sea footage.

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