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The Enemy Below (1957)

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2:17 | Trailer
During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director:

Dick Powell

Writers:

Wendell Mayes (screenplay), D.A. Rayner (novel) (as Commander D.A. Rayner)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Capt. Murrell
Curd Jürgens ... Von Stolberg (as Curt Jurgens)
David Hedison ... Lt. Ware (as Al Hedison)
Theodore Bikel ... 'Heinie' Schwaffer
Russell Collins ... Doctor
Kurt Kreuger ... Von Holem
Frank Albertson ... Lt. Crain
Biff Elliot ... Quartermaster
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Storyline

During World War II, the USS Haynes, an American destroyer escort discovers a German U-boat in the South Atlantic. A deadly duel between the two ships ensues, and Captain Murrell must draw upon all his experience to defeat the equally experienced German commander. Written by Linda Adams <Garridon@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Deadliest Cat and Mouse Game of the Sea! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

17 January 1958 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Obračun na Atlantiku See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,910,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length = ~8.7 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~6.3 seconds. See more »

Goofs

When the destroyer escort turns after the U-boat following the first torpedo attack, the DE lowers its sonar dome. As that dome carries both the sonar transmitter and receiver, it would have had to be in the lower / operating position to be used in all the preceding scenes. See more »

Quotes

'Heinie' Schwaffer: I don't see how we could have missed at that close range.
Von Stolberg: We shouldn't have. This American captain is no amateur. Well, neither am I.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: WORLD WAR II THE SOUTH ATLANTIC See more »

Connections

Featured in Get Smart: Rub-A-Dub-Dub... Three Spies in a Sub (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

So leben wir alle Tage
(Drinking Song) (uncredited)
Traditional German folksong sung to the tune of the "Dessauer Marsch"
English lyrics by Charles Henderson
Sung by Curd Jürgens and the crew of the U-Boat
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Respect for One's Enemies
6 February 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Robert Mitchum is the new Captain of a destroyer on patrol in an area of the South Atlantic where there will be little chance for any action, or so the crew thinks. This is a new command for him, he lost his last vessel and was 21 days on life raft. Mitchum though he was in the merchant marine before World War II is as new to the navy as most of his crew.

Lurking beneath is Curt Jurgens in command of a U-Boat. Jurgens is a career navy man who's already given much for the fatherland, two sons lost. His submarine is on courier duty, not looking in fact for any combat.

But they find each other and The Enemy Below is about the cat and mouse game each of them play in trying to destroy the other.

With twelve years in between the end of World War II and the present it was now possible to portray Germans as three dimensional people, something rarely done during the war years. Jurgens at this time was a very big star on the European continent and was now getting roles that would introduce him to American audiences. He's very good as the professional, but tired U-Boat captain who just wants to get home.

He's matched all the way by Mitchum who's got a lot of doubts now having lost one ship already. The crew has some doubts too, but Mitchum proves worthy of the command he's been given.

The Enemy Below won the Academy Award that year for special effects. No ships in a tank, these are real vessels being used for this film.

Look for good performances by supporting players Theodore Bikel as the Executive Officer of the submarine, David Hedison as the Executive Officer of the destroyer and Russell Collins as the ship's doctor on the destroyer. You might note a small role for Doug McClure at the beginning of his career.


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