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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In honor of those who served so well....
For many years, it was almost impossible to see this "classic" from among the films produced in 1942, during some of England's darkest hours. According to most accounts, Noel Coward was determined to make his own contribution to the war effort. His objective was to improve morale by celebrating that which he believed the English people have traditionally cherished most:...
Published on September 8, 2004 by Robert Morris

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In Which We Serve DVD
As most folks are aware, this is a classic war movie, so I'm not making any comments about the film itself; however, the quality of the DVD (both picture and sound) are rather poor, hence my only two stars for this review. I'm surprised that this film isn't part of the Criterion Collection.
Published on March 22, 2010 by Manny Agah


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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In honor of those who served so well...., September 8, 2004
This review is from: In Which We Serve (DVD)
For many years, it was almost impossible to see this "classic" from among the films produced in 1942, during some of England's darkest hours. According to most accounts, Noel Coward was determined to make his own contribution to the war effort. His objective was to improve morale by celebrating that which he believed the English people have traditionally cherished most: "king and country," family, teamwork, human dignity, and courage. He wrote the screenplay, composed the musical score, and starred in a film whose leading character, Captain Kinross (played by Coward), was inspired by Lord Louis Mountbatten. The film's structure was significantly influenced by Citizen Kane, a film which Coward greatly admired. What a cast! In addition to Coward, others include John Mills, Celia Johnson, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Miles, Michael Wilding, and James Donald. Although identified as co-director, Coward entrusted most of the work to David Lean with whom he had carefully studied Welles' film before going into production. Here's the basic situation: Captain Kinross and a few survivors cling to life in a dinghy after their destroyer, H.M.S. Torrin, has been sunk by Luftwaffe dive-bombers. As the shipmates bob in the water, they reminisce about loved ones at home with whom they shared so many happy moments. And then....

In addition to assembling an outstanding cast, Coward also enlisted the superb talents of Ronald Neame (cinematographer) and Thelma Myers (editor). Those who have at least some familiarity with Coward's talents as a writer and performer should not be surprised that In Which We Serve has such a well-written screenplay and is thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. However, if they have not as yet seen this film, they may be surprised to learn that Coward displays none of the mannered sophistication which is so evident, for example, during his appearances on television, in other films, and in musical reviews on Broadway and (especially) in casinos at Las Vegas. Captain Kinross is the archetypical English naval officer, portrayed by Coward without glitz or glamor. His upper lip remains appropriately stiff until the final, unforgettable scene but there is no doubt whatsoever about his inherent decency. His love and respect for those under his command are obvious, as are theirs' for him. Recognizing the risk of misleading anyone who reads these brief remarks, I hasten to add that In Which We Serve also offers an abundance of riveting action as H.M.S. Torrin and her crew engage the enemy. To Coward, his cast, and his crew, well-done!
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Story of the British Lord Louis Mountbatten, November 11, 2001
This review is from: In Which We Serve [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In Which We Serve is a superb film, though some younger people might think it is a little dated, is was made in 1942.
The names were changed but the Captain of the destroyer 'Torrens' is really Lord Louis Mountbatten and his ship, the HMS Kelly, sunk off Crete near Greece during the invasion of the island by the Germans in 1941.
All the speeches and talks the Captain gives to the crew are word for word what Lord Louis said at the time.
It is as close to being the most factual film ever made.
Its a film one can watch every so often and Noel's performance as Captain 'D' is very real and believable.
Highly reccomended.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The spirit of WW2 Britain. If interested in getting a feel for that time, see this film (& "Hope & Glory" & "Mrs Miniver")., August 18, 2005
This review is from: In Which We Serve (DVD)
This film accomplishes what so many wartime films fail to---that is, return the viewer to the time period in question & hold one there. Too many films of the Second World War have the feel of modern times that just happen to be set in the past; and don't affect one viscerally to any significant extent. 1940s Britain, particularly when that island stood alone, is a hard mood to capture, but this film succeeds herein. Contrary to some other reviewers here, this film isn't propagandistic (in the manner that that term is usually viewed). It simply presents the gravity of the era (1939-1941) in which it was shot (1942) in almost real time; when Britain was hanging on precariously as the Royal Navy kept it afloat, so to speak. Showing bravery, British mettle, and presenting British resistance against Hitler's Nazism is patriotic sure, but not propagandistic as well. Sometimes issues are Black & White, contrary to those who desire to see shades of gray in everything as a matter of self-perceived personal intellectual superiority. To show Britain fighting valiantly is not akin to Goebbels championing German braveness. The night of long knives, the state-sanctioned racism, the holocaust, the brutality of the Germans in occupied lands do not have equivalents on the British side. Certainly not in relation to the Second War War. "In which we Serve" is simply a fine film which captures an era & for anyone who wants to understand that era (viscerally even) one would be well served by giving it some of your time. Cheers!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In Which We Serve DVD, March 22, 2010
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This review is from: In Which We Serve (DVD)
As most folks are aware, this is a classic war movie, so I'm not making any comments about the film itself; however, the quality of the DVD (both picture and sound) are rather poor, hence my only two stars for this review. I'm surprised that this film isn't part of the Criterion Collection.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There a 3 films made in WW2 in England..., May 30, 2005
This review is from: In Which We Serve (DVD)
...that you simply HAVE to see, "Mrs Miniver" being one, a little known film dealing with a fictitious German invasion to a sweet English Village, "Went the day well?" and this film.

Why so? Because all 3 were made at the start of the war (early 40's) when England stood very much alone in the fight agaisnt Hitler and aggresive facism. Invasion fears were rife, the war effort looked hopeless at times as in Europe, Hitler opposing country after country fell to the German aggressors (not to mention the rampage going on in Africa at the hands of Rommel aided by the Italian forces under Mussolini's instruction). England's small island identity stood alone and under threat and was bombed, starved and demoralised into feeling invasion could happen any day. It was quite possibly the darkest of times in English History and these three films capture the flavour of that dispondancy but equally the might of the will to survive and protect, with realistic perfection. In which we serve does this more personally as we know it is based in truth and the characters become dear and well rounded quite quickly, inspiring us to care about these folk from many walks of British life.

For a modern audience it may seem a little over stoic and sentimental at times but place the emotion in context of the year it was made (1942), and I guarantee you will view it an aching sense of fear and hope which was precisely Coward's plan.

An absolute gem and a must see, I weep every time I watch it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good WW2 film..!, January 28, 2011
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This review is from: In Which We Serve (DVD)
This forum on Amazon.com is to REVIEW THE MOVIE and NOT to proslytize on YOUR particular view of the world, war, or life. Save THAT particular BS for Twitter or Facebook.
Considering the time period and the fact that the world was involved in a conflagration where millions died, the intent of the film was to boost morale and to reassure the masses whose loved ones were fighting and dying in all around the world that their loved ones died for all the right reasons. Hawks and Doves can battle it out in other forums as to the merits of this point of view. Those who lost a loved one wanted to know they didn't suffer and that they didn't die in vain.
As to the "stiff upper lip" attitude. My father in law during WW2 had 3 ships sunk out from under him on the "Malta Run" from England, to Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria, Egypt and then back to England. During this time his entire family was enduring the Siege of Malta. One ship had 2 survivors and another was lost with all hands (he was on shore searching for his family at the time). I've seen photos where he was on the bridge of the ship and a Stuka dive bomber was droping a bomb. The first photo shows the Stuka, the next one shows the bomb falling, and the last one shows the bomb hitting the stern of the ship. I asked him why he didn't duck. His reply was that there was no place to hide......my point being that there were some VERY brave men and women who did their duty and fought for freedom so guys like "Sal Magnum" could run off at the mouth about a subject (war) he has never experienced.
I found the movie to be as good and any of the type and it is based on the real life exploits of Lord Mountbatten. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Miniver?, February 22, 2004
By 
Randy Keehn (Williston, ND United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Which We Serve (DVD)
This is an excellent movie that can't help but draw comparisons to the movie "Mrs. Miniver". They both came out in 1942 with an England at war and pretty much going it alone. They focus on the home front and show the quiet tenacity and sacrifice of the British citizen. There are patriotic speeches in both movies unabashedly designed to stir the emotions of the English (and, presumeably, American) public. Those speeches are fine with me because they are well done. I think this point is worthy of comment because the films probably lack some of their punch with generations who already know how all of this turned out. What is interesting and effective with "In Which We Serve" is how the film jumps around in time. Only the ending is seen in its' proper place. This enables us to witness how so many people are affected by the events that take place on the HMS Torrin.
I rated this film a "4" instead of a "5" (4.5 wasn't an option) because, oddly enough, I thought the acting of Noel Coward was too stiff. He never limbered up in his role unlike the rest of the cast. This is a movie worth seeing regardless of time and place.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Ever, May 1, 2006
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D. R. Pitts "daverpitts" (Issaquah, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Which We Serve (DVD)
As a self confessed RN fan, this is is on my top ten list of favorite movies of all time. More for the way it is a cultural essay of the time, than for the action (which is there). The 3 social classes are well represented here, working class -Mills, Middle class - miles, and upper class - Coward, and I believ it to tbe faithfull representation of how the RN was a microcosm of British Society during WWII. The Idea that the the Captains batman was taken home during leave to help with he washing up!. Hard to believe that this was made during WWII, But it certainly portrays the attitudes and issues of the times. Excellent
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN MRS. MINIVER?, September 30, 2003
By 
"pktudor2002" (New York, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Which We Serve [VHS] (VHS Tape)
well, maybe an overstatement. however, this film is an amazing dramatic achievement - all kudos to writer/director/lead actor noel coward. a great movie about WW2 with none of the glossiness and sentimentality of MRS. MINIVER (again, a classic film in its own right). this is a film about real people in very plausible situations not being "heroic"; just trying to live during a war with compassion and sense of humor. (not trying to diss MINIVER, but i never really could buy that nazi in the kitchen scene w/greer garson). coward and team splice in some actual battle footage which works very well to create an overall production standard that ranks among the best of the period. even now. all the actors are great (especially john mills).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great British WW II film, February 10, 2013
By 
Joseph Wilson "joe w" (North Olmsted, Ohio, US) - See all my reviews
I hadn't seen this film in over 30 years and was surprised at how well it has held up. As in other British films of the era it has good character development with excellent official war footage. It is told as a flashback with a lot of the film being on the home front. This is the second British war film of the era that I remember, with soldiers or sailors having family in the film being effected by the Blitz. Noel Coward was very good as the ships' Captain, along with a good supporting cast including a small role,(uncredited), by Richard Attenborough, in his first film. If you are looking for a glimpse into how the British viewed the early years of WW II this is a good example.
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In Which We Serve
In Which We Serve by David Lean (DVD - 2011)
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