The Sinking of the Laconia 1 Season 2011

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
(5) IMDb 7/10

2. Part 2 TV-NR CC

On board the crowded submarine, a tentative truce forms between the sailors and the survivors. Hartenstein's distress call has surprising consequences both for the rescue operation and the future conduct of the war.

Starring:
Franka Potente, Ken Duken
Runtime:
1 hour 25 minutes
Original air date:
January 7, 2011

Part 2

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The infamous WWII incident involving the British cruise liner Laconia is a one-of-a-kind tale that is almost too fantastic to believe. The ship, which had been conscripted into service, was traveling from Egypt to Liverpool and had a passenger list consisting largely of civilians and Italian prisoners. When a German U-boat had the opportunity to torpedo the enemy, they took it and the ship was sunk. But when the survivors were discovered to be non-combatants, the German captain attempted to aid where he could. In an unusual tale of humanity in the time of adversity, this truce became a beacon of hope for the future. But as the aftermath of this decision unfolded, the results were both shocking and disappointing. If you don't know much about the event, I highly recommend the first rate production of "The Sinking of the Laconia." This two part TV movie was a British and German co-production and is taken from true accounts of the survivors.

Part One introduces a large cast of characters as the voyage sets sail. In many ways, the plotting of these early scenes can be problematic as the film only has a certain amount of time to create the characterizations. I wasn't in love with the beginning of "The Sinking of the Laconia" as it plays largely as an upscale soap opera unraveling personal stories and drama with a minimum of screen time. No one gets much attention, and I never particularly invested in the individuals. The sinking sequences, however, are well executed but there still isn't a huge emotional investment. But once this becomes a tale of the survivors, Part Two really gets under your skin. It is exceedingly well done, the characters start to take on real dimension, and the drama is absolutely gripping.
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This opens up all kinds of possibilities. The potential cooperation for the safety of all concerned shows that there is good in everyone.
Well worth watching
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This is a study in elongation. The story itself would fit nicely I suppose in 80-90 minutes. But almost three hours is a waste.
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A movie based in the last great war in which all Americans were united.
There was clear cut evil in the world in the Hitler Germans but this movie
brings out that not all Germans were like this. It also shows how bad the conditions
were for all submariners of this period. The actors are super. A gem of a movie that did not
get a lot of air time in America.
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The Laconia was sank during WWII and the captain of the U-boat, seeing that there were survivors, tried to take as many aboard as possible. He actually did his best, regardless of some of the mishaps of the allies. Many of those survived to tell the tale. Admiral Donitz who was in charge of all naval operations agreed with the captain to help the survivors but latter because of pressure, he ordered that this would never be allowed in the future. Those that survived gave the Captain of the U-boat high praise. Admiral Donitz wanted the captain to join him as part of his staff but the Captain refused to leave his men. He went back out to sea and died as his U-boat was sunk during the remainder of the war.
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