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Sink the Bismarck!
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This otherwise fine film is marred, however, by the false depiction of one of the major characters, Admiral Lutjens, commander of the Bismarck. In the film, he is stereotyped as the typical Nazi - a Hitler sycophant, careerist and wild-eyed fanatic. This was most certainly not the historical Lutjens, who was by no means a Nazi fanatic. Lutjens was a naval hero from World War I, who served out of duty and dedication, not Nazi conviction. (Lutjens protected Jews under his command, and members of his family were in trouble for their anti-Nazi views.) This is at complete odds with his depiction in Sink the Bismarck, which I find inexcusable, given that the above information was certainly available to the production. In fact, an accurate depiction of Lutjens would have, in my opinion, added interest to the plot.
Nevertheless, Sink the Bismarck is eminently watchable and a fine addition to any war movie collection, if you bear in mind the above caveat.
Among the things that make it worth viewing are: the presence of Edward R. Morrow recreating the atmosphere of his wartime London radio reports, the recreation of the Naval command center underneath the Admiralty building and the highly believable performance of Kenneth More (himself a wartime naval officer) as the deeply wounded Captain Shepherd. Dana Wynter also gives a delicately nuanced performance as Second Officer Anne Davis. The moment when she enters Shepherd's office and realizes that he is crying is beautifully done.
The highly restrained romantic undercurrent doesn't interfere with the main story line and is very believable for wartime professionals. One comes away from this movie knowing that a great menace to the eventual survival of Britain has been eliminated and that there may be hope for both the UK and for two lonely people.
The inclusion in the new DVD of some newreel footage of the actual event is a nice little bonus. The subject of the hunt for and destruction of the "Bismarck" has also recently been the subject of some recent documentaries. The story retains its impact, even after more than 60 years.
Based on a book of the same name, which was in turn based on the real incidents in World War 2, the movie "Sink the Bismarck" retells the tale of the dogged effort by the British Royal Navy to track down and attempt to destroy the German battle cruiser Bismarck.
Much of the movie takes place at the Admiralty in London where the superb British actor Kenneth Moore surveys the ships as would a chess player on a large board, in an attempt to second guess and outmaneuver the German vessel.
The DVD is in fine shape and I did not notice any artifacts or nicks. Considering the age of the picture it is surprising that it should be so well prsented here, so full marks must go to 20th Century Fox. I have seen this movie before on television and I do not believe I have ever seen it looking as crisp and focused as it does on this DVD.
Altogether, this is easy to recommend especially considering the low price.
p.s. Viewers in the United States should also seek out, and watch, the superb 2-hour History Channel documentary of the same name. It would make an excellent companion-piece to this movie if the producers should decide to release it as a DVD.
Script sounds right, and may delight both British and non-British viewers:
Suffolk /Norfolk shadowing cruisers Jack Tarr crewmen:
'Oy,you know, we might as well throw crumpets at the Bismarck for all the good our little guns would do!
Crewman 2 'I wish someone would throw a bleedin' crumpet at me!
The destroyer 'Solent' destroyed by a salvo from the Bismarck after the Captain beautifully-Britishly declares
' NOW WE'RE FOR IT!'
as a searchlight clicks onto the sneaky brave little British -ship trying to angle for a night-torpedo attack, never existed. Vians tribal destroyer-flotilla 2 and a Polish-destroyer 'Paiun' did attempt a night attack in heavy seas the night before Bismarcks destruction, but despite considerable gunfire exchanged with the rudder-crippled Nazi collossus, neither Bismarck nor its small tormentors suffered much damage, let alone sudden shattering obliteration like this imaginary 'Solent'.
And as the final-scene suggests, despite all the invincible unsinkable ballyhoo, Bismarck was silenced relatively quickly by two British heavy ships. Then saturated by torpedos from destroyers and cruisers once silenced, this was thought to have been the reason it was finished-off, but strong evidence now suggests the surviving German crews scuttled the blazing listing hulk, rather than risk its capture as a trophy- not a practical possiblity for the British force assailing it, as it now turns out.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent historical war movie; you just gotta hand it to the Brits when it comes to war movies like this. Read morePublished 1 month ago by magellan
As a fan of WW2 movies "Sink The Bismarck" took the viewer away from the war and into the war room of wits and strategy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Fred D
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