The Enemy Below
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Robert Mitchum is the man who rises to do what is needed. Not a superhero, but a very human man who goes into war and does what is required. He is the Captain of a U.S. destroyer sent out to track U-boats. Curt Jurgens is his mirror reflection - below - a Captain of the U-Boat that becomes the target of Mitchum's search. He is not a product of the Nazi war-machine, but again, a very likable man just defending his country. This is demonstrated with deft humor when Jurgens very deliberately hangs his jacket over the plaque of Hitler's propaganda.
The script eschews the stereotypical "Nazi monsters", and portrays a German crew with very real - and universal - emotions. They, too, were just men doing their job and what is required. Instead of having us root for the Americans to blow up the evil Germans, you are put in the position of caring equally for both sides. You comprehend that they are men, offering their lives for their command, not in a political way, but in a time-honoured fashion of a man going to war. You understand both sides REALLY do not want to be here, to kill or be killed; they would rather home. No rousing stereotypical propaganda. In the end, they will kill each other if they must, but given the choice, they would rather not. Very different for that period of war films.
A little dated appearance on the boat scenes by today's standards. It's obvious toy models when the boats crash, but easily overlooked and dismissed when balanced with the very impressive lack of finger-pointing and flag-waving for either nationality. Both Mitchum and Jurgens are dead-bang on target in their lead roles, with David Hedison, Theodore Bickel and Doug McClure round out a super cast
The strength of this movie is not the cat-and-mouse battle. The power of this film lies in the portrayal of both sides of the battle. War is hell, and everyone merely wants to go home.
This is "Das Boot" many years before it was made. You will even see "Hunt for Red October" scenes here. This film is well worth the viewing. This is Mitchum and Jurgens playing roles made for them. I highly recommend it.
THE ENEMY BELOW is a 100% action movie, without any distracting romantic sub-plot or comic relief crew members. Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens are excellent as the American destroyer commander and U-boat commander who cross paths in the Atlantic Ocean and engage in a deadly hunt. With a few exceptions the models are realistically rendered and convincing. This is one of the best war movies out there, and maybe the best navy movie available. I strongly recommend it to action fans.
We learn a lot about both Murrell and Von Stolberg as the movie progresses. Von Stolberg cares little for Nazis and Hitler, an attitude typical among German submariners during World War II. Von Stolberg is tired and anxious for the war to end. While Murrell is just trying to do his job, you can sense equal measures of revenge and perhaps just a touch of regret that war and killing is necessary at all. While he is very matter-of-fact as he chases the submarine, he does so without enjoyment. At times I thought he was even a little sad that the conflict was necessary. Von Stolberg too is distressed regarding the feinting of the two craft. He wants to make his rendezvous, he wants to go home.
As the story develops we gain a deep respect for these two men as the scenes switch between the two characters. We realize that while there must be a resolution, we too would rather the two ships go their own way, especially since we know the war must be near an end.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent movie about two very good strategic leaders and how they showed respect at the end for each other.Published 3 days ago by Julian Francis
A true masterpiece of intrigue and ultimate respect for bravery in a superbly told story. Few are made this wellPublished 3 days ago by Bill in KC
Kinda slow. My husband actually fell asleep. Don't watch this late at night.Published 3 days ago by Elizabeth Southerland
Generally well done movie for the time. However, it portrays war as a glorified experience. I have real doubts whether the German U-Boat crew would have been welcomed aboard the US... Read morePublished 4 days ago by JPB
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