115 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2003
This film is a throwback to the classic war films pre-Saving Private Ryan. Since that film, a very good one I might add, Hollywood has attempted to out-blood n' gore itself with each new war movie. Well that's certainly a part of war, possibly THE single most important part at the personal level of conflict, but it's not necessary for a film to entertain. If all you want is to see suffering, spend a Friday night at any inner city ER. No, The Sea Wolves is something more. It tells the tale of a band of aged Boer War veterans enlisted by the British Special Operations Executive to conduct a clandestine raid on a German merchant ship transmitting intelligence to U-boats cruising the Indian Ocean. As is usually the case with Hollywood, the film takes some liberties with the actual event but it is quite entertaining nonetheless. David Niven is superb, as always. Gregory Peck's role was equalling well done, if one can excuse the rather poor English accent that tends to fade in and out. The tongue-in-cheek, very British exchanges between he and Roger Moore are quite enjoyable. I hadn't seen this movie in 20+ years and it is as entertaining as ever. I'm happy to see that lesser known films like The Sea Wolves are making it onto DVD. Just don't expect lots of body parts flying about or language that would make Mike Tyson blush.
79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 1999
Gregory Peck, Roger Moore and David Niven are the lead actors in this true story having taken place in WW II in India and Goa. It is shot on location where it happened, giving great authenicity to the scenes and how they took place. I think just about every older English actor who has appeared in any war films is present here. This was one of the reasons I liked the film. A gathering of "old" friends in one place from the other films gives it credence as you know they are well trained, in a way. This is sort of like "The Wild Geese", same cast of characters in the support roles. The print of the film in 1.85 to 1 letterbox is of great quality. The surround sound works well. While the subject matter of getting the sinking of ships stopped is serious, there are many very funny spots as the older men of the Light Horse get geared up for war after 40 some years. There is one especially tender moment when David Niven is shaving at 5am and his wife is worried about another woman. Both Gregory Peck and Roger Moore play their respective characters believably. Not sure why they didn't check one character out............
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2005
I first saw this film on HBO. I tuned in because two long-time favourites (Roger Moore & Patrick Macnee) were listed. I watched it over several times, bought it on VHS, and now own it on DVD.
This is based on a true event in WWII, when the British were losing cargo to a U-Boat pack in the Indian Ocean. Since the problem stemmed from the neutral Portugese port of Goa, nothing 'official' could be done. The Calcutta Light Horse, a group of retired British military, are recruited to do the impossible, and pulled it off. The event was declassified in 1980, and the film was made. Most of the cast is portraying actual persons involved, as shown in the end credits.
To play the 'past prime' Light Horse members, the film recruited major names: David Niven, Trevor Howard, Kenneth Griffith, Morgan Sheppard, Patrick Allen, Glyn Houston, and a cadre of others you will know. The "thin on top, thick in the middle" troops are led by professional soldiers Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, and Patrick Macnee. Peck plays Col. Lewis Pugh, a colonel whose family was in Coventry when it was plastered by the Luftwaffe. Moore plays Capt. Gavin Stewart, a bit of a playboy who falls for local lovely spy Barbara Kellerman. Macnee plays Major "Yogi" Crossley, the explosives expert fond of reading the paper while standing on his head. All cast members are well up to the task. Most memorable of the supporting cast is Wilton who is charged with nursing the engines of their rather creaky craft. When told he has to stay on the ship rather than going aboard the target vessel, Wilton says: "Request permission to say, 'S--t' sir."
The fun is watching these men train for the mission; the suspense is watching them perform it. To a man, the whole Light Horse volunteered for the mission, despite knowing there was no pay, recognition, medals, or any form of compensation. With only one fatality, despite overwhelming odds and several casualties, they manage.
The only flaw of the film, for me, is Peck's British accent which is overdone when present and tends to fade in and out. Director Andrew McLaglen should have dispensed with it entirely. (MacLaglen also directed Moore in 'fflokes,' another offbeat role for The Saint whose name was Bond.)
Action, humour, romance, suspense - all based on a true story - this one has it all, including a title & credit sequences of the actual event.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Recently, we read Roger Moore's book "My Word is my Bond" and thanks to this excellent biography of all the work accomplished by Roger Moore, we became familiar with movies we had never seen by our favorite... Bond, James Bond. So, we are trying to see all his films.
In The Sea Wolves, Roger Moore stars with Gregory Peck, David Niven, Trevor Howard and Barbara Kellerman among many wonderful stars.
The plot revolves around retired British military men who now form part of "The Calcutta Light Horse," a club where they play games, drink, party, and reminisce about the days when they lived the action of war.
Goa, a Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state in terms of area and the fourth smallest in population. Located on the west coast of India, it is located in the region known as the Konkan. To the north we find Maharashtra, to the east and south Karnataka and to the west, the Arabian Sea. In his book, Roger Moore tells us that the film took place close to Christmas and they wanted to have a meal as they did back home, with turkey, stuffing, Christmas pudding and all the trimmings, so they set out to recreate an English meal in Goa... to no avail.
This film is based on a true story. In 1943, German merchant ships used to gather information and sink Allied war vessels. Two British officers, masterfully played by Roger Moore and Gregory Peck are sent to Goa to search for clues as to how the information is relayed and to put a stop to the casualties. Roger Moore meets a woman and falls in love with her without realizing that she is dangerous to say the least.
The design a plan to sink the German ships and they turn for help to the retired military men of The Calcutta Light Horse Club. These men can't wait to get into action and it is quite fun to see the preparation they undergo to get back in shape. Patrick Macnee of the series "The Avengers" is part of the team. At first we did not recognize him because he was missing his John Steed umbrella and hat, but the voice gave him away.
As the movie progresses, the men learn that their mission entails destroying German ships and it is quite fun to see how delighted they are to get back into action after over 40 years of rest.
Thanks to Roger Moore's book, we also learn lots about the close relationship the actor had with both Gregory Peck and David Niven and how Niven discovers that he suffered from motor neurone disease because while he walked his daily routine, he could not lift his heel off the ground.
The film is based on a great story and on real facts, the action is superb and the plot, interesting and filled with humor.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2009
The film opens with incredibly accurate information that Forty-six freighters were sunk by the German submarines in the Indian Ocean in the past few weeks... The U-boats know exactly where and when to strike...
On one hand, we also know that the Portuguese authorities dismantled the ships' radios when they gave them permission to stay there... On the other, if Radio Monitoring is right, and the transmitter is actually in the harbor, it must be on a ship...
Not being able to break the code, the British Intelligence has to find out from where the information to those U-boats originates... To find whoever heads the spy ring, and to get rid of the transmitter without forgetting to violate Portugal's neutrality...
Now if a British Commando cannot violate Goa's neutral status, they might have to turn to amateurs... The Light Horse has not been in action as a unit since the Boer War in 1900... If they were caught, it might be taken as a drunken escapade... We are speaking about ex-soldiers on holiday, stealing a river ferry, sailing it the whole way round India from Calcutta to Cochin... and then heading for the neutral port of Mormugoa, Portuguese colony...
In that port, at anchor is a German ship, the Ehrenfels... Their job is to seize that ship, or sink her where she is... Also in that port are two other German ships so if they can knock them off at the same time, so much the better...
As you can see it is a crucial operation where many allied lives might be saved...
David Niven is the only man with any experience at sea...Charlie Wilton will remain aboard to nurse the engine of the old tub... Trevor Howard will have his only chance to settle accounts for his boy killed in Burma... Roger Moore has to deal with some spies... Peck has to lead the whole suicide adventure...
The film moves along beautifully, reaching an exciting and tense climax... Don't miss it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
This movie is a classic. Gregory Peck, David Nivon and Roger Moore play wonderful roles. The movie is based on the true story of the members of the Horse Brigade. They were in the Boar War which was 1900. Gregory Peck and Roger Moore are approached by David Nivon. These men are more then willing to help in winning the war with Germany during the 1940's. I'm almost betting this was one of David Nivon's last movie, you can tell he's aged in this movie. If you want some history on WWII and how men who were past the age of fighting fought for the greater good for the world. Great Movie--I highly recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2013
During World War II, German submarines were active in the Indian Ocean from mid-1942 and British intelligence in India believed that information relating to commercial ship movements to and from India was being leaked from a shipping office in Bombay to a German spy in Goa - a neutral Portuguese enclave on the western coast of India. The German master spy named Trompeter was resident in Goa and believed to be passing the shipping information to a German merchant ship Ehrenfels interned in Goa harbour. The shipping movements were then passed by a secret radio on the Ehrenfels to German submarines which then proceeded to use that information to locate and sink a large quantity of Allied shipping. Britain could not risk offending neutral Portugal by mounting an attack on Ehrenfels by a conventional British raiding force so the British special forces in India enlisted the support of the Calcutta Light Horse for the raid on Ehrenfels. The Calcutta Light Horse was a territorial unit composed of ageing British expatriates keen to serve their country despite their age and lack of physical fitness. "The Sea Wolves" is based on the book Boarding Party by James Leasor which provides an interesting but not exactly riveting account of the unconventional and very successful raid by the Calcutta Light Horse on a German ship in a neutral harbour. The Sea Wolves is a marvellous adventure movie with a fine cast that includes Gregory Peck, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Roger Moore, and Barbara Kellerman who plays the beautiful but deadly German spy Mrs Cromwell in Portuguese Goa. She did not appear in the book but she makes a fine addition to the movie. The tense action is leavened by nice touches of humor and a romance that develops between Barbara Kellerman and British special forces officer Roger Moore. I recommend this film highly. Put your feet up and enjoy it with your favourite drink close at hand.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2008
good quality movie packed with top and secondary stars combining together to provide some really old fashioned entertainment
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2003
This film is, as has been stated previously, a throwback to a lost era in film-making. The cast is generally superb, although some are underutilized (Patrick McNee in particular). Interestingly, Barbara Kellerman was not the original choice for the female lead (according to Roger Moore's recent biography); Diana Rigg was. This is not McLaglen's best film (I think ffolkes is), but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Strangely, my copy has a very soft soundtrack. I have to crank the sound or use the subtitles to understand the dialogue.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Truth really is stranger than fiction. This movie proves it. It took place in 1943, but the documents were not declassified until 1978. I'm not surprised someone grabbed it for a movie: it's an amazing story.
David Niven is a member of the Calcutta Light Horse, a British regiment that has not seen duty since the Boer war. Nonetheless, every single member volunteered for whatever they could do as soon as WWII was declared. As the story opens, most of what they have done is sit around their club house and listen to the radio reports of what's going on in the war, cheering on the chaps that are fighting, and envying them.
Gregory Peck is a secret agent of some sort. When Niven asks him what he does in the war, he says, "odd jobs." Niven says that if he should ever get a job so odd that nobody else can or will do it, remember the Calcutta Light Horse.
Roger Moore is also a British secret agent (type-casting, eh?), and he and Peck are told to think up a way to get through a spy ring operating out of "neutral" Goa, a Portuguese colony on the Indian west coast. Of course, since it is in neutral territory, they must not be identified as English. In fact, they had better not be identified at all.
Three Nazi ships have been anchored in the harbor for months, nominally impounded by the Portuguese. Problem is, there's also a U-boat prowling the harbor and environs, which has had terribly accurate information about allied ships coming in range, and has sunk at least a dozen in the last month. One of the ships has a radio transmitter on it, and is sending spy information to the U-boat.
Peck remembers that Niven predicted the entire Calcutta Light Horse would want in on the project to sink the Nazi ship with the transmitter on it. He was right. They beg to go along.
Of course, we have to have a beautiful and mysterious woman in the story for Roger Moore to seduce and/or be seduced by. What happens to her, and who she is, I will leave to the movie to disclose.
This is too good a story to ruin by telling you too much. I will say, though, that it never pays to consider any brave soldier too old.