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The Enemy Below
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|Genre||Military & War/World War II, Military & War/Drama|
|Format||Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen|
|Contributor||Theodore Bikel, Werner Reichow, Dan Tana, David Bair, Kurt Kreuger, Jimmy Bates, Robert Mitchum, Joe Brooks, Ted Perritt, Jeff Daley, Frank Albertson, David Hedison, Marco López, Dick Powell, Peter Dane, Ronnie Rondell Jr., Russell Collins, Curt Jürgens, Biff Elliot, Roger Cornwell, Jack N. Kramer See more|
|Runtime||1 hour and 38 minutes|
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It's Mitchum vs. Jurgens as the commanders of an American destroyer and a German U-boat play a deadly game of cat and mouse. Noted for it's underwater effects. Directed by musical comedy star Powell, who became a producer/director for feature films and for Four Star Television. Direction: Dick Powell Actors: Curd Jurgens, David Hedison, Kurt Kreuger, Special Features: Full frame format. Year: 1957 Runtime: 98 minutes
- Aspect Ratio : 2.35:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 0.57 x 5.36 x 7.54 inches; 0.01 Ounces
- Item model number : 2218326
- Director : Dick Powell
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 38 minutes
- Release date : May 25, 2004
- Actors : Robert Mitchum, Curt Jürgens, David Hedison, Theodore Bikel, Russell Collins
- Dubbed: : French
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish
- Language : French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 4.0), Unqualified
- Studio : 20th Century Studios
- ASIN : B0001NBMH6
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,089 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Like many great films set during war-time, this is more than a run of the mill bang-bang, shoot-'em-up battle-sequence. It examines the people involved in such action - putting a human face on war. and giving some insight into the psychological effects of battle. I would say, in terms of action, it would be between "Mister Roberts" and the earlier mentioned "The Longest Day."
Basically it's a deadly chess game with the various moves taken by two ships being countered almost perfectly by the opponent. And, though the crews may not know the reasoning behind each counter-move, a logical (I'm not sure about accuracy, but it sounded good) explanation normally is given - after the fact. Though casualties occur, such is the sad aspect of warfare. The important thing is each Captain is first and foremost aiming to complete his mission: The U-Boat to reach a rendezvous point, the Destroyer (having detected the U-Boat) attempting to prevent that by pursuing the enemy.
I have slowly become a Robert Mitchum fan. Though I really never thought of him in the same category as bigger name actors, every once in a while I've caught his performance (generally in a supporting role). I think the first time I really started to 'catch the bug' was seeing him in "The Longest Day." From that point on, I've really started to enjoy and appreciate his style. In this film, I love how Mitchum finally makes his appearance - disproving the crew's feeling that, being a new commander, he has no idea what to do. The way he calmly goes about making decisions which could easily result in their destruction - or 'losing' the scent of it's prey - is marvelous. Mitchum just projects what my idea of a military commander should look and sound like.
His counterpart, Curt Jürgens, is likewise a quite capable commander - doing his best to complete his mission, but ultimately reaching a point where confrontation is required. I personally enjoy how the film tries to show the difference between German military members, and flat-out Nazi sympathizers/proponents. Much like the Luftwaffe commander of the POW camp in "The Great Escape."
Bottom line: this is a very good military film - it has a nice mix of personal stories and backgrounds, battle scenes (as much as you can show between a surface ship and a U-Boat), and the concept of military strategy - an aspect not often shown at this level (the closest probably being some of the scenes in "Patton").
Top reviews from other countries
Whilst on routine patrol in the Second World War, Robert Mitchum's destroyer happens across a German submarine commanded by Curt Jurgens. What follows is a superior drama as a game of cat and mouse ensues.
What makes this a better than average entry in the genre is that we get to see the action both above and below the waves. Both commanders and crews are well developed, making them believable and making us interested in both of them. Mitchum and Jurgens are both believable as the commanders, showing two weary but experienced men in a fight to the end, but each with a great respect for their adversary. It's well directed, well scripted and well acted, making for a very entertaining film. And I have to say I really did not see the finale coming!
This 20th Century Fox Studio Classics presents the film in 2.35:1 aspect ratio with a 4.0 sound. Both picture and soundtrack have been nicely transferred and it looks and sounds good.
It is a story of war, death and battles, but it is also a story of courage, respect and friendship. The acting is very good and the "locations" a battleship and a submarine in the middle of the ocean and yet it covers the world of people involved in the war, on death always not too far away, at a resolution that could be decided by the flip of a coin or the push of a button. Really a very good film.