The Cruel Sea

TitleThe Cruel Sea
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication1953
AuthorsFrend, Charles
Running Time2h 6min
Date Released03/24/1953
DistributorGeneral Film Distributors (GFD)
CountryUnited Kingdom
Publication LanguageEnglish

The Cruel Sea is a 1953 British film, produced by Ealing Studios. The film portrays the conditions in which the Battle of the Atlantic was fought between the Royal Navy and Germany's U-boats, seen from the viewpoint of the British naval officers and seamen who served in convoy escorts. It is based on the best-selling 1951 novel of the same name by former naval officer Nicholas Monsarrat, though the screenplay by Eric Ambler omits some of the novel's grimmest moments. The plot centers around Lt. Cmdr. George Ericson (Jack Hawkins), who despite his guilt over a recent harrowing sea battle in which many of his men were lost, is assigned to helm the new H.M.S. Compass Rose. When the small vessel is sent to escort convoys of ships fighting German U-boats in the North Atlantic, the mettle of the novice crew is tested by the weather, the turbulent sea and enemy attacks – one of which nearly destroys the Compass Rose.

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