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WE DIVE AT DAWN, 1943
Movie Review

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WE DIVE AT DAWN MOVIE POSTERWE DIVE AT DAWN, 1943
Movie Reviews

Directed by Anthony Asquith
Starring: John Mills, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar, Jack Watling, Reginald Purdell, Niall MacGinnis
Review by Russell Hill


SYNOPSIS:

The crew of a British submarine try to destroy an unsinkable warship.

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REVIEW:

Iím not normally a reader of The Daily Mail (it is after all regarded as the British newspaper equivalent of Chairman Mao) but when a film like this was being offered as a freebie I couldnít resist parting with the 50p or so in order obtain a copy. Having not heard of the film before but attracted to seeing this movie because John Mills starred in it, I obligingly parted with this meagre amount and sat down to watch what I hoped would be a great movie. How right my presumption was.

It is the height of WW2, and Allied forces are winning. With the USA joining the fight in 1941, this dramatically helped the war effort with this altering the style of films made in the UK. Yes I admit that the typical stereotype of the working class as being the comical characters is evident, but it seems that each and every strata of society is represented which was certainly the case for many Navy vessels during this conflict. The premise of the film is that the crew of a Submarine are called back from leave in order to pursue a Nazi warship. They travel so far that they nearly run out of petrol, and have no way to get back alive. How ever will they make it back?

I guess the most impressive aspect of this movie is the claustrophobia of the submarine in which it is shot. There are a number of outstanding shots of the submarines of the British Navy sailing blissfully through the Ocean, and at times you really do believe that those you see acting on screen are actually in the Navy. John Mills is by all means usurped and overtaken on many occasions by those who surround him, and despite him being the heroic Lt Taylor you often find yourself becoming more indulged in the supporting characters which are that convincing you see yourself rooting for the British and hope they destroy the Nazi folk, old boy.

A propaganda piece it can be described as, the heroic British by all means cannot be stopped by anybody. Whether they the ones chasing or being chased themselves, it seems nothing can destroy the spirit of these fellas. A film of its time you may label it, but I disagree wholeheartedly as the quality of the filmmaking and the way in which it is shot is quite extraordinary. Filmed at a time when spare submarines were not exactly in plentiful supply, this has to be one of the finest British Naval submarine films I have seen to date. A classic for sure.

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We Dive at Dawn


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