The destroyer USS Whittier is transferred to the Royal Navy and rechristened HMS Ballantrae for a checkered career on convoy duty that ends in a French seaport under the Nazi flag to scupper a battleship.
Curtiz’ Captain Blood goes into this ably, the screenwriters had just made Walsh’s version, Captain Horatio Hornblower. Frend’s The Cruel Sea checks the whole thing over from stem to stern for Ealing.
It’s a great picture of the war-weary British, the four-piper thrust upon them by gallantry is a symbol of the whole business, dropped back into Jerry’s lap.
The structure looks at Reed’s The Third Man from an angle of Hitchcock, and moreover concludes in a car chase through the streets of Berlin at night from the British Sector to the Russian, and still Bosley Crowther (New York Times) found it of no interest whatsoever, “a great deal of panting exercise”, and here is a German businessman whose fortune is built on murder and stolen penicillin, he sells secrets to the Soviets, too.
The victim takes the rap on a misapprehension, escapes from a fortress prison, travels to Munich and Hamburg and Berlin to straighten matters out, a Dutch resistance fighter captured by the Nazis, an escapee with several others just before the Liberation.