The Cruel Sea - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cruel Sea (1953)


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Release Date: Aug 19, 1953 Wide


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this seagoing military drama set in World War II, Lt. Comdr. Ericson (Jack Hawkins) is made captain of a British corvette, a small escort vessel used to guide and protect convoys traveling through the Atlantic. Ericson had his confidence severely shaken during his last command, in which he lost his ship and most of its men following an attack by a German U-boat. As he leads a new and largely inexperienced crew aboard the H.M.S. Compass Rose, Ericson is once again thrown into a life-and-death … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama , Action & Adventure , Classics
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 22, 2005
Eric Ambler


as Lt. Cdr. Ericson

as Lt. Keith Lockhart

as Sub-Lt. Ferraby

as Sub-Lt. Morell

as Lt. Bennett

as Bob Tallow

as Julie Hallam

as Jim Watts

as Elaine Morell

as Doris Ferraby

as Glad Tallow

as Yeoman Wells

as Phillips

as Tonbridge

as Wainwright

as Signalman Rose

as Carslake

as Broughton

as Sub-Lt. Baker

as Polish Captain

as Norweigan Captain

as Scott Brown

as ASDIC Operator

as Admiral at party

as R.N. Captain

as Lieut.-Commander

as Air Raid Warden
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Cruel Sea

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 10, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

July 17, 2005

November 18, 2004

Audience Reviews for The Cruel Sea


The Cruel Sea is a seafaring drama set during WWII, following an escort ship and its crew battling German U-boats. It's very much a film of its time; the propaganda element is heavy, the enemy unseen for the vast majority of the time, and it's full of stiff upper lipped officers throwing in with the working classes. For this reason, it seems very dated, and the scenes on shore consist of the usual kitchen sink soap opera melodrama. British stalwarts Jack Hawkins and Donald Sinden put in decent performances but it's lacking any real star presence and some ham fisted direction (particularly the voice over flashbacks) damages the film's authenticity. It is interesting to see the nuts and bolts of how such a ship was operated and the battle scenes are believably realistic, but I can't see this being of much interest to any but military historians and the nostalgic.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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