In Which We Serve (1942)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Few morale-boosting wartime films have retained their power and entertainment value as emphatically as Noël Coward's In Which We Serve. To witness Coward's sober, no-nonsense direction (in collaboration with his co-director/editor, David Lean) and to watch his straightforward portrayal of navy captain Kinross, one would never suspect that he'd built his theatrical reputation upon sophisticated drawing-room comedies and brittle, witty song lyrics. The real star of In Which We Serve is the British … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By: ,
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 20, 2007
MCA Universal Home Video


as Captain Kinross

as Ordinary Seaman Shor...

as Chief Petty Officer ...

as Alix Kinross

as Mrs. Hardy

as Freda Lewis

as Number One

as Young Sailor

as Engineer Commander

as Doctor

as Mr. Blake

as Mrs. Blake

as Sub. Lieut. R.N.V.R.

as Dr. Drake

as Barmaid

as Joey Mackeridge

as Edgecombe

as Reynolds

as Parkinson

as Hollett

as Col. Lumsden

as Capt. Jasper Fry

as Bobby Kinross

as Lavinia Kinross

as Mrs. Lemmon

as Maureen Fenwick

as Mrs. Macadoo

as Mrs. Farrell

as Nell Fosdick

as Uncle Fred

as Photographer

as Mr. Satterthwaite

as Frieda's Baby
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for In Which We Serve

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

No less than half a dozen credits for this film go to Noel Coward. And they're well earned.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Top Critic

Staged with what passed at the time for honest understatement, it now looks impossibly patronising, the epitome of stiff upper lip.

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

One of the most eloquent motion pictures of these or any other times had its American premiére at the Capitol Theatre last night.

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

Perhaps the most honored propaganda film of World War II, in which the survivors of a torpedoed British battleship recall their reasons for fighting through individual flashbacks.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

... an accomplished, sincere, and moving piece of filmmaking that honors the characters and involves the audience.

Full Review… | May 4, 2012
Turner Classic Movies Online

Noel Coward, who also co-directed and wrote the script, brings weight and dignity to the role of Captain Kinross.

Full Review… | April 25, 2012
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for In Which We Serve


A call to arms for young men unsure about their participation in the war effort which borders on propaganda but it is nonetheless uplifting enough to rally the troops. An epic within an epic conflict.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

A lot of the film is standard wartime propaganda stuff, however Coward's screenplay still manages to find moments of serious humanity in the central characters.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer


Fun fact: In Which we Serve used condoms as bullets.
This war film directed by David Lean and partner Noel Coward had a lot of cool moments and ideas. If you watch this I'd recommend the Criterion edition as it holds some enlightening interviews. This isn't a great eerie war film and is a bit dated. This patriotic effort would probably be a joy for me if I was a Brit, but I don't have that kind of enthusiasm of British patriotism. This film uses the 40s cliche of flashbacks, but it makes the movie better than it'd would be. I'm didn't like Noel Coward as a ship captain as he didn't feel serious or strict enough. I suggest this if one is looking for a spirited war movie.

Daniel Dolgin
Daniel Dolgin

Super Reviewer

In Which We Serve Quotes

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