In Which We Serve Reviews
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.
A very respectful wartime based drama featuring Noel Coward playing one of the most classy navy captains in cinema history. I've never really been a huge fan warship/submarine based films as they always seem to have such limited scope, but this is still a very well made film with a few famous up and coming young faces added into the mix, a fair share of action, and is still as watchable now as it was all those years ago. The plot is flash-back heavy as it cuts back and forth giving more insight into the men involved as well as their life before their service on board the almost worshipped destroyer Torrin. This is by all accounts is a propaganda piece, but as far as films of that nature go this is one of the very best.
The battle scenes are impressive to watch...a mix of actual footage and miniature work. At times, some of these scenes go on rather long though. However, what makes this film are the flashbacks and the two speeches by Coward's character that bookend the movie. Also of note, a young Richard Attenborough playing a sailor who has deserted his post in battle. He only has a couple of lines, but his facial expressions and eyes show the inner torment his character is coping with.
It's too bad the movie didn't come a little earlier. It may indeed have won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1942 over Mrs Miniver. However, this film qualified for the 1943 Oscars. It was nominated for Best Picture, but had the unenviable task of going up against Casablanca!