In Which We Serve 1942

In Which We Serve

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 864

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In Which We Serve Photos

Movie Info

Co-directors David Lean and Noel Coward (in his sole filmmaking effort) created this patriotic World War II drama under the auspices of Great Britain's Ministry of Information. After the sinking of the HMS Torrin during the Battle of Crete in 1941, the ship's survivors -- including Captain Kinross (Noel Coward), Chief Petty Officer Hardy (Bernard Miles) and Seaman Blake (John Mills) -- recall their tour of duty in flashback while awaiting rescue in lifeboats being strafed by German airplanes.

Cast & Crew

Noel Coward
Capt. Edward V. Kinross
John Mills
Ordinary Seaman Shorty Blake
Bernard Miles
CPO Walter Hardy
Celia Johnson
Alix Kinross
Kay Walsh
Freda Lewis
Joyce Carey
Katherine Lemmon Hardy
Michael Wilding
'Flags', Second Lieutenant
Anthony Havelock-Allan
Associate Producer
Herbert Smith
Executive Producer
Clifton Parker
Original Music
Noel Coward
Non-Original Music
Ronald Neame
Cinematographer
David Lean
Film Editor
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for In Which We Serve

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (2)

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

    November 6, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

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

    June 24, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • One of the most eloquent motion pictures of these or any other times had its American premire at the Capitol Theatre last night.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Palpably fraudulent.

    September 20, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Established Lean as the a director to watch, and foreshadowed his later prowess at focusing on intimate themes against a grand backdrop.

    August 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for In Which We Serve

  • Dec 28, 2013
    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 B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2013
    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 B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 13, 2013
    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 D Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2009
    A good British war film about a stranded crew of a British Destroyer on a life raft. The whole film is told in flashbacks and that is what I think hurts the film. It was original then, but it takes you out of the story almost every time it happens. Coward's screenplay is great and all of the characters are strong. David Lean helps him with the direction, which makes it look good and really helps the acting. Entertaing film all around, but I wish it was set up a little different without the all of the flashbacks.
    cody f Super Reviewer

In Which We Serve Quotes

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