Morning Departure (1951)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

On a routine postwar mission, a submarine strikes a forgotten mine and sinks to the bottom. The twelve-man crew comes face to face with the probability of permanent entombment and suffocation; the tension is sharpened when it is learned that only eight of the men will be able to escape.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Richard Attenborough
as Stoker Snipe
John Mills
as Lt. Cmdr. Armstrong
Nigel Patrick
as Lt. Manson
Andrew Crawford
as Lt. McFee
Lana Morris
as Rose Snipe
Michael Brennan
as CPO Barlow
James Hayter
as AB Higgins
Wylie Watson
as AB Nobby Clark
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
as Leading Seaman Kelly
Roddy McMillan
as Leading Seaman Andrews
Frank Coburn
as Leading Seaman Brough
Peter Hammond
as Sub/Lt. Oakley
Victor Maddern
as L/Tig. Hillbrook
George Cole
as E.R.A. Marks
Bernard Lee
as Cmdr. Gates
Kenneth More
as Lt. Cmdr. James
Alistair Hunter
as Capt. Jenner
George Thorpe
as Capt. Fenton
Alastair Hunter
as Captain Jenner
Arthur Sandifer
as (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Morning Departure

All Critics (1)

Tense stiff upper-lip rescue story aboard a British submarine.

Full Review… | January 3, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Morning Departure


Nice bit of post-war militarism.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

"Morning Departure" starts with Lieutenant Commander Peter Armstrong(John Mills) being woken up from a restful slumber by the cries of his infant child. While he is getting dressed, his wife Helen(Helen Cherry) takes the time to talk to him about the opportunity of becoming a manager in one of her father's factories which he is very reluctant about, even though this is now peacetime. That having been said, there are still naval duties to perform like this morning's training cruise on a submarine. Everything goes as planned for the first few hours until a mine is spotted. Even after evasive maneuvers, there is still an explosion that only leaves 12 out of the original 65 crewmen alive, with the survivors stranded at the bottom of the sea. Amazingly, Armstrong announces a rescue plan that sounds simple enough. Now, they just have to wait, sleep or break out the Parcheesi board... "Morning Departure" is a riveting movie with some excellent underwater photography for the time and a perfectly understated performance from John Mills in the lead as the very picture of resolute calm. However, there is one bit of casting that does not work as well as planned, leading to a little bit of predictability. And I know some people may want to put the crewmen's calm in such a desperate situation down to little more than a British stiff upper lip, but I think it has more to do with having so little control over one's situation. As one character puts it, most deaths at sea are down to bad luck or bad weather. Surprisingly, even in such a closed space, we get a very good idea about postwar England with many references to domesticity in the opening minutes that go beyond just establishing the plot. As time goes on, the British class lines start to disappear altogether.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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