We Dive at Dawn Reviews
We Dive At Dawn follows the crew of the submarine Sea Tiger on a mission in the Baltic and North Atlantic to destroy a German battleship. It has all those classic submarine movie elements such as the cat and mouse game with the quarry, sea mines, depth charges and nets that snarl the sub.
Like the best of this genre, the plot focuses on the interplay between the tightly knit crew and we see both the routine and the the tension that makes up the lives of the characters,
A competent cast is headed by John Mills who seems to embody that more relaxed style of Captain that fiction populates submarines with. The direction by Anthony Asquith is competent and business-like and the special effects generally stand up well against the standards of today.
Many films in this genre are cliched and hackneyed but with its engaging and gripping storyline, this is a landmark movie that deserves the reputation that it rightly holds.
The cast has been well chosen and perfectly cast in their roles. There is definitely a class structure within the cast with the officers speaking in 'typical British' accents and the ratings speaking in different regional accents. With this is mind John Mills is excellent as the submarine Lieutenant and it seems the part was written for him. Eric Portman is also perfectly cast as a ships rating but has the manner of a man with a sense of brutality, which is displayed through his dialogue.
A good down-to-earth war film, which has a good story, good characters and a good cast. It is only let down by the slightly over dramatized ending.
On their way, the submarine picks up three shot-down Luftwaffe pilots from a rescue buoy. When the submarine enters a minefield, an airman panics and reveals that the Brandenburg is further ahead than believed. Taylor decides to take a desperate gamble and enter the German-controlled Baltic in pursuit.
When the Brandenburg is spotted, Sea Tiger fires all its torpedoes, then dives to evade German destroyers dropping depth charges. Taylor fools the Germans into believing that the submarine has sunk. They leave, but Sea Tiger no longer has enough fuel to return to England.
Taylor decides to have his crew abandon ship near a Danish island. Hobson speaks German and knows the port on the island. He persuades Taylor to let him go ashore in one of the airmen's uniforms to find oil. He succeeds. Sea Tiger refuels while Hobson and other crewmen hold off the German garrison. When they return to base, the crew hear they sank the Brandenburg. Waiting for them are Corrigan's fiancée and Hobson's wife and son.
Basically a mediocre routine wartime adventure. The last line though has to be amongst the corniest in cinema history. Hardly "I love you Shane" or "Frankly my Dear I don't give a damn"- this had "Just like running a ruddy bus service"- that on it's own lost it half a star!