Friday, August 05, 2016


With the end of the war in sight, a group of Nazis and collaborators leave Norway in a submarine headed for South America. Among the passengers: a Nazi general, an Italian industrialist, his wife Hilde (who is also, fairly obviously the general's mistress), an academic, his teenage daughter, and a reporter. Barely out of port, the ship is hit by depth charges and Hilde is knocked unconscious. A Nazi named Forster, who still holds out hope for "victory" in a larger sense, wants to get rid of her as dead weight, but the general instead threatens to get rid of Willy, Forster's thug buddy—or is he more than that to Forster? With tensions established, the sub stops at a port town in France and a doctor named Guilbert is shanghaied to attend to Hilde. As the trip continues, word comes that Hitler has committed suicide—not good news for most on the sub—and Guilbert does what he can to sow dissent among the Nazis and enlists the help of the radio operator to try and figure out a way to escape. Something of a forerunner to DAS BOOT, at least in terms of look and feel, this is a small gem of claustrophobic tension, well acted and involving, leading to an exciting climactic encounter with a cargo ship. Most of the actors weren't familiar to me (except Marcel Dalio in a cameo as a South American agent) but they’re all fine, though the standout is Henri Vidal (pictured) as the doctor. [DVD]

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