Friday’s Favorite Flix – The Enemy Below
This week's Friday's Favorite Flix is Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation's 1957 Academy Award winning film (for Special Effects), “The Enemy Below.” Directed by Dick Powell, the film is about an American Destroyer Escort that discovers a German U-boat while on patrol in the South Atlantic during World War II.
Robert Mitchum plays the destroyer's Captain Murrell, while Curd Jürgens (in his first American movie) plays the U-Boat's Herr Kapitan Von Stolberg. Both characters have spent their careers on the sea.
Murrell was a merchant seaman who joined the Navy after having his ship torpedoed. Shortly after recovering from his ordeal, he's given command of a Destroyer Escort. Spending his first days on ship alone in his cabin, the crew start out not trusting this “Feather Merchant.” He soon proves that he is the right man for the captain's chair.
Von Stolberg is a career submariner. Having first fought in World War I, Herr Kapitan is sick of this war, saying, “It's not a good war... They've taken human error out of war... They've taken the human out of war.” He's lost two sons to the war, but soldiers on as a career man would do.
Friday’s Favorite Flix are descriptions of those movies we love – We either own them or when channel surfing, we’ll stop when we find them and settle down to watch.
If you have a movie that you think should be in Friday’s Favorite Flix, let us know. We like discovering new favorites.
The U-Boat is on a mission to make a rendezvous, pick up a captured British code book and transport it back to Germany. This mission is paramount to Herr Kapitan because of the trip back to Germany and home. After the Captain and Herr Kapitan cross paths, they enter a deadly duel with both commanders desperate to out-think each other.
While trading torpedoes and depth charges, Captain Murrell discusses life and philosophy with the ship's doctor (played by Russel Collins). Kapitan Von Stolberg similarly talks with his first officer, Heinie Schwaffer (played by Theodore Bikel).
With plenty of action sequences and tension, “The Enemy Below” is a moral tale about two wartime enemies that respect each other. While trying to destroy each other, neither takes pleasure in the endeavor. The story, direction and supporting cast (including David Hedison and Doug McClure) keep this engrossing film moving at a brisk pace.
About Steve Cooper
Steve Cooper is an applications software developer who also builds custom home media solutions. His interests include reading, music & movies, guitar, woodworking and motor racing.
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