A merchant ship is sunk by a U-boat, but the submarine is itself destroyed by the ship’s shells. All of this happens prior to the credits. The survivors of the ship wind up in a damaged lifeboat, and they pick up a survivor of the U-boat. Is he a mere crewman, or the captain himself? What ensues is a tense drama of conflicting personalities, ranging from the plotting German to the hard-headed newswoman unforgettably incarnated by Tallulah Bankhead. Despite the claustrophobic setting, the fil… never feels constricted. The script may be overly didactic at times, but the results are never less than compelling and suspenseful.
The original mono and a new stereo mix are on offer here. Though there are some of the usual traces of surround dialogue, these are not severe, and don’t really interfere with the enjoyment of the richer stereo sound. Surround elements generally are kept to a bare, low key minimum. The sound is clear, undistorted, and there is no static.
The print starts off in somewhat shaky conditions, with some noticeable damage and grain. It gets better, but is never in pristine condition. It does, however, become quite sharp. All in all, an acceptable viewing experience, but some restoration would not be amiss.
Professor Drew Casper, a frequent commentary contributor, turns in one of his better efforts here. He has a wealth of information to share about the movie, and does so well. The making-of featurette is a decent, 20-minute piece. Other than that, the only extra is a still gallery. The menu is basic.
The extras are good, if not copious. The print is okay. The movie is great.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Making-of Featurette
- Still Gallery