HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Sink the Bismarck! Navy BluesBuy this film here.
Year: 1960
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner, Laurence Naismith, Geoffrey Keen, Karel Stepanek, Michael Hordern, Maurice Denham, Michael Goodliffe, Esmond Knight, Jack Watling, Jack Gwillim, Mark Dignam, Ernest Clark, John Horsley, Sydney Tafler
Genre: War
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Captain Jonathan Shepard (Kenneth More) arrives in London and makes his way across the capital towards the operations of the British Navy, for the year is 1941 and the Second World War is into its second year of conflict with no end in sight. Maybe if the isolated Britain could score a military victory after the humiliation of Dunkirk things might look brighter, yet as far as the Navy are concerned there's only one goal that would achieve that, which would be to successfully put the German battleship The Bismarck out of action. A formidable feat of engineering and military aggression, it has been causing enormous problems for the Brits - can Shepard help?

This was a war movie based on fact, rather than an invented men on a mission yarn that would increasingly litter the genre as the nineteen-fifties moved into the sixties. But in the decade previous to this release in 1960, it was notable how popular the form had been with British audiences who did not care that the critics and tastemakers were pointing out these efforts were appealing to a patriotism that all these years after the fact was outdated and even patronising. Those audiences were happy to bask in the glory of their country's finest hour, and many of those moviegoers had had first hand experience of the war and wanted reassurance it wasn't in vain.

As the fifties had worn on, and rationing was lasting far too long, and the Empire was crumbling, and nothing seemed to be changing for the better, it was cheering to look back and see Britain actually getting something useful and constructive (er, and constructively destructive) done in the world, but while there were some examples that took the flagwaving at face value, there were plenty keen to search the hearts of the participants, from the lowly Tommy at the bottom of the ranks, to the Generals and Admirals who held so many lives in the balance. The psychological element was rarely too far away, as befitting an era that examined its soul like never before, and this contributed.

Sink the Bismarck! was on the cusp of the war movies that were effectively casting forward to the action flick genre, where the point was the violence for its own entertainment, bullets flying, explosions detonating, you know the sort of thing. So there was a fair amount of warships having at one another, depicted by some superb miniatures, and coming off the worse in the exchange, most notoriously HMS Hood whose destruction at the guns of the title warship was depicted here, but not something to be enthused about, rather something to be saddened by. And curiously, that was the aim of the ending of the story too: although telegraphed well in advance that the Bismarck would indeed be sunk, there was no joy in its defeat as the script was keen to highlight these were human beings brought so low by the British guns.

Not that historical accuracy was paramount, anticipating the war pieces that would favour that action over the humanity, so the Captain of the Bismarck was misrepresented as if the German Navy back then was merely a branch of the SS, and as beholden to der Fuhrer as that lot, whereas notoriously in real life many of their members went about their duty to the Third Reich with reluctance, in particular... the Captain of the Bismarck. However, More (playing an invented character) was able to evince both the necessary dispassionate demeanour it took to order so many to their potential death or glory, depending on how the day went, and the emotions he had to suppress that nevertheless took over in private moments. In a number of marvellously played scenes, More delivered his character's heartache at losing his wife, and perhaps his son, to the war while retaining his stoic face for the troops. Dana Wynter offered emotions of her own as his assistant, and they made an excellent double act for a war film often unfairly overlooked. Music by Clifton Parker.

[Eureka Classics have released this on Blu-ray. The picture has a few speckles, but otherwise is laudable - there's nothing quite like black and white Cinemascope! - and both sound mixes are more than fine. Those features in full:

1080p presentation on Blu-ray
LPCM audio (Stereo and original Mono options)
Optional English SDH subtitles
Brand New and Exclusive interview with film historian Sheldon Hall
Original Theatrical Trailer.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 632 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: