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The Cruel Sea

The Cruel Sea

By Patrick Samuel • June 15th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
THE CRUEL SEA (Blu-ray)
Optimum Home Entertainment 

Release date: June 13th 2011
Certificate (UK): PG
Running time: 121 minutes

Year of production: 1953

Director: Charles Frend

Cast: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden and Denholm Elliot

You ever been a ship? I have, but it wasn’t going anywhere. The HMS Belfast has been permanently docked on London’s Thames River since 1971 where it’s been serving as a museum since its retirement, but that didn’t stop my excitement.

Boarding it on my 24th birthday with my old friend James, we spent the entire day on there pretending what it might have been like in its formative years, engaging in battle during World War 2.

The Cruel Sea

It’s always fun when you play pretend, no matter how old you are, but to see what life really might have been like on such a ship during that time, The Cruel Sea is worth a look.

Based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Monserrat, it’s set on the HMS Compass Rose, a newly-built Flower class corvette for convoy escort duties at the start of 1940. Its captain, Ericson (Jack Hawkins), has already lost one ship to an enemy attack when he’s tasked with protecting convoys and seeking and destroying U-boats.

SPECIAL FEATURES: 

  • Interview with Sir Donald Linden (32.30)
  • Trailer (3.47)
  • Behind The Scenes Still Gallery

As always, U-boats could be lurking in the waters, poised for an attack at any given moment and this adds greatly to the tension in The Cruel Sea. Ericson is faced with a difficult decision in one of the film’s most memorable scenes; he has to decide whether or not to depth charge a suspected submarine despite the presence of British sailors in the water.

The Cruel Sea

The story also tells of the sailors on board, the bonds that form between them and the daily pressures they face as well as their struggles to overcome the enemy.

While it stays away from becoming a propaganda film or a melodrama about man facing the elements, The Cruel Sea has endured as a classic because of its insight into the lives of unsung heroes, tasked with agonizing decisions and on the edge of danger everyday.

Optimum’s Blu-ray release has improved the picture quality a lot and they have included a half-hour long interview with Sir Donald Linden who plays Sub-Lieutenant Keith Lockhart in the film.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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