In the midst of World War II, the renowned playwright Noël Coward engaged a young film editor named David Lean to help him realize his vision for an action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors (roles that would be filled by Coward himself, Bernard Miles, and John Mills, among others) fighting the Germans in the Mediterranean. Coward and Lean ended up codirecting the large-scale project – an impressive undertaking, especially considering that neither of them had directed for the big screen before (this would be Coward’s only such credit). Cutting between a major naval battle and flashbacks to the men’s lives before they left home, In Which We Serve (an Oscar nominee for best picture) was a major breakthrough for both filmmakers and a sensitive and stirring piece of propaganda.
This is a really first-rate film, much more convincing than the fairly crude WWII propaganda films the US studios were turning out around the same time. The good guys and the bad guys are just as clearly delineated, but in some ways – perhaps the consistent understatement of emotions and the sometimes over-the-top stiff upper lips displayed by the characters – the stakes, and the dangers, seem clearer. There are no John Waynes or Errol Flynns on this ship.
The acting is extremely good, although Noel Coward seems a little stiff and uncomfortable in his leading role. John Mills and Bernard Miles are outstanding, and Celia Johnson (in her first film role) is simply extraordinary. The final scene, where Coward as the captain of the lost ship shakes hands with the survivors, is unexpectedly moving.
BRRip 720p | MKV | 1280 x 720 | x264 @ 2560 Kbps | 1h 55mn | 2,30 Gb
Audio: English AC3 1.0 @ 160 Kbps | Subs: English (embedded)
Genre: Drama, War | Directors: Noël Coward, David Lean