Tough, pacy tribute to the American Merchant Marine, with a convoy en route to Russian waters being attacked on all sides by Nazi submarines and aircraft. The rather fine special effects of explosions and fires tend to overshadow characterisation (the crew of the main ship are the usual mix of ethnic stereotypes), while the blatantly propagandist nature of the film means that the enemy are portrayed as vicious, inhuman, smiling sadists. But the performances are strong, and there is considerable curiosity value. The merchant seamen's union was Communist-controlled at the time, and fellow-travelling John Howard Lawson conceived his script in terms of Soviet cinema, with Battleship Potemkin as a model (and characteristic montages executed by Don Siegel).
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Howard Lawson, Al Bezzerides, WR Burnett|