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The Cruel Sea Details


In this seagoing military drama set in World War II, Lt. Comdr. Ericson (Jack Hawkins) is made captain of a British corvette, a small escort vessel used to guide and protect convoys traveling through the Atlantic. Ericson had his confidence severely shaken during his last command, in which he lost his ship and most of its men following an attack by a German U-boat. As he leads a new and largely inexperienced crew aboard the H.M.S. Compass Rose, Ericson is once again thrown into a life-and-death dilemma that forces him to choose between destroying an enemy ship and sparing the lives of his own men. The Cruel Sea featured breakthrough early performances from Denholm Elliott and Virginia McKenna, and it was based on a best-selling novel by Nicholas Monsarrat, who stipulated that the film rights could be sold only to a British company. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Eric Ambler Best Screenplay 1953 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Charles Frend Best British Film 1953 Nominee


Jack Hawkins
as Lt. Cdr. Ericson
Denholm Elliott
as Sub-Lt. Morell
Stanley Baker
as Lt. Bennett
Virginia McKenna
as Julie Hallam
Bruce Seton
as Bob Tallow
Liam Redmond
as Jim Watts
Moira Lister
as Elaine Morell
June Thorburn
as Doris Ferraby
Megs Jenkins
as Glad Tallow
Meredith Edwards
as Yeoman Wells
Glyn Houston
as Phillips
Alec McCowen
as Tonbridge
Leo Phillips
as Wainwright
Dafydd Havard
as Signalman Rose
Fred Griffiths
as Gracey
Laurence Hardy
as Sellars
Sam Kydd
as Carslake
Barry Steele
as Broughton
Gerard Heinz
as Polish Captain
George Curzon
as Admiral at party
Jack Howard
Ronald Simpson
as R.N. Captain
Anthony Snell
Warwick Ashton
Harold Goodwin
as ASDIC Operator
Gerik Schjelderup
as Norweigan Captain
John Warner
as Sub-Lt. Baker
Walter Fitzgerald
as Warden
Barry Letts
as Raikes
Russell Waters
as Air Raid Warden
Don Sharp
as Lieut.-Commander


Alec McCowen
Charles Frend
Leslie Norman
Nicholas Monsarrat
Book Author
Eric Ambler
Gordon Dines
Alan Rawsthorne
Composer (Music Score)
Peter Tanner
Jim Morahan
Production Designer
Michael Balcon
Executive Producer
Anthony Mendleson
Costume Designer
Syd Pearson
Special Effects
Chic Waterson
Camera Operator