The Law of Contact

Neutral Port (December 6, 1940)

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Neutral Port
 

Released on December 6, 1940: A crusty sea captain steals an enemy supply ship after his ship is sunk by a U-boat during the opening days of World War II.

Produced by Edward Black

Directed by Marcel Varnel

The Actors: Will Fyffe (Captain Ferguson), Leslie Banks (George Carter), Yvonne Arnaud (Rosa Pirenti), Phyllis Calvert (Helen Carter), Hugh McDermott (Jim Grey), John Salew (Wilson), Cameron Hall (Charlie Baxter), Frederick Valk (Captain Traumer), Anthony Holles (Chief of Police), Sigurd Lohde (German Consul), Wally Patch (Fred), Dennis Wyndham (Terry), Jack Raine (Alf), Albert Lieven (Captain Grosskraft), Mignon O'Doherty (Miss Fleming), Yvonne Andre (unknown), Eric Clavering (unknown), Cot D'Ordan (unknown), Noel Dainton (unknown), Anton Diffring (sailor), Rowland Douglas (unknown), Hugh Griffith (unknown), Frank Henderson (unknown), Stuart Latham (unknown), Sam Lee (unknown), Ernest Metcalf (unknown), John Rae (unknown), Charles Rolfe (unknown), Gerik Schjelderup (unknown), Leonard Sharp (unknown), Keith Shepherd (unknown)

 
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The Sinking of the Anna Louise

Filmed during the early days of World War II, this war adventure gets terrible reviews to this day . . . . And in my humble opinion none of the reviewers can put their finger on the real reason that they didn't fully enjoy the adventure, but I will. They blame a director who specializes in comedy, they blame uneven acting, they blame a weak plot, and they blame everything except the real reason. Early in the plot a young Brit volunteers to go on a secret suicide mission instead of heading back to England to join his Air Force buddies, but when his fiancé objects, he backs down and 'un-volunteers' to do the dangerous assignment. In a 'rah-rah God and Country' war epic the young man is supposed to selflessly toss his life into any peril and danger without any thought to his safety, and this young fellow did not do that. It kinda sticks in the craw as we watch it unfold, even when he later goes on the mission and sends the secret message to the R.A.F. about the location of the ship he is hiding on so that the bombers can destroy that ship, with him on it. The story of the young man and his suicide mission is the minor plot in the movie, the meat of the movie is about legendary music hall comic singer Will Fyffe, who masterfully plays the part of a cantankerous ship captain and owner of the Anna Louise. On his way to the neutral port of Esperanto a u-boat sinks his ship and along with his crew must row a lifeboat into port. Once in port the crusty sea captain insists that he be allowed to take the German merchant ship that is docked there. This is the ship that the Brits know is really a war supply ship for enemy submarines, but in this neutral port there is nothing that they can do about it . . . . Except to smuggle someone aboard with a secret transmitter who will alert the R.A.F. when the ship is surrounded by U-boats so that the lot of them can be blown out of the water. Well, this leads to that, and after stealing another ship and being once again sunk by a submarine and once again rowing to shore with his crew, the sea captain finally manages to steal the enemy supply ship . . . with the British volunteer hiding below, ready to transmit the ship's position when it is surrounded by U-boats . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show . . . Oh, and when the enemy sailors in the bar start singing their German song, and the young girl replies by starting singing a song of freedom . . . and you think that they copied a scene from Casablaca . . . remember that the famous war story set in Casablanca will not be filmed for a couple of years yet, so if there is a copycat, it is not this movie.

Frederick Valk and Yvonne Arnaud
Frederick Valk and Yvonne Arnaud
Hugh McDermott, John Salew and Phyllis Calvert
Hugh McDermott, John Salew and Phyllis Calvert
Hugh McDermott
Hugh McDermott
John Salew
John Salew
Leslie Banks
Leslie Banks
Leslie Banks and Hugh McDermott
Leslie Banks and Hugh McDermott
Leslie Banks and Hugh McDermott
Leslie Banks and Hugh McDermott
Leslie Banks, John Salew and Yvonne Arnaud
Leslie Banks, John Salew and Yvonne Arnaud
Leslie Banks and John Salew
Leslie Banks and John Salew
Leslie Banks
Leslie Banks
Mignon O'Doherty
Mignon O'Doherty
Mignon O'Doherty and Will Fyffe
Mignon O'Doherty and Will Fyffe
Mignon O'Doherty
Mignon O'Doherty
Phyllis Calvert and Hugh McDermott
Phyllis Calvert and Hugh McDermott
Phyllis Calvert
Phyllis Calvert
Sigurd Lohde
Sigurd Lohde
Will Fyffe and Yvonne Arnaud
Will Fyffe and Yvonne Arnaud
Will Fyffe
Will Fyffe
Will Fyffe
Will Fyffe
Yvonne Arnaud
Yvonne Arnaud