In Which We Serve (December 23, 1942)
Released on December 23, 1942: The story of the British Battleship HMS Torrin is told in flashback by the men that fought WWII with her.
Directed by Noel Coward and David Lean
Written by Noel Coward.
The Actors: Noel Coward (Captain E.V. Kinross R.N.), Derek Elphinstone (Number 1), Michael Wilding (Flags), Robert Sansom (Guns), Philip Friend (Torps), Chimmo Branson (Midshipman), Ballard Berkeley (Engineer Commander), Hubert Gregg (Pilot), James Donald (Doc), Michael Whittaker (Sub), Kenneth Carten (Sub-Lieutenant, R.N.), John Varley (Secco), Bernard Miles (Chief Petty Officer Hardy), Caven Watson (Brodie), John Mills (Ordinary Seaman Blake), Geoffrey Hibbert (Joey Mackenridge), Frederick Piper (Edgecombe), Lionel Grose (Reynolds), Leslie Dwyer (Parkinson), Charles Russell (Fisher), John Singer (Moran), Robert Moreton (Coombe), , John Boxer (Hollett), Kenneth Evans (Posty), Johnnie Schofield (Coxswain), Franklyn Bennett (Commander Spencer), Charles Compton (Number 1, Tremoyne), Walter Fitzgerald (Colonel Lumsden), Gerald Case (Jasper), Celia Johnson (Mrs. Kinross / Alix), Daniel Massey (Bobby), Ann Stephens (Lavinia), Joyce Carey (Mrs. Hardy / Kath), Kay Walsh (Freda Lewis), Kathleen Harrison (Mrs. Blake), Dora Gregory (Mrs. Lemmon), Penelope Dudley-Ward (Maureen), Barbara Waring (Mrs. Macadoo), Eileen Peel (Mrs. Farrell), Lesley Osmond (Nell Fosdick), Josie Welford (Emily), Kay Young (barmaid), Trixy Scales (Mona Duke), George Carney (Mr. Blake), Wally Patch (Uncle Fred), Michael Anderson (Albert Fosdick), Jill Stephens (May Blake), Everley Gregg (nurse), Roddy Hughes (photographer), Norman Pierce (Mr. Satterthwaite), Juliet Mills (Freda's baby), Richard Attenborough (the young powder handler), John Brabourne (the soldier in the Dunkirk scene), Leslie Howard (narrator voice).
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Most of the war movies with macho men like John Wayne revolve around a fight or campaign during the war, and the glorious victory of the good guys. Not until the movie 'Saving Private Ryan' have we seen the real horror and fear and human emotion that grips the men of war and their families at home. Well, now, there is one movie from 1942 that clearly displays not only the real emotions of the fighting men and their wives and children back home. Noel Coward's epic WWII movie about the birth, life and death of a British battleship during the first days of the war. The movie begins with the building and christening of thethe British destroyer HMS Torrin, and the men that take her over and go to war with her. We then move ahead quickly to the battle that sinks her, and as the survivors cling to a rubber raft while planes dive and strafe them with machine gun bullets. As the men cling to life, we watch flash-backs of their lives, their families and their loves.
The American Fourth of July Independence Day is upon us, and if you watch one movie about war and the fight for freedom, watch this British blockbuster. You won't be sorry!