Naval Warfare Movies

Action in the North Atlantic

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale, Julie Bishop

Published: 1943
Country: USA
Length: 127 min.
Keywords: Feature, WWII

This is the VHS release (see more).


This feature film follows a group of U.S. Merchant Mariners as they attempt to deliver their cargo in spite of U-boat attacks. When their first tanker is torpedoed and sunk, the survivors endure many days on a raft awaiting rescue. In spite of this experience, they all sign on to another vessel, and make the crossing to Murmansk as part of a convoy. This ship survives further encounters with U-boats as well as air attacks, and eventually reaches its destination.


Naturally the portrayal of the U-boats reflects the contemporary conception of the enemy. Inaccuracies include a scene in which a U-boat rams and sinks a lifeboat; well-groomed, clean-shaven, U-boat officers in dress uniform; and quite spacious interiors for the U-boats themselves.

This film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Story.

The movie also has the distinction of being included on a blacklist of movies drafted by the HUAC (the House on Un-American Activities Committee) in 1947, because when the convoy arrives in Murmansk, Soviet workers greet the Merchant Mariners with shouts of "Tovarisch!" (Comrade!). In the eyes of HUAC, this innocent piece of dialog was actually a subversive message planted in the script by Communists.