John Mills

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Above Us the Waves
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Single Disc [2007]

Format: Black & White, Full Screen, PAL
Language: English
Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: U

Studio: ITV DVD
DVD Release Date: 11 Oct 1999
Run Time: 95 minutes

    ‘An adventure of unsurpassed courage immortalising the crews of the Navy's midget submarines' ~ ITV


1955, 99 MINS, BW, UK

Director: Ralph Thomas
Writers: James D. Benson (book), Robin Estridge (screenplay)
Release Date: 29 March 1955 (UK)

John Mills ... Cmdr. Fraser
John Gregson ... Lt Alec Duffy
Donald Sinden ... Lt Tom Corbett
James Robertson Justice ... Adm. Ryder
Michael Medwin ... Smart
James Kenney ... Abercrombie
O.E. Hasse ... Captain of the Tirpitz
Lee Patterson ... Cox
William Russell ... Ramsey
Theodore Bikel ... German Officer
Harry Towb ... McCleery
Cyril Chamberlain ... CPO Chubb
Tony Wager ... George
Leslie Weston ... Winley
Lyndon Brook ... Diver Navigator, X2

(London Independent Producers)

Sir John Mills and Sir Donald Sinden head a British cast in this World War II drama.

The dramatic World War II story of Britain's heroic attempts to sink the monster German battleship Tirpitz in a Norwegian fjord using midget submarines.

In this adventure of unsurpassed courage, the crews of the Navy become human torpedoes. This isn't a bad movie but it could have been a hell lot better if handled by a better director than Ralph Thomas. Lacking in imagination and flair, most of his films are watchable but as safe as houses: he never seemed to get out of that comfort zone and actually take chances. Instead, he settled on stereotypes as this film so aptly demonstrates. A lazy and disappointing method of working for sure, and with the abilty of cast he has to hand in this movie almost criminal.

Having failed with torpedoes, John Mills and his rookie crew set out in midget submarines to try to sink the German battleship Tirpitz in this Second World War action adventure. Riddled with stiff-upper-lipped stereotypes, this is one of those proud re-creations of an “against the odds” mission that were the staple of postwar British cinema. Thomas opts to examine the cramped conditions of his characters rather than go overboard on their heroic exploits. The finale attack on Trondheim harbour good has been done better.

Most damning of all about the picture is that it doesn't tell you what the mission actually achieved. It did not, as the film implies, break the back of the ship - but did succeed in putting Tirpitz out of action for half a year; the RAF finally destroyed her a year after the midget attack.

Still, despite the above grumbles, it is still a movie worth seeing. There are plenty of good scenes thanks mainly to Mills's as usual excellent performance. He holds the film together like glue.


Ages of the stars at the time of the making of the film:

    - John Mills, 46
    - John Gregson, 35
    - Donald Sinden, 31
    - James Robertson Justice, 47


    Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England

    St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands



    ~ Main Language: English
    ~ Available Audio Tracks: Mono
    ~ Sub Titles: None
    ~ Disc Format: DVD 5
    ~ Interactive Menus
    ~ Scene Access

CONDITION: used - very good.

Price: £10.00 (UK Sterling) (UK Postage Inclusive)

2022: 1 back in stock. 'Used - very good'.

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