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The Silver Fleet 1943 British war movie

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War Movies

British war movies made during the World War 2 had rather unique approach to the conflict - while f.e. German such movies appealed to the patriotism, American were showing their brave soldiers doing the impossible things, the British productions were concentrating on the human aspect of the conflict - In Which We Serve, We Dive at Dawn or One of Our Aircraft is Missing were showing not how great the British army is, but rather on how the Britons or their allies are coping with the war. The Silver Fleet was no exception...


Jaap van Leyden, owner of successful shipyard that used to make submarines, was forced to close his business after Germans have invaded Holland. This was hard for him to deal with - he had to lay off his workers and close the shipyard that his predecessors were building for decades. Suddenly he is contacted by the German authorities, who offer him a chance to re-open his business. Not without conditions, of course, he would transfer part of the ownership to the Germans and would build submarines on their orders. Van Leyden is torn between his loyalty to his workers and to himself - he would love to build subs again, but at the same time he do not wish to collaborate with the Nazis. While waiting for his son to finish the school he hears the teacher telling kids the story of Dutch hero, Piet Hein, who intercepted Spanish Silver Fleet in 17th century. That story helps him make up his mind.

Just like In Which We Serve, We Dive at Dawn or One of Our Aircraft is Missing this movie tells the story that take place during World War 2 and is directly linked to the conflict, but at the same time it is unusual war movie - the story concentrates on Dutch shipyard owner during German occupation and his dilemma: how to re-open the business and keep the occupants happy, but at the same time be true to himself and his values. While made on very low budget (as most of the British productions from World War 2 era) it grasped the atmosphere of occupied Holland, in which you could not tell which of your neighbours could be resistance member or German collaborator.


Notes

  • Esmond Knight, who had lost an eye during the war, had not yet regained the use of his remaining eye when he played the role of von Schiffer. Playing his part completely blind, there is only one scene when the audience can guess Knight's disability. It occurs quite briefly when Knight, about to go through a doorway, is gently steered through the door by a fellow actor.



The Silver Fleet 1943 British war movie british war movies dutch resistance


War movies

War movies blog - the best war movies in history (or sometimes the worst). We search the war movies from around the world - not only classic American war movies or British war movies, but also those less known or just less interesting films from other countries. Each of them presents the different face of the war - some concetrate on soldiers and most important battles in history, but others present the suffering of the civilians and the trauma of the men involved in the fighting.




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