I recently got a copy of this film on VHS. I was expecting to be disappointed as I haven’t seen this film in about 35-40 years! I often get a film I once enjoyed find it doesn’t live up my memories. But, I was pleasantly surprised with this film.
There are, of course, some period stereotypes, especially racial (Akim Tamiroff again plays the evil oriental….), but they are minor annoyances as the story unfolds.
I had read that H.M.S. Amethyst had actually been used for the film and was so badly damaged during the filming due to underwater explosions that she was soon scrapped. I can now see why this might have happened. There are quite a few detonations in the water very close to the hull.
While watching the film I felt it could just as well have been a good story from Hornblower, Aubrey etc. Take away the modern vessel and replace it with a wooden ship and you have a timeless (true) tale.
Richard Todd (who served as a paratrooper on D-Day) plays with the authority he often gave to many similar roles (like the Dam Busters).
It was fun to see that Bernard Cribbins and Ian Bannen were unlisted in the role list. They were novices, and were actually both quite good in this film.
I highly recommend seeing this film!