Western Approaches (1944)

Movie


Western Approaches (1944)

A wartime film, made under the auspices of the Crown Film Unit, served as a tribute to the Merchant Navy. During WWII, they kept the lifeline to America and the Commonwealth open so that this little island could fight on. Even as late as 1943/4 when this was made the convoys still provided vital essential supplies as well as the materiel necessary to take the fight into Europe. This film dramatizes the experiences of many merchant seamen.
Netherlands
UK
IMDb   7.5 /10
Creators
Director Pat Jackson
Writer Pat Jackson
Information
Release Date1945-02-03
Runtime1h 23mins
GenreDrama, War
Content Rating
Awards
CompanyCrown Film Unit, Ministry of War Transport, Royal Navy
CountryNetherlands, UK
LanguageEnglish
Eric Fullerton
Eric Fullerton
Convoy Commodore
Duncan MacKenzie
Duncan MacKenzie
Convoy Naval Captain (as Captain Duncan MacKenzie)
W. Kerr
W. Kerr
Convoy Naval Captain (as Captain W. Kerr)
Eric Baskeyfield
Eric Baskeyfield
Chief Officer on Leander
Dick Longford
Dick Longford
Wireless Officer on Leander
Bart Wadham
Bart Wadham
Wireless Officer on Leander
H.S. Hills
H.S. Hills
Gunner on Leander (as Chief Petty Officer Hills)
Pat Jackson
Pat Jackson
Gun Crew Officer on Leander
P.J. Pyecraft
P.J. Pyecraft
Lifeboat Captain (as Captain P.J. Pyecraft)
Chief Engineer Russell
Chief Engineer Russell
Lifeboat Chief Engineer
Fred Armistead
Fred Armistead
Lifeboat Steward
Jim Redmond
Jim Redmond
Sparks

Western Approaches (film)

Western Approaches is a 1944 docufiction film directed by Pat Jackson and was Crown Film Unit's first Technicolor production.

It is the fictional account of 22 British Merchant Navy sailors adrift in a lifeboat. They are able to signal by Morse code their position. A nearby U-boat receives the signal along with a friendly vessel which changes course to go to their rescue. The captain of the U-boat decides to wait in ambush with its two remaining torpedoes. Before the rescue ship arrives, the U-boat's periscope is spotted by the lifeboat. The U-boat fires its torpedoes just as the rescue vessel is alerted to the U-boat's presence.

Although set in the North Atlantic, much of it was shot in the Irish Sea. Sailors rather than professional actors were used.

Trade papers reported that the film among those "doing well" at the British box office in 1945.