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United Kingdom 1943
Directed by
Vernon Sewell / Gordon Wellesley
88 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

The Silver Fleet

Although directed by Vernon Sewell and Gordon Wellesley, The Silver Fleet is “presented by” The Archers, the production company of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the latter who also wrote the original story for this film but was unhappy with the soft treatment accorded to the Nazis in the final outcome and refused a credit.

The film is, however, typical of the famous team’s passionately pro-Allied wartime output in films such as One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942) and A Canterbury Tale (1944). Here we are treated to arendition of  Dutch heroism rather incongruously portrayed by a sterling crew of English actors headed by Ralph Richardson as Jaap van Leyden, an engineer who heads a Nazi-controlled plant building submarines who, modelling himself on real life 17th century Dutch folk hero, Piet Hein who saved Holland from the Spanish,  sets about saving Holland from the Germans. Googie Withers plays his wife.

As an adventure yarn the film is quaintly patriotic fare although God knows what the Dutch would make of this representation of themselves.




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