Action in the North Atlantic directed by Lloyd Bacon 1943
World War 2 propaganda films often succeed as compelling works of art and this flag waver for the Merchant Marines certainly grips and stirs powerful emotions. One of my favourite scenes is when Bogie knocks out some blowhard.
Warner Brothers’ working title for the film was Heroes Without Uniforms, intended to be a two-reel documentary about the Merchant Marine. As the war continued, much combat action footage became available and the project was changed to a feature film with Edward G. Robinson and George Raft initially cast in the starring roles. Technical adviser Richard Sullivan was a 23-year-old Merchant Marine cadet who survived the sinking of his ship by a U-boat. Because war restrictions did not permit filming at sea, the film was shot entirely on Warner Brothers studio sound stages and back lots. According to Bill Collins Presents the Golden Years of Hollywood, the ships sets were built in halves on two sound stages, with the tanker sinking sequence shot first.