The Silver Fleet

1943

Vernon Sewell
Director
(as Vernon Campbell Sewell)
Gordon Wellesley
Director
The Archers
Production Company

Dutch shipbuilder continues to build submarines for the Nazis while secretly working to sabotage their war efforts.

Efficient propaganda from the Archers production team that nicely ties in Richardson's well-played hero with the real-life Dutch maritime hero Piet Hein. The only real let-down, other than a few poor supporting performances, are some rather silly plot contrivances. For example, if the Dutch were actually able to successfully steal a German U-boat and sail it to England, I doubt the British would loudly trumpet that fact on the BBC Home Service, thus endangering the resistance effort in Holland, as well as the lives of their family members.

Not one of the Archers' most polished works, being a bit too unsubtle in its message and too cartoonish in its portrayal of the enemy. That is a fault of all films of this type, though; the main fault is a sudden veer into improbable melodrama in the final reel. It still remains a watchable film, even long after it had served its purpose.

Note: Both U-boats in the film, U 107 & U 108, was portrayed by the Dutch submarine O 15, which was used for this purpose at Dundee, Scotland for a few days in October 1942 before departing to patrol off Norway. The German crews were portrayed by the Dutch officers and men of O 15, which accounts for the somewhat amateurish acting in these scenes.

-Dave W.



15th March 1943
Cinema



84 mins
1.37:1


1st July 1945
Cinema



78 mins
1.37:1



HyperLink
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Ralph Richardson
Jaap van Leyden
Googie Withers
Helène van Leyden
Esmond Knight
Colonel von Schiffer
Beresford Egan
Krampf
Frederick Burtwell
Captain Müller
Kathleen Byron
Schoolmistress
Willem Akkerman
Willem van Leyden
Dorothy Gordon
Janni Peters
Charles Victor
Bastiaan Peters
John Longden
Jost Meertens
Joss Ambler
Cornelis Smit
Margaret Emden
Bertha
Gerik Schjelderup
Dirk van Houten
(as George Schelderup)
Neville Mapp
Joost Sluys
Ivor Barnard
Vice Admiral von Rapp
John Carol
Johann Smit
Arie Jan Schouwenaar
Captain of the U-boat
(as Lieut. Schouwenaar R.N.N.)
Jan van Dapperen
Lieutenant of the U-boat
(as Lieut. van Dapperen R.N.N.)
John Arnold
Navigator of the U-boat
Philip Leaver
Ruyter, Chief of Police
Lawrence O'Madden
Captain Schneider
(as Laurence O'Madden)
Anthony Eustrel
Lieutenant Wernicke
Charles Minor
Bohme
Valentine Dyall
Ludwig Markgraf
Valerie Forrest
Katrine Peters
(uncredited)
Unknown
Food Control Official
(uncredited)
Unknown
Man in Food Queue
(uncredited)
Unknown
Smits' Grocery Clerk
(uncredited)
Amy Veness
Patriotic Woman in Smits' Grocery
(uncredited)
Unknown
German Soldier Shouting Warning
(uncredited)
Unknown
German Naval Officer
(uncredited)
Clifford Buckton
Gestapo Officer in Smits' Grocery
(uncredited)
Unknown
Hungry German Submariner
(uncredited)
Unknown
Dutch Worker on U-Boat
(uncredited)
Unknown
Dutch Worker on U-Boat
(uncredited)
Unknown
Strong German Submariner
(uncredited)
Unknown
German Radioman
(uncredited)
Unknown
Gestapo Officer Listening to Broadcast
(uncredited)
Unknown
Gestapo Officer Listening to Broadcast
(uncredited)
Unknown
Dutch Woman Being Interrogated
(uncredited)
Diane Clare
Griselle, Little Girl Being Questioned
(uncredited)
Unknown
Dutchman Rallying Workers
(uncredited)
Unknown
Electrician (uncredited)
Unknown
Guard at Van Leyden's Home
(uncredited)
Victor Beaumont
Undetermined Role
(uncredited)
Richard George
Undetermined Role
(uncredited)
Archie Harradine
Undetermined Role
(uncredited)
Basil Jason
Undetermined Role
(uncredited)
Derek Lansiaux
Young Boy (uncredited)
Arthur Mullard
Undetermined Role
(uncredited)
Esme Peel
Young Boy (uncredited)
Marjorie Rhodes
Undetermined Role
(uncredited)
David Wallbridge
Little Boy (uncredited)
Hr.Ms. O 15
U 107 and U 108

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes