Cruel Seas : World War 2 Merchant Marine-Related Nautical Fiction
from the 1930s to Present

An Annotated Bibliography of Short Stories, Novels & Novellas

Daniel C. Krummes, Director
Harmer E. Davis Transportation Library
University of California, Berkeley

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Appendix 4

Cruel Seas Goes

to the Movies

"Across the Pacific" (1942). Based upon Robert Carson's 1941 multi-part serial "Aloha Means Good-By." Director: John Huston. Script attributed to Richard Macaulay. Music by Adolph Deutsch. Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet. Additional notes: This movie was originally about a Japanese plot to blow up Pearl Harbor, but filming has just begun in Dec. 1941 when the Japanese actually attacked Pearl Harbor - so the locale was changed from Pearl Harbor to the Panama Canal and the cast never actually got "across the Pacific."

"Action in the North Atlantic" (1943). Based upon Guy Gilaptric's 1943 novel Action in the North Atlantic. Director: Lloyd Bacon. Script attributed to Guy Gilpatric with additional dialogue by W.R. Burnett and A.I. Bezzerides. Actors: Hunphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale and Ruth Gordon. Additional notes: Guy Gilpatric was nominated for an Oscar in 1944 for his screenplay.

"The Cruel Sea" (1953). Based upon Nicholas Monsarrat's 1951 novel The Cruel Sea. Director: Charles Frend. Script attributed to Eric Ambler. Actors: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton, Denholm Elliott, John Warner and Virginia McKenna.

"Das Boot (1981). Based upon Hans-Günther Buccheim's 1973 novel Das Boot (in English, The Boat). Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Script by Wolfgang Petersen. Actors: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hulbertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge and Claude-Oliver Rudolph. "Das Boot" was originally shown on German television as a 5 hour mini-series which was cut to 149 minutes when commercially released as a film. A "Director's Cut" of the film has been reissued and clocks in at 209 minutes. In the U.S. the film originally appeared in German with English subtitles; it was subsequently dubbed into English and retitled "The Boat."

"Empire of the Sun" (1987). Based upon J.G. Ballard's 1984 novel Empire of the Sun. Director: Steven Spielberg. Script attributed to Tom Stoppard. Music by John Williams. Actors: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers and Ben Stiller.

"Johnny Angel" (1945). Based upon Charles Gordon Booth's 1944 novel Mr. Angel Comes Aboard. Director: Edwin L. Marin. Script attributed to Steve Fisher. Actors: George Raft, Claire Trevor and Hoagy Carmichael.

"Journey Into Fear" (1942). Based upon Eric Ambler's 1940 novel Journey Into Fear. Director: Norman Foster. Script attributed to Joseph Cotten. Actors: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio, Ruth Warrick, Agnes Morehead, Everett Sloane and Hans Conried. Additional notes: It is widely believed that Orson Welles directed this film, or at least large portions of it.

"Lifeboat" (1944). Based upon "an original screen story" by John Steinbeck which was published under Alfred Hitchcock's byline in the Nov. 13, 1944 issue of Collier's Magazine; script by Jo Swerling. Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Actors: Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, Walter Slezak, John Hodiak and Hugh Cronyn, Additional notes: The Collier's short story actually appeared 11 months after the Jan. 1944 release of Hitchcock's movie.

"Mister Roberts" (1946). Based upon Thomas Hegge's 1946 novel Mister Roberts. Directors: John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy. Script by Joshua Logan and Frank Nugent. Music by Franz Waxman. Actors: James Cagney, Henry Fonda, William Powell, Jack Lemmon, Ward Bond, Nick Adams and Betsy Palmer. Additional notes: Jack Lemmon won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film.

"Morituri" (1965). Based upon Werner Jörg Lüddecke's 1963 German-language novel Morituri. Director Bernhard Wicki. Script attributed to Daniel Taradesh. Actors: Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Trevor Howard, Wally Cox and Janet Margolin. Additional notes: Alternate film title (Great Britain), "The Saboteur, Code Name Morituri."

"Murphy's War" (1971). Based upon Max Chatto's 1969 novel Murphy's War. Director: Peter Yates. Script attributed to Stirling Silliphant. Actors: Peter O'Toole, Siân Phillips, Philippe Noiret and Horst Janson. Additional notes: Scene of action in the novel (the coast of the Belgian Congo) changed in the film version to Venezuela.

"Passage to Marseille" (1944). Based upon Charles Norhoff and James Norman Hall's 1942 novella Men Without Country. Director: Michael Curtiz. Script attributed to Casey Robinson and Jack Moffitt. Cinematography: James Wong Howe. Music: Max Steiner. Actors: Hunphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Philip Dorn and Michèle Morgan.

"The Sea Chase" (1955). Based upon Andrew Clare Geer's 1948 novel The Sea Chase. Director: John Farrow. Script attributed to James Warner Bellah. Actors: John Wayne, Lana Turner, Tab Hunter and James Arness.

"Sea Wife" (1957). Based upon James Maurice Scott's 1955 novel Sea-Wyf and Biscuit. Director: Bob McNaught. Script attributed to: George K. Burke. Actors: Richard Burton, Joan Collins, Cy Grant, Basil Sydney and Joan Hickson.

"Ship of Fools" (1965). Based upon Katherine Anne Porter's 1962 novel Ship of Fools. Director: Stanley Kramer. Script attributed to Abby Mann. Actors: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer, Lee Marvin, Oscar Werner, Michael Dunn, George Seagal, Elizabeth Ashley, Lila Skala and José Greco.

"The Story of Dr. Wassell" (1944). Based upon James' Hilton's 1943 novelistic biography The Story of Dr. Wassell. Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Script attributed to: Charles Bennett. Actors: Gary Cooper, Laraine Day and Dennis O'Keefe. Additional notes: This movie was released on July 4, 1944.

"Whisky Galore!" (1949). Based upon Compton MacKenzie's 1947 novel Whisky Galore. Director: Alexander Mackendrick. Script attributed to Angus MacPhail. Actors: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Gordon Jackson, Wylie Watson and Bruce Seton. Additional notes: Alternate U.S. novel and movie title, "Tight Little Island."


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