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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Original review at TVGuide

TV Guide review

The Silver Fleet (1945)

During WW II, Richardson is a Dutch shipyard engineer who helps the Nazis build two prototype submarines. His friends and his wife stop speaking to him since they think Richardson has allied himself with the enemy. It turns out that Richardson is a hero, though, for he convinces top Nazi officials to accompany him on the ship's trial voyage. Unbeknownst to the Germans, Richardson has rigged the U-boat with dynamite, killing both himself and the enemy in a fiery explosion. Simultaneously, a commando-raid capture of the sister submarine is conducted by partisans who then get it to England. Richardson gives his usual fine performance in this routine film re-released in 1943 in England in support of the war effort. It's a little slow to start, but once the script knows where it's going, The Silver Fleet becomes a nifty little story packed into the propaganda formula. Actor Knight, a wartime hero -- he was blinded during the British attack on the pocket battleship Bismarck -- gives a stunningly menacing performance as the chief of the Gestapo at the occupied shipyard. Producers Powell and Pressburger proved to be one of Britain's best filmmaking teams in later years with such marvelous pieces as The Red Shoes (1948). Richardson also served as a coproducer here.

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