Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Les Maudits
France, 1947. Spéva Films. Story by , Adaptation by Rene Clement, dialogue by Cinematography by Produced by Andre Paulve, Michel Safra, Paul Wagner. Music by Yves Baudrier. Production Design by Paul Bertrand. Film Editing by Roger Dwyre. Cannes Film Festival 1947.
A group of Nazi soldiers and sympathizers feel the war coming to an end and know that they will not make out too well, so they gather on a U-boat that launches from the Bay of Biscay heading for South America. Not long after they leave, one of their members becomes gravely ill and they must send for a doctor, so they stop at the French port of Royan and kidnap an innocent man, keeping him locked up on deck after he has seen to his patient. From there begins a fascinating, intense drama by Rene Clement in which a variety of characters are sealed in a tin can where the friction can only get worse, particularly as events of the outside world start to leak in and it makes them less and less willing to follow their maniacal leader. It’s a richly photographed, beautifully directed drama featuring intelligent writing and superb acting, with unparalleled tracking shots within the submarine that convince you that you are on the real thing and not a movie set.