U-Boat Prisoner (1944)

65 mins | Drama | 25 July 1944

Director:

Lew Landers

Producer:

Wallace MacDonald

Cinematographer:

Burnett Guffey

Editor:

Paul Borofsky

Production Designers:

Lionel Banks, Perry Smith

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

According to the Var review, this film was loosely based on the real-life exploits of Merchant Seaman Archie ... More Less

According to the Var review, this film was loosely based on the real-life exploits of Merchant Seaman Archie Gibbs. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Jul 1944.
---
Daily Variety
26 Jul 44
p. 8.
Film Daily
22 Aug 44
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 44
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 May 44
p. 1899.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Aug 44
p. 2031.
Variety
16 Aug 44
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
From the story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
SOUND
Sd eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book U-Boat Prisoner
The Life of a Texas Sailor by Archie Gibbs (Boston, 1943).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 July 1944
Production Date:
4 April--20 April 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 July 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13023
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65
Length(in feet):
5,896
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the Atlantic, Gestapo agent Gunther Rudehoff is assigned to oversee a group of foreign scientists imprisoned on a German U-boat commanded by Capt. Ganz. En route to Germany, the boat receives orders to torpedo an American tanker and pick up a German spy named George Akton. Aware of the planned attack, Akton dives overboard with a life raft just as the ship explodes in flames. Archie Gibbs, a sailor aboard the doomed tanker, follows and after overpowering the spy, climbs into the raft. After he is picked up by the U-boat, Gibbs assumes Akton's identity and Rudehoff decides to quarter him with the scientists, ordering him to report any pertinent information that he may glean. Escorting Gibbs to the scientists' quarters, Rudehoff introduces him as an American prisoner to scientists Clyde Hamilton, Sigo Van Der Brek, Alfonse Lamont and Biencawicz. An American destroyer has been trailing the submarine, and when it attacks with depth charges, Ganz decides to shoot an injured sailor through the torpedo tube to convince the Americans that they have sunk the U-boat. Disgusted by this display of Nazi brutality, Gibbs confides his true identity to the scientists. Meanwhile, in the control room, Rudehoff and Ganz argue about their priorities. Rudehoff demands that the boat proceed directly to Germany to deliver the prisoners while Ganz insists on attacking a nearby American convoy. When the engine of one of the convoy ships fails, a destroyer is detailed to protect the craft while the rest of the convoy continues on. Spotting the floating body of the half-dead German sailor, the American ship rescues the man who, on his death bed, ... +


In the Atlantic, Gestapo agent Gunther Rudehoff is assigned to oversee a group of foreign scientists imprisoned on a German U-boat commanded by Capt. Ganz. En route to Germany, the boat receives orders to torpedo an American tanker and pick up a German spy named George Akton. Aware of the planned attack, Akton dives overboard with a life raft just as the ship explodes in flames. Archie Gibbs, a sailor aboard the doomed tanker, follows and after overpowering the spy, climbs into the raft. After he is picked up by the U-boat, Gibbs assumes Akton's identity and Rudehoff decides to quarter him with the scientists, ordering him to report any pertinent information that he may glean. Escorting Gibbs to the scientists' quarters, Rudehoff introduces him as an American prisoner to scientists Clyde Hamilton, Sigo Van Der Brek, Alfonse Lamont and Biencawicz. An American destroyer has been trailing the submarine, and when it attacks with depth charges, Ganz decides to shoot an injured sailor through the torpedo tube to convince the Americans that they have sunk the U-boat. Disgusted by this display of Nazi brutality, Gibbs confides his true identity to the scientists. Meanwhile, in the control room, Rudehoff and Ganz argue about their priorities. Rudehoff demands that the boat proceed directly to Germany to deliver the prisoners while Ganz insists on attacking a nearby American convoy. When the engine of one of the convoy ships fails, a destroyer is detailed to protect the craft while the rest of the convoy continues on. Spotting the floating body of the half-dead German sailor, the American ship rescues the man who, on his death bed, warns that the submarine is unharmed. After the engines are repaired, the Americans decide to use the ship as a decoy to lure the U-boat. The ploy works, and after the U-boat surfaces, American naval officer Lt. Hagen volunteers to man a small boat and pinpoint the exact location of the Germans. Upon surfacing, the Germans discover the destoyer and decide to attack the vessel with magnetic mines because the fog is too dense to sight it with torpedoes. For the mines to attach to the steel hull, they must be within 500 yards of the target, and so a rowboat of German sailors tows the mines toward the destroyer. When Lt. Hagen and the Americans spot the Germans, a fight ensues, sending the mines adrift. Meanwhile, Gibbs conspires with the scientists to alert the Americans to the U-boat's location. When Gibbs proceeds to the radio room to signal the Americans, Lamont, fearful of being sunk by the destroyer, exposes Gibbs's true identity. As Ganz confronts Gibbs and the scientists in the radio room, a mine drifts into the U-boat and explodes, sending the submarine to the bottom of the sea. All but the radio room floods, and the only survivors are Gibbs, the scientists, Ganz and three German seamen. As the fog lifts, the Americans search for the submarine and find a signal buoy that Ganz has sent to the surface. Having almost run out of air, the survivors realize that the torpedo tube is their only hope of escape. When Ganz decides that the scientists must remain behind, Lamont protests and Ganz shoots him. In the ensuing scuffle, Gibbs assumes command of the ship and dispatches the men to the surface until only he, the injured, unconscious Lamont and Ganz remain. A drawing determines who must stay behind to dispatch the last survivor to the surface, and when Ganz wins, he climbs into the torpedo tube. At that moment, Lamont regains consciousness, knocks Gibbs out, slips him into the torpedo tube and sends him to the surface, leaving Ganz and himself behind to die a watery death. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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