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The Silent Enemy
Directed by William Fairchild
Produced by Bertram Ostrer
Raymond Anzarut
Written by Marshall Pugh (book)
William Fairchild (screenplay)
Starring Laurence Harvey
Dawn Addams
John Clements
Michael Craig
Sidney James
Music by William Alwyn
Cinematography Otto Heller
Editing by Alan Osbiston
Release date(s) 1958
Running time 112 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Silent Enemy is a 1958 action film directed by William Fairchild. It stars Laurence Harvey as Lionel "Buster" Crabb and describes his exploits during World War II. It was made following the publicity created by Crabb's mysterious disappearance and likely death during a cold war incident a year earlier.

The film depicts events in Gibraltar harbour during the World War II Italian frogman and manned torpedo attacks, although the film's depiction of those events is highly fictionalised.

Contents

Plot

The story begins with a dramatisation of the Italian manned torpedo raid on Alexandria (1941) in which two British battleships were sunk. The British are worried that this new Italian tactic will give the enemy naval supremacy in the Mediterranean. From Spain, an Italian expert on underwater operations is secretly watching the British base in Gibraltar and planning new attacks.

Maverick diver Lionel Crabbe is brought in to head the British response. He creates a team of divers to intercept the Italian attacks and defuse the bombs. The Italians plan a major attack on a British convoy, but Crabbe and another diver manage to infiltrate the Spanish docks from which the Italians are planning the attack, identifying the ship (the Olterra) which the Italians attack from. Crabbe leads an unauthorised pre-emptive strike on the ship carrying the torpedoes and destroys it, winning the George Medal.

Inaccuracy

This movie does not represent real events accurately. In particular, in the real world there was no attack on the Olterra, and no underwater hand-to-hand battle between Italian and British frogmen. The breathing sets used by the film actors representing the Italian frogmen seem to be British naval type rebreathers and not authentic Italian rebreathers. The three manned torpedoes seen in the movie, representing Italian maiali, were crudely-made film props.

Cast

See also

External links

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