SINK THE BISMARCK! (1960) B/W widescreen 97m dir: Lewis Gilbert
w/Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Mohner, Laurence Naismith, Geoffrey Keen, Karel Stepanek, Michael Hordern, Maurice Denham, Michael Goodliffe, Esmond Knight
From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "Sink the Bismarck! is a first-rate film re-creation of a thrilling historical event. The screenplay is taken from a book by C.S. Forester. It concentrates almost entirely on three playing areas. These are the subterranean London headquarters of the British admiralty, where the battle is plotted and directed; aboard the Germans' 'unsinkable' battleship, the Bismarck; and on board the various British vessels called into pursuit of the Nazi raider.
"The film opens with the chilling news that the Bismarck has escaped the British naval blockade and is loose in the North Atlantic. After it sinks the Hood, considered the greatest battleship in the world, it appears nothing can stop it from rendezvousing with its sister ships holed up at Brest.
"Some of the dialog is a little high-flown, with the British at times too aware of the historical importance of the event. The Germans, on the other hand, tend to be Nazi caricatures.
"Kenneth More plays the British captain who directs the battle to catch the Bismarck with his customary and effective taciturnity. Dana Wynter is a helpful note as the WREN officer who is his aide. Carl Mohner manages some character as the German officer commanding the Bismarck."
From The Movie Guide: "Screenwriter Edmund North knows how to write about war, as he proved with his Oscar-winning screenplay for PATTON. Here, he has fashioned a taut, tense wartime drama out of the real story of how the Germans' most powerful naval fighting machine was destroyed. ... The film is a marvel of intercutting, shifting repeatedly from More and Wynter in the War Room, to action aboard the German battleship, to all the other British ships as they begin to tighten the noose. More spends countless hours plotting the destruction of the Bismarck, grabbing a nap here and there, sharing his personal woes with Wynter, who is always at his side. Although there's a bit of caricature in the portrayal of the Germans, the film is still evenhanded enough in its portrayal of the enemy that the villains remain interesting characters. Actual battle footage is combined with flawless miniature work by Howard Lydecker and Bill Harrington and the effect is stunningly convincing. SINK THE BISMARCK! is a first-class war drama that ranks with IN WHICH WE SERVE and COCKLESHELL HEROES as examples of how to create excitement with a great script. The most impressive part of North's screenplay is that we are almost able to look inside More's head to see why he does what he does."