It's spring 1941, and Great Britain is the only country in Europe yet to be defeated by the Nazi army, but all of that could change soon. The Nazis have launched their juggernaut battleship, the Bismarck, to close off Brit... more »ish supply lines and ultimately invade England. A counterstrike is ordered, and with an arsenal of ships at their command, Royal intelligence officers Jonathan Shepard (Kenneth More) and Anne Davis (Dana Wynter) fight desperately to distroy the Bismarck.« less
Mark T. (THEBLUEMAX) from ATOKA, TN Reviewed on 8/12/2011...
Another Great addition to a War movie collection. Though somewhat dated now, it still has you on the edge of your seat more than a few times. What I like most about the film is the Naval battles and ships sequences out in the open ocean. Very few movies have shown naval battles due to the apparent toy looking models that must be used or the substitution of actual authentic footage which usually just doesn't flow with the movie. This one was done about as good as possible for that time and I found it very enjoyable and one of the highlights of the film.
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A Fine, Flawed Film
Jack Rice | California, USA | 08/02/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The British have made war and historical movies with an unrivaled consistency of quality, and Sink the Bismarck is no exception. The details are meticulous, the casting first-rate (except for a hokey voice-impersonation of Churchill), and the battle sequences marked by accuracy and fine special effects.This otherwise fine film is marred, however, by the false depiction of one of the major characters, Admiral Lutjens, commander of the Bismarck. In the film, he is stereotyped as the typical Nazi - a Hitler sycophant, careerist and wild-eyed fanatic. This was most certainly not the historical Lutjens, who was by no means a Nazi fanatic. Lutjens was a naval hero from World War I, who served out of duty and dedication, not Nazi conviction. (Lutjens protected Jews under his command, and members of his family were in trouble for their anti-Nazi views.) This is at complete odds with his depiction in Sink the Bismarck, which I find inexcusable, given that the above information was certainly available to the production. In fact, an accurate depiction of Lutjens would have, in my opinion, added interest to the plot.Nevertheless, Sink the Bismarck is eminently watchable and a fine addition to any war movie collection, if you bear in mind the above caveat."
Saw the DVD today - and liked it
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 04/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched an advance review copy of this DVD tonight and really enjoyed it. In addition to the movie, the DVD features not only the trailer for the main feature, but also a vintage 1941 MovieTone newsreel of the real battle to sink the Bismark and trailers for the other movies in the upcoming spate of "Fox War Classics" ("The Blue Max", "The Enemy Below", "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison", "The Desert Fox" and "13 Rue Madeleine." Based on a book of the same name, which was in turn based on the real incidents in World War 2, the movie "Sink the Bismarck" retells the tale of the dogged effort by the British Royal Navy to track down and attempt to destroy the German battle cruiser Bismarck. Much of the movie takes place at the Admiralty in London where the superb British actor Kenneth Moore surveys the ships as would a chess player on a large board, in an attempt to second guess and outmaneuver the German vessel. The DVD is in fine shape and I did not notice any artifacts or nicks. Considering the age of the picture it is surprising that it should be so well prsented here, so full marks must go to 20th Century Fox. I have seen this movie before on television and I do not believe I have ever seen it looking as crisp and focused as it does on this DVD. Altogether, this is easy to recommend especially considering the low price.
p.s. Viewers in the United States should also seek out, and watch, the superb 2-hour History Channel documentary of the same name. It would make an excellent companion-piece to this movie if the producers should decide to release it as a DVD."
An all time favorite
Margaret M. Duffy | New York, NY USA | 06/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not entirely sure why I like this movie so very much, but I have loved it from the very first time I saw it more than 20 years ago and still watch it often. It is a dramatization of the true story of the short-lived first cruise of the German battleship "Bismarck", of the destruction it wrought and of the hunt to find and ultimately destroy it. Yes, there are some inaccuracies in the details of which ships took part in the hunt, as well as in the portrayal of German Admiral Gunther Lutjens, but the fact that this is a British movie, made while the scars of war were still a strongly living memory, should be borne in mind in this regard. Among the things that make it worth viewing are: the presence of Edward R. Morrow recreating the atmosphere of his wartime London radio reports, the recreation of the Naval command center underneath the Admiralty building and the highly believable performance of Kenneth More (himself a wartime naval officer) as the deeply wounded Captain Shepherd. Dana Wynter also gives a delicately nuanced performance as Second Officer Anne Davis. The moment when she enters Shepherd's office and realizes that he is crying is beautifully done. The highly restrained romantic undercurrent doesn't interfere with the main story line and is very believable for wartime professionals. One comes away from this movie knowing that a great menace to the eventual survival of Britain has been eliminated and that there may be hope for both the UK and for two lonely people.The inclusion in the new DVD of some newreel footage of the actual event is a nice little bonus. The subject of the hunt for and destruction of the "Bismarck" has also recently been the subject of some recent documentaries. The story retains its impact, even after more than 60 years."
Honorable Men in Desperate Battle
Steve Rawlings | Denver, CO USA | 03/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Honorable Men in Desperate Battle In May 1941, Britain stood alone against Nazi tyranny. The German blitz had devastated much of the English industrial base. The lifeline to America across the North Atlantic was critical to England's survival. In an effort to cut this lifeline, Hitler built the Bismarck, the fastest and most powerful battleship the world had ever seen. "Sink the Bismarck" is the story of a desperate 6-day naval engagement to find and destroy the German battleship. The British initially dispatched the pride of the Royal Navy, the H.M.S. Hood, to intercept the Bismarck. A single shell from the Bismarck penetrated a magazine on the Hood, instantly destroying the British ship. The film depicts the subsequent efforts of the Royal Navy to locate and attack the Bismarck with overwhelming fire power. As often happens in war, the most unpredictable bad luck was counterbalanced by miraculous good fortune. The film evokes the grim resolution, the desperate gambles, and the professional skills of the British command to bring the Bismarck to bay. Kenneth More is well-cast in the role of Captain Jonathan Shepard, a man who conveys both iron will to duty, yet vulnerability to personal human loss in his pursuit of the Bismarck. The film teems with excitement and suspense as it records one of the great naval battles ever fought."
Tense RN B/W epic -classic
patrick | Melbourne Australia | 01/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a very-good effort, pretty-convincing special effects, good script, looks right, feels right, sounds right, but does divert from authentic fact in some regards to sex it up a little. Moores character is fictional, as final credits admit.Script sounds right, and may delight both British and non-British viewers:
Suffolk /Norfolk shadowing cruisers Jack Tarr crewmen:
'Oy,you know, we might as well throw crumpets at the Bismarck for all the good our little guns would do!
Crewman 2 'I wish someone would throw a bleedin' crumpet at me!The destroyer 'Solent' destroyed by a salvo from the Bismarck after the Captain beautifully-Britishly declares
' NOW WE'RE FOR IT!'
as a searchlight clicks onto the sneaky brave little British -ship trying to angle for a night-torpedo attack, never existed. Vians tribal destroyer-flotilla 2 and a Polish-destroyer 'Paiun' did attempt a night attack in heavy seas the night before Bismarcks destruction, but despite considerable gunfire exchanged with the rudder-crippled Nazi collossus, neither Bismarck nor its small tormentors suffered much damage, let alone sudden shattering obliteration like this imaginary 'Solent'.And as the final-scene suggests, despite all the invincible unsinkable ballyhoo, Bismarck was silenced relatively quickly by two British heavy ships. Then saturated by torpedos from destroyers and cruisers once silenced, this was thought to have been the reason it was finished-off, but strong evidence now suggests the surviving German crews scuttled the blazing listing hulk, rather than risk its capture as a trophy- not a practical possiblity for the British force assailing it, as it now turns out.They were low on fuel, apprehensive of U-boats, just coming into range of the Luftwaffe, and were inclined to 'bounce' as soon as Bismarck was done for, not take 45 000 tons of admittedly good German scrap-metal under tow.For the war-bird buffs, the 2 'Swordfish' attacks are actually rather fabulous, look absolutely great from all camera-angles, including plumetting torpedoes. Once again the film sexes up the truth, showing 1 or 2 Swordfish blown to pieces by flak in each attack, miraculously, no 'Stringbags' were shot down in either attack, one suffered a near-miss flak-burst and the crew wounded by splinters but survived.( Its thought the normally excellent German gunners missed and missed because they couldnt judge the speed of the 100 mph WW1-performance biplanes.)But this is a good one, and I can recommend without reservation, it stands-up and impresses easily today.Certainly its worth 5 or 10 'U571s' or 'Pearl Harbors'....If you want to read the factual story of Bismarck , its hunting and sinking, out of the several books Ive read, I would glowingly endorse 'Pursuit', by Ludovic Kennedy, for this is a great unput-downable sea-story in its own right, 'Pursuit' would be available on Amazon,probably cheap 2nd hand H/C, and you wouldnt regret its purchase, trust me."