Starring: Tom Hanks, Elisabeth Shue, Stephen Graham, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Rob Morgan, Karl Glusman, Tom Brittney, Joseph Poliquin, Devin Druid, Maximillion Osinski
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
War drama inspired by true events directed by Aaron Schneider with Tom Hanks as screenwriter. Set during the early days of WWII, the story follows an international convoy of 37 Allied ships, led by Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks), who in his first command of a U.S. destroyer, crosses the treacherous North Atlantic while pursued by wolf packs of German U-boats.
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[as he’s getting started for the day] Captain Krause: Dear Lord, let your Holy Angel be with me. That the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
[two months earlier] Evelyn: Congratulations. Your first command, at last. Captain Krause: Aw. After all those years of being fitted and retained, a Fletcher-class destroyer. Evelyn: You deserve it. I knew after Pearl Harbor they would be needing men like you. Captain Krause: I report to Norfolk right after the first of the year. Evelyn: Norfolk? Not Treasure Island? Captain Krause: That’s the navy in a nutshell, isn’t it? Evelyn: Yeah. Captain Krause: Then the Caribbean for training and tactics. Jamaica, the Bahamas, Cuba. Rum and Coca-Cola. And then active duty.
Captain Krause: Come with me. I mean it. So I can ask you to marry me on a tropical beach. Evelyn: Oh, I’d like that, but we can’t. The world has gone crazy, Ernie. Let’s wait until we can be together.
Captain Krause: I will always be looking for you, Evie. No matter where I am. Even if I’m a thousand miles away, I will be hoping I’ll see you come around the corner. Because when you do, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
Charlie Cole: Crew’s getting nervous, Ernie. Cleveland: Sleep well, sir? Captain Krause: I’ve never had the gift for sleeping on board. Cleveland: Hmm. And I can’t sleep anywhere else, sir.
[reprimanding Shannon and Flusser] Captain Krause: I will tolerate no more fisticuffs on my ship. So, “Restore the relationships you have damaged and fill me with peace.”
Captain Krause: “Repetition will bring hell down from on high.”
[reading message from the commodore] Messenger: “Huff Duff reports a German transmission bearing zero-eight-seven degrees. Range one-five to two-zero miles.” Commodore says a likely U-boat, sir. Captain Krause: “Comescort to Comconvoy. Will run it down.” Messenger: “Comescort to Comconvoy. Will run it down.” Captain Krause: Wait, wait. “Will run it down. Thank you.”
Captain Krause: [over radio] All escorts, Greyhound. Return to your stations immediately. We have enemy contact bearing zero-eight-seven, range fifteen to twenty miles.
[over the ship’s speakers] Captain Krause: This is the captain. We are running down the target. Let us attend our duties well. This is what we’ve trained for.
Captain Krause: Charlie, what do you make of this target? Charlie Cole: Most likely a U-boat, sir. Up for air and a battery charge. Getting ready to come at us, Captain.
Charlie Cole: Target’s disappeared, sir. Fell off the radar about six miles out. Captain Krause: What’s this, Charlie? Charlie Cole: Looks like he’s dived, sir, by the way the pips faded out. Lt. Watson: He must’ve seen us, sir. Got his air and dove.
[referring to the U-boat] Captain Krause: What do you hear? Eppstein: Contact bearing steady at zero-nine-one. He’s turned. Looks like he’s running from us, sir. Captain Krause: Any screw noises? Eppstein: Contact dead ahead, range one mile. Still no propeller noise.
[referring to the U-boat] Talker: Sonar reports contact indefinite, no propeller noise. [pause as they wait] Captain Krause: “Acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.”
Eppstein: He’s trying to slip under us! Captain Krause: Now, Mr. Lopez. Lopez: Roll and fire, medium pattern. Roll and fire!
[after they’ve tried to hit the U-boat] Lt. Watson: No oil slick. No debris. F***, I thought we had him, sir. [Krause looks at him] Lt. Watson: Sorry. My language, sir.
Captain Krause: [over radio] Escorts, Greyhound. We have engaged the enemy, but no hits on my drop. Our last contact had him bearing two-nine-five, directly for the convoy. Tighten up your screens! He will be within firing range of the convoy in… Starboard Lookout: Oil! Oil, starboard beam! Oil and debris, starboard beam! Range five yards!
[referring to the U-boat] Captain Krause: We got him. [all the me cheer]
[over the ship’s speakers] Captain Krause: This is the captain. It seems we sank that target. This was an all hands job. Well done.
Captain Krause: [over radio] Escorts, Greyhound. We have sighted evidence of a kill. British Destroyer Eagle: Congratulations, Captain. More food for the fish. British Destroyer Harry: The prize is yours, sir, but we’ll need evidence of a kill for the Admiralty. Nothing but the captain’s trousers will do, I’m afraid. Captain Krause: Just return to station.
Lt. Watson: Congratulations, sir. Shall I steer a course for the debris to verify the kill? Captain Krause: No, Mr. Watson. Convoy is unguarded. Take us back to station.
Dawson: It’s from the Admiralty, sir. They’ve intercepted multiple German transmissions. It’s at least two hours old. [reading the message] Captain Krause: “Enemy activity expected at Position Oboe.”
Lt. Nystrom: Congratulations, Captain. It’s our first U-boat. Congratulations, sir. Fifty less krauts. Captain Krause: Yes. Fifty souls.
Ipsen: Sir, noon fuel reports will be slightly off due to that U-boat chase. Still waiting on reports from Dodge, but Viktor and James are reporting diminishing reserves. Captain Krause: Send a reply. “Comescort to James. Please use utmost efforts to conserve fuel.”
Captain Krause: Charlie, I’m steering to avoid a single torpedo.
Charlie Cole: A wolf pack’s shadowing us. They’ll attack as a group. Captain Krause: Yeah, waiting for nightfall, when we can’t see nothing.
Captain Krause: Chief Rudel, I need these wipers operating. Rudel: It’s not electrical, sir. They’re frozen. I can put some men on it with buckets and swabs. Captain Krause: Salt water. Warm salt water, not boiling.
[referring to one of the wolf pack U-boat] Charlie Cole: Conn, Combat. Looks like our friend’s come up for fresh air and to maintain speed with us, sir.
Captain Krause: Messenger, take this to Signals. “Greyhound to Cadena. Must return to station at head of convoy to engage targets. Fired on U-boat. Drove him under. Have faith you will outrun him. Good luck.” Send that.
Rudel: You wanted to see me, sir? Charlie Cole: Yeah. What can we do about this damn interference? Rudel: It’s not interference, sir. I checked everything. The pilot light’s on, no surge currents, and I reset the overload relay four days ago. I could reset it again, but we’re going to be down nearly two hours. Waste of time, sir.
Charlie Cole: “The night cometh when no man can work,” Ernie. Rudel’s done all he can. We’re just going to have to live with the radar how it is for now, Captain. Captain Krause: Understood. Thank you, Charlie.
[as they’re being shot at] Captain Krause: Friendly fire! Friendly fire! They can’t see us!
Captain Krause: Mr. Lopez, prepare to engage that target. When he dives, we’re going to hammer him with two patterns, shallow, then deep.
Messenger: Sir, a message from Cadena. Captain Krause: Read it out. Messenger: “Merchant ships vulnerable at rear of convoy. Attack imminent. Request your earliest assistance.”
Wallace: Captain, survivors five hundred yards starboard, sir. Proceed with rescue? [looks over to the men staring at him apprehensively] Captain Krause: Get down to midships, put down a scrambling net and get those men out of the water.
Crewman: Krauts call it a Pillenwerfer, sir. It’s German for something. Charlie Cole: “Pill-thrower.” Captain Krause: Yes, go on. Crewman: Uh, I’d never heard of one before, but I got a buddy who was on the Kidd, and he had one on his first crossing. It’s a mechanical decoy about the size of an icebox, and it shoots out gas like an Alka-Seltzer. The krauts just drop it in the water, and it hangs there while we waste depth charges on it. Captain Krause: Detail it in your after-action report. And make sure all the other operators are familiar with it. Crewman: I should’ve caught it sooner, sir. Captain Krause: No, you did good work. Thank you.
Gray Wolf: [over radio] Greyhound. Greyhound. Greyhound. This is Gray Wolf. We hunt you and your friends Eagle, Dicky, and Harry. We watch your ships sinking into the deep. We hear the screams of your comrades as they die. How many of them will there be before you join them? The Gray Wolf is so very hungry. Your women will learn of your dying and weep into the long night before they turn to the arms of their lovers. [Gray Wolf howls]
Man Over Radio: Status report. No contacts at present. Known losses during the night, five ships. Vasco, Southland, Corning, Paumbarten, Powell. Two ships damaged, twenty-three survivors, two hundred ten confirmed dead.
Captain Krause: How many full patterns do we have left? Fippler: None, sir. We’re down to six charges. We pulled everything from below last watch, if you recall, sir. Captain Krause: Yes. Yes, of course. Thank you, Mr. Flipper. Fippler: It’s Fippler, sir. Captain Krause: Mr. Fippler, we must leave off the firing of full patterns. Fippler: What I was going to suggest, sir.
Captain Krause: “Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.”
Captain Krause: I know it’s risky, Charlie, but we need to break protocol. How soon can we reach air cover? No more zigzags, no evasive maneuvers. Charlie Cole: Aye, aye, sir.
[referring to tray of food] Charlie Cole: Is that for the captain? Cleveland: Yeah. Man hasn’t had a bite to eat or been off his feet since we left.
Starboard Lookout: He’s coming in close! U-boat, starboard bow! Lt. Watson: He’s slipped in under our guns, sir. We can’t hit him!
[referring to the bullet that nearly hit them] Ipsen: Son of a b**ch ricocheted off the surface.
Captain Krause: [over radio] Dicky, Greyhound. What is your damage? Dicky: Greyhound, our guns couldn’t depress far enough to do any damage. But, at twenty yards, the shells went right through us without detonating. Captain Krause: Are you seaworthy? Dicky: All three hits were well above the waterline, sir. We’ll have our holes patched, and we’ll be back in the hunt. Captain Krause: Very good. Return to your screening station at best speed.
[after they’ve been hit and three crewmen have died] Dr. Temme: I’ve got no room for corpses down below, sir. Not with the four we pulled from Vasco. Charlie Cole: I can arrange for a service within the next ten minutes, sir. Captain Krause: Of course. All hands.
Captain Krause: How bad was he hit? Dr. Temme: Sir? Captain Krause: George Cleveland. Dr. Temme: Completely mutilated, sir. All of them.
[holding a service for the dead crewmen] Captain Krause: “We therefore commit the earthly remains of Anthony Pisani, Daniel Marx, and George Cleveland to the deep, looking for the general Resurrection in their last day, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose second coming in glorious majesty to judge the world the sea shall give up her dead, and corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed and made like unto his glorious body according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Amen.”
Captain Krause: [over radio] Eagle, Greyhound. What is your status? British Destroyer Eagle: We were hit forward of the engine room and have a fire below deck. Some casualties. The Kong Gustav was hit first, sank in three minutes. We saw no survivors. It’s a bad afternoon, sir. Captain Krause: How seaworthy are you? British Destroyer Eagle: We have a five degree list at starboard, and we’re down at the stern, but we’ll tow alright up to five knots. We have a flap of plate sticking up, scooping in the sea. The list gets worse if we make any speed. Captain Krause: We must keep you afloat, Eagle. British Destroyer Eagle: We’ll do all the sea allows, sir. Captain Krause: Very well. Greyhound out.
British Destroyer Eagle: [over radio] Greyhound, Eagle. Greyhound, Eagle. Captain Krause: Greyhound. British Destroyer Eagle: Request permission to abandon ship, sir. The collision mats were not big enough. We have a fifteen degree list now, and the main deck is underwater. Captain Krause: Well, I’m sure you’ve done all you could. Permission granted. British Destroyer Eagle: She’s been a good home, sir. It’s been an honor sailing with you. We’ll be praying for you. Godspeed, Captain. Captain Krause: Thank you for a job well done.
Captain Krause: I’ve lost Eagle. Harry and Dicky are low on depth charges and fuel, as are we. I can offer only scant protection to the convoy. We need air cover, Charlie. Do I break radio silence with a message to the Admiralty? Or does that let the wolf pack know just how vulnerable we are? Charlie Cole: What would the message be? Captain Krause: “Help needed urgently.” Charlie Cole: No. “Help needed.” That means “urgently”. Captain Krause: “Needed” isn’t needed. Just “help”. That’s all the Admiralty needs to hear for a modified rendezvous point. Charlie Cole: The Germans might miss a message as short as that. Captain Krause: I wouldn’t need to take this risk if I’d been smarter yesterday. Charlie Cole: What you did yesterday got us to today. Captain Krause: It’s not enough, Charlie. Not nearly enough.
Gray Wolf: [over radio] Greyhound! Your flock is not safe from this wolf. We can always find you in the night to kill you. Or will Dicky die next? Or Harry? [Gray Wolf howls]
Captain Krause: [over radio] Harry, Dicky. Greyhound. I am engaging targets. Dicky: Request permission to come down there and bounce them with you, sir. Captain Krause: Negative, Dicky. Maintain your screen.
Gray Wolf: [over radio] Greyhound. Guten Morgen, Greyhound. Did you think you had slipped away from this Gray Wolf? No, you did not. You will not. The sea favors the Gray Wolf on the hunt, not the hound on the run. You and your comrades will die today.
Captain Krause: We’ll ram that U-boat if we have to!
[after they’ve destroyed the wolf pack with the help of air cover] Captain Krause: [over radio] Diamond, Greyhound. Do you hear me? British Destroyer Diamond: Loud and clear, Greyhound. We hear you had a bit of a rough go of it. Captain Krause: Yes, sir. In the last forty-eight hours, we’ve lost seven ships from the convoy. Two others were damaged. British Destroyer Diamond: And the condition of your command? How are you holding up? Captain Krause: I took a round from a sub on our portside deck. Three were killed. British Destroyer Diamond: But you are seaworthy? Captain Krause: Yes, sir. Dicky and I fought him out on the surface, and we got him. Uh, my escort group sank three others. British Destroyer Diamond: Four U-boats? Bloody good job, Greyhound.
British Destroyer Diamond: We will be relieving you now and taking the convoy on to Liverpool. You take Dicky and Harry, and make best speed to the naval yard in Londonderry. Captain Krause: Sir, I request I stay with the convoy. I have fifty-six hours fuel at economical speed. British Destroyer Diamond: No, that’s an order, Commander. We’ll see the convoy on from here. I need you to take Dicky and Harry back home. They’re not fit to stay in the game, understood? Off to Derry with you. Captain Krause: Aye, aye, sir.
British Destroyer Diamond: Tell me, Greyhound, just curious. How many crossings does that make for you now? Captain Krause: This was my first, sir. British Destroyer Diamond: [chuckles] Unbelievable. Well, let’s hope next time’s a bit easier, eh? Admirable show, Commander. Captain Krause: Thank you, sir.
[last lines; praying before he finally gets to bed to rest] Captain Krause: I thank you, my heavenly Father, that you have graciously kept me this day. Into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul. Amen.
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