Action in the North Atlantic (1943) starring Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale, Julie Bishop, Ruth Gordon, Sam Levene, Dane Clark, Peter Whitney, Dick Hogan directed by Lloyd Bacon, Byron Haskin Movie Review

Action in the North Atlantic (1943)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Raymond Massey and Humphrey Bogart in Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

Revenge in the North Atlantic

A crew of Merchant Marines are lucky to be alive when the ship they are working on gets attacks by a German U-Boat which is not only intent on sinking the ship but destroying the life raft they escape on. Somehow the majority of them survive, clinging on to pieces of raft until they are rescued. Back on dry land they receive their next mission on their new bow "The Sea Witch" but not everyone is convinced they want to put themselves back in danger after one close shave already whilst Lt. Joe Rossi (Humphrey Bogart) finds love and marries. When The Sea Witch get separated from the convoy they are travelling with they find themselves with a chance of revenge when the come across the U-Boat which sank them before.

"Action in the North Atlantic" is one of those movies which in truth isn't half bad with all the key ingredients; the storyline, the acting, the action and the direction working well. But it is a movie which is not only typical of its era with an aspect of propaganda about it but it also is full of familiar elements especially when it comes to the tension of the one on one battle between The Sea Witch and the U-Boat.

Julie Bishop and Humphrey Bogart in Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

Now in truth "Action in the North Atlantic" does not need much reviewing as after surviving a run in with a German U-boat the men end up having another run in and seeking revenge. It is a nicely shot series of scenes with some decent action and tension. In fact the early scenes of their first ship being sunk by the U-Boat takes you by surprise as they are better than you expect. Add on to the top of that some nice scenes of the men living in the confines of a boat with that familiar aspect of humorous camaraderie. The one series of scenes which I found out of place features Bogart's character meeting a dame and marrying her before the next mission, it just feels to forced, a plot device thrown in to fill the movie out although surprising charming with Bogart showing a real softer side to his person.

As such there are the performances and Humphrey Bogart delivers one of his most simple performances going for a simple character. There is no real depth to the character and it allows for the more humorous side of the character to show. On the subject of which we have Alan Hale as the light relief in this movie plus Raymond Massey delivering a typical performance full of gravitas as the Captain. But these are all characters we have stumbled across before in other movies from the era.

What this all boils down to is that "Action in the North Atlantic" is a nicely made, nicely acted and nicely directed war movie from 1943. But it is typical and from the humour to the action as well as its propaganda side it is all very familiar.