We Dive at Dawn (1943) John Mills, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar, Jack Watling Movie Review

We Dive at Dawn (1943)   3/53/53/53/53/5

John Mills in We Dive at Dawn (1943)

Leave for Departure

Having just finished their last tour of duty at sea the crew of HMS submarine Sea Tiger are all looking forwards to their leave with some getting married, others trying to save their marriages and others just enjoying some free time. But on their first day of leave the men find themselves ordered back for a special mission, to sink the Brandenburg, the new German battleship. Trouble is that the Brandeburg has entered the heavily defended Baltic which means if they do reach and destroy their target the chances of escape are next to none.

I wonder what it must have been like to watch "We Dive at Dawn" back in 1943 as with the war raging on I am sure this atmospheric submarine movie must have packed a powerful punch. In fact I am sure that it would have opened up a few people's eyes to life aboard a submarine from showing the crampness of the quarters to how even though these men were focussed on the job at hand their thoughts were also on those back home. On top of that it does a good job of delivering enemy kicking action with out glorifying it and showing that the war was often a waiting game.

The thing is that watched now, more than 70 years after its release, "We Dive at Dawn" sadly fails to stand out from the numerous other war time submarine movies which were made. It still delivers everything I am sure it did back when it was first released especially the tension of going after the enemy, but one element after another feels like it has be done in other movies and often been done better. The same can be said of John Mills' performance as whilst it is a good performance the character feels too familiar as if Mills had played the exact same character too many times before.

What this all boils down to is that "We Dive at Dawn" is still a good wartime/submarine movie which still delivers plenty of atmosphere. But for me there was nothing about "We Dive at Dawn" which made it stand out from any other WWII submarine movie.