NFR Greyhound WWII Movie

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
WFF Supporter
Tom Hanks is in a new WWII war movie called Greyhound. He plays a captain of destroyer set out to guard a convoy crossing the North Atlantic while being hunted by a pack of U-Boats. Submarine movies are kinda like boxing movies, reassuring in the limited number of plot twists that are coming. You already know someone's getting badly hurt, the questions are really only when and how. This falls in that genre, though the Hanks movie is a little different, it's got the perspective of a destroyer captain assigned his first major command in protecting the convoy. It's a little bit like watching Sandy Bullock in Gravity, just constant new problems. Plus a reasonably accurate war movie involving naval strategy....sign me up! Anyway, if you are looking for a distraction I enjoyed this one, the bleak grayness of it, the drab uniforms, the claustrophobia of the ship interiors, the kick-some-nazi-ass etc. It's not as nuanced as Dunkirk in using multiple levels of time and scene shots to flesh out the drama, it is not as relentlessly video-game like as 1917, not as emotionally manipulative as Private Ryan, not as oppressively brutal as Fury, but it still works

On the other hand, the CS Forester book it is based on looks way more interesting in a way the film didn't really tell. What's the captain's backstory? Why is his first command a crazy important one? How did he nail autopilot command and decisive actions for a novice Nth Atlantic crossing and no sub defense experience....(I guess that is the biggest gap for me in the movie...)? How did a Yank end up in command of British vessels....

 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
Tom Hanks is in a new WWII war movie called Greyhound. He plays a captain of destroyer set out to guard a convoy crossing the North Atlantic while being hunted by a pack of U-Boats. Submarine movies are kinda like boxing movies, reassuring in the limited number of plot twists that are coming. You already know someone's getting badly hurt, the questions are really only when and how. This falls in that genre, though the Hanks movie is a little different, it's got the perspective of a destroyer captain assigned his first major command in protecting the convoy. It's a little bit like watching Sandy Bullock in Gravity, just constant new problems. Plus a reasonably accurate war movie involving naval strategy....sign me up! Anyway, if you are looking for a distraction I enjoyed this one, the bleak grayness of it, the drab uniforms, the claustrophobia of the ship interiors, the kick-some-nazi-ass etc. It's not as nuanced as Dunkirk in using multiple levels of time and scene shots to flesh out the drama, it is not as relentlessly video-game like as 1917, not as emotionally manipulative as Private Ryan, not as oppressively brutal as Fury, but it still works

On the other hand, the CS Forester book it is based on looks way more interesting in a way the film didn't really tell. What's the captain's backstory? Why is his first command a crazy important one? How did he nail autopilot command and decisive actions for a novice Nth Atlantic crossing and no sub defense experience....(I guess that is the biggest gap for me in the movie...)? How did a Yank end up in command of British vessels....

The ship in question was probably an American Destroyer. Before we got into WWII the government was sending Destroyers to the British because they requested them. They needed them more than we did at that time. Plus I read a lot.
 

Robert Engleheart

Robert
WFF Supporter
Americans were in what was called “belligerent Neutrality” as early as 1939 and declared the Western Atlantic, to a point only several hundred miles off western Ireland, as a neutral zone and enforced it by helping the British with pilots, ship repairs and naval intelligence. This was accelerated by providing merchant ships under Lend Lease up to actual hostilities between American ships and Nazi U-Boats in June (or July) of 1941, 6 months before Pearl Harbor. It’s not improbable that an American Captain was on a British or warship as described. Been a long time since I read the book, but more likely the time was after December 7, 1941?
as a youngster I read everything C.S. Forester wrote, great works. Especially the Hornblower series.
 

kmudgn

Active Member
The first US Navy ship sunk in the Atlantic was the Ruben James which was "accidentally" torpedoed by a Nazi submarine in October 1941. The James was on what they called neutrality patrol with a group of merchant ships when the ship was sunk. Allegedly, the submarine captain was shooting at one of the merchant ships, but Germany was not apologetic. The Nazis said that it should be expected if US Navy Ships were guarding merchant ships. It was not the first US Navy ship attacked, but it was the first sunk.
The folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote a song about the sinking
 

Robert Engleheart

Robert
WFF Supporter
Just found my book “The Good Sheperd”. In it, Tom Hanks character is an American captain of an American ship, rest of convoy escort consists of a British destroyer, a Polish destroyer and a Canadian one.
 

rawalker

Active Member
Currenty reading "A Game of Birds and Wolves"
"The ingenious young women whose secret board game helped win World War II" about the group of Wrens who helped figure out the German u-boat strategy in the Atlantic. So far it is a decent read.
 

DavidJP

Active Member
Looks interesting, puts me off a bit when they have direct radio communications with german U boats, that would have been so far out of line as to be totally implausible and as far as I know not in the original book.

A great film along the same lines, a bit old now was "The Cruel sea" made in 1953. For a film so close to the events its full of pathos and reflection.

Would have to go aways to better "Das Boot" as the Atlantic war film of all time

Look forward to seeing it, Tom Hanks always has interesting projects
 

DavidJP

Active Member
The ship in question was probably an American Destroyer. Before we got into WWII the government was sending Destroyers to the British because they requested them. They needed them more than we did at that time. Plus I read a lot.
We did get a bunch of no rent 99 year leases on bases around the world as part of the deal, a bit of creative accounting to get around objections from congress I think at the time

 

David Loy

Senior Moment
The ship used in the movie was indeed an American destroyer, the USS Kidd. The last intact WWII destroyer, currently used as a museum. They still had to do some minor modifications to match some of the armaments on the Keeling, but the Navy was “all in” to help.
When I first saw promos of the movie I was excited but decided to read The Good Shepherd first. I love sea novels and have all of O’Brien’s Aubrey Maturin books, but I’d never read one of Forester’s. Pretty good read, got enthralled and finished it quickly. Looking forward to the movie. Hanks always does fine work.
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
Watched it yesterday with some buddies, and it was pretty intense.
My grandfather was a merchant seaman on those N Atlantic convoys during the war, and he had PTSD from it- though they didn't call it that back then.

One hell of a flick.
 

Robert Engleheart

Robert
WFF Supporter
When I first saw promos of the movie I was excited but decided to read The Good Shepherd first. I love sea novels and have all of O’Brien’s Aubrey Maturin books, but I’d never read one of Forester’s. Pretty good read, got enthralled and finished it quickly. Looking forward to the movie. Hanks always does fine work.

Foresters Hornblower series is at least the equal of O’Brien, IMHO. Forgot he also wrote the African Queen, going to have to re read that. Got to visit the HMS Victory when in England twenty years ago. The B&B we were staying at had a son who was an officer on the Victory, they still take her out on special occasions.
 

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