Enemy Below, The

Primary Creator
Director Dick Powell
Screenwriter Wendell Mayes
Actor Robert Mitchum
Actor Curt Jurgens
Duration97 minutes
Name of WorkEnemy Below, The
Production Date1957
Production Location

Current Location

Media Typesfilm
General Notes

Overall, this movie does not fit the category of "thematic" because it is primarily a taut action movie without any overarching theme about it. However, there are some deeper elements of the movie, which I've put in the Discussion section of this artwork.


An American destroyer discovers a German U-boat heading to some secret European destination, and what follows is a battle of wits between the American captain (who is thought by some initially to be an inadequate skipper) and the German captain, who is a willing German leader, though he has some opposition to the Nazi cause. Never seeing one another during the battle, each captain has to anticipate the next move of his opposition, in a deadly battle. A strong psychological drama where the grasp of exactly what the opponent may do determines whether they live or die.

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

War is deadly and destructive for all parties.


Naval battle, submarine, World War II


Discussion: Enemy Below, The

There are some deeper elements of the movie, which are proto-thematic elements, but I don't think rise to the level of a real movie with a strong universal theme:

1) aspects of the psychological rivalry of the two captains, and

2) the implicit idea that there is some equivalence between the two warring parties, which might be a condemnation of war, and

3) a rapprochement on the killing fields that seems to be claiming that the two deadly opponents can kiss and make up.