San Demetrio London


Adventure / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 58%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 424

Keywords:   based on true story

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 01, 2022 at 07:52 AM



898.71 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 37 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 6 / 10

A solid story, well told

SAN DEMETRIO LONDON is another propaganda piece made by the British during WW2. This one tells of the merchant navy, focusing on a ship scuppered by a German warship and what happens to the survivors on board. The film makes extensive use of miniature effects to depict naval travel and battle, but works best when bringing to life the disparate characters of the small cast. The double act between seasoned engineer Mervyn Johns and a youthful Gordon Jackson is the highlight here, although the tag-along American adds drama. Overall this a solid story, well told, as were so many British films in this genre from the era.

Reviewed by rmax304823 6 / 10

"Neat But Not Gaudy."

I rather warmed to this movie at its very opening. The San Demetrio, a good-sized tanker, being in port, is a bit loosely run. Two officers sit at a table and crack open a bottle. A third junior officer enters the compartment and the others invite him to join them. "What? At this time of day? Thanks." Alas, today no more booze on British ships.

It's 1940 and the San Demetrio loads up on oil at Galveston, Texas. Two new hands are hired, one a stereotypical bragging Texan. "I eat boatswains raw!" He shows up at the gangway drunk and is splashed with a bucket of water. He's a terrible actor but there are some familiar and reliable people in the cast: Mervyn Johns (aka Bob Cratchett in Alistair Sims' "Christmas Carol"), James Donald, Ralph Michael, and a youthful Gordon Jackson. Always nice to see old friends.

On the return trip the San Demetrio runs into a German raider, is hit twice, set afire, and abandoned. You don't want to be aboard an oil tanker on fire. The lifeboat carrying the officers is picked up by another ship in the convoy but the enlisted men's boat is alone on the icy sea. They row until they're battered about, sick, and exhausted, and the next day find the San Demetrio, burning but still afloat. They board her and set about making the scorched and broken vessel seaworthy again.

Admirable attention is paid to the details of the work. (How do you steer a ship towards home without a compass?) The snipes get their due. In its depiction of minor circumstantial demands, often dangerous, it reminds me a little of "The Wreck of the Mary Deare." The screenplay is original, not from a novel, and the writers knew the lingo. The San Demetrio is low in the water and a large wave sweeps over her stern. "That's what I call pooping," the chief yells out. He's right. The stern was, and sometimes still is, called the poop deck.

The special effects are of the period. There is little drama -- a man dies and is buried at sea -- and what there is, is all the more effective. It's a modest tale of the gallantry in hard and skillful work and it's pretty good.

Reviewed by richardchatten 6 / 10

The Sailors' Return

A rather talky and studio-bound dramatisation of an incident widely reported back at home during the autumn of 1940 handled with customary British sang froid.

The film was sufficiently unheroic for Churchill to take exception to it, so it evidently seemed less cosy at the time than it does now.

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