Eight years after the end of World War II, Ealing Studios brought Nicholas Monsarrat’s best-selling novel THE CRUEL SEA to the screen, launching the careers of Donald Sinden (Lieutenant Lockhart), Denholm Elliott (Lieutenant Morell) and Virginia McKenna (Wren Hallam), and establishing Jack Hawkins (Captain Ericson) as a star. Comdr. Erickson is made captain of the Corvette Compass Rose, a small escort vessel used to guide and protect convoys travelling through the Atlantic. Ericson had his confidence severely shaken during his last command, in which he lost his ship and most of its men following an attack by a German U-boat. As he leads a new and largely inexperienced crew, Ericson is once again thrown into a life-and-death dilemma that forces him to choose between destroying an enemy ship and sparing the lives of his own men.