San Demetrio London (1943) Movie Script

Nice drop of gun, this.
All right to look at,
but guns are like women.
You can't tell until you're in action.
Then it's too late.
- Stooping ain't much in my line today.
- Too much wallop last night.
You never know when you're going to sail.
I've been having goodbye booze-ups
all this week, just in case.
Look out, here's the old man.
Are you two of the men
who've been to gunnery school?
Yes, sir.
Well, I hope you remember
what they taught you.
If we run into any trouble, it will be
up to you to save the ship and crew.
And me.
- That's the lot, boss.
- Righto, Mac. Lace her down.
Let's hope she stays like that
till we're home again.
- That the last one, Bosun?
- Yes, sir.
- We've got everything we should have.
- Right.
Oh, there's a Mr. Dodds
from the office come aboard.
He's in your room.
Right. See if you can find the chief
and ask him to look in.
Yes, sir.
- Noisy up in London last night, sir?
- I'll say it was.
Pretty lively down here too, sir.
Hello, Mr. Dodds.
Good of you to spare the time.
- Afternoon, George. Had a good leave?
- Oh, same old story.
You called me back
just when I was beginning to enjoy it.
You mean just
when she was beginning to enjoy it!
Oh, well, easy come, easy go.
How about a peg?
Not much time left, eh?
Well, you know me,
dry as a dog's dinner from shore to shore.
Not that you give us much time ashore!
Well, George, a cargo of petrol is worth
all the tea in China these days.
- So, growl you may...
- But go I must.
Well, I looks towards you.
I catches your eye!
- I bows according.
- Down the hatch.
Come in.
Oh, sit down, Chief.
- Hello, Mr. Dodds.
- Afternoon, Pollard.
- How's the missus and Kathleen?
- Oh, they're fine.
Kath will be sitting
for her scholarship while we're away.
Good luck to her!
Well, I've told her no scholarship,
no presents this trip.
- Help yourself, Chiefie.
- At this time of day? Thanks.
Well, Mr. Dodds,
what are we fetching this time?
Pool petrol.
It looks like a two-month job.
America, eh?
Commodore of the convoy
will tell you that.
All right. Back for Christmas, anyhow.
Come in.
- That's the allotment note, sir.
- Thank you, Mr. Hawkins.
How many men still to come?
The cadet, sir, and a couple of deckhands.
- We're sailing in the morning.
- Right, sir.
Nice young chap.
Pretty wife.
Kid on the way, too.
Ah, sailors ought to be bachelors.
- Mighty long ship, this.
- Eh? Oh, sorry!
- Are you the cadet?
- Yes, sir. Housden.
Save your "sirs" for the officers,
I'm only the apprentice.
Come on, we'll get your gear stowed.
John, you'd better hurry.
The pilot's just leaving.
Here, write the envelope, to save time.
Jeannie would never forgive us
if we sailed without sending her a line.
- Here we are.
- Aye.
Will you drop this
in the post for me, sir?
- Well, pleasant voyage.
- Thank you.
Excuse me, sir.
Would you post this for me, please?
- Righto, boy.
- For the stamp.
- Oh, don't worry about that.
- Thank you, sir.
Half ahead, mister.
Half ahead.
So, on the compression stroke,
the air in the cylinder gets very hot.
If the cover wasn't on, you could see
the piston moving up and down
and just before it reaches
the top of the stroke,
we pump the oil in.
Up here. But of course,
you can't see that either.
Now, this is one cylinder
and there are seven others just like it
all working on the same shaft.
Thought I didn't recognise the face.
Who are you?
- Jamieson, sir. Mess room steward.
- Then you have no business down here.
Can't they give you enough work topsides?
Yes, sir.
- Friend of yours?
- My wife's young brother, sir.
A good kid
and he'd give anything to work down here.
- Promised I'd keep an eye on him.
- I see.
Well, if you quite finished
your lecture on engines,
perhaps you'd go and keep an eye on them!
Yes, sir.
- That's 180 you want.
- Hundred and eighty?
- And another!
- One more for game.
I'll give you the game and the ship, too!
- Shot!
- Blimey, it's there!
Oy, write to the News of the World
and tell them to send me a badge.
- Hello. Who are you?
- Came aboard yesterday, off Southend.
- Evacuee, eh? Don't like air raids.
- Come along, my likely lads.
Your last chance to buy a ticket
for my Leger sweep.
- Put you all in? Tenner a go.
- Okay. Put me down for one.
How about you?
Not me. I never won one in my life.
I'll have that one. When's the draw?
Straightaway. Before the six o'clock news.
This is the BBC
"Home and Forces" Programme.
Here is the news...
Mr. Sadler, would you get
the St. Leger result for me, please?
Shh, later.
Last night the Luftwaffe's main target
was again London.
Considerable damage was done
to residential and industrial...
- What's doing at home, Sparks?
- Still copping it in London.
London again.
Well, they won't stop it
just to please you.
I know. I hope to goodness
the wife's gone down to the country.
Made her promise she would
if things got bad.
Don't worry. She'll be all right.
Well, sir, we're blank.
All finished now, sir.
- Okay. She's all open below, Mr. Wilson.
- Right. Open up pumps.
All open!
There's only one sight I like better.
That's it coming out again
when we get home.
Hope you live to see it, Chief.
- Everything under control, Mr. Wilson?
- Yes, sir.
Right. I'm going to the ship brokers
to rustle up some hands.
Two deckhands wanted. Tanker, for England.
- Name?
- Daines, sir.
- Nationality?
- British.
- Been to sea before?
- No, sir.
But I'd like to get back
the way things are.
- All right. I'll take you back.
- Thank you, sir.
Tynesider, eh?
No, sir Captain. Japanese.
Sorry, brother.
We're going the wrong way for you.
- Name?
- Preston.
I'm looking for a one-way passage
so I can join the RAF.
Sorry, but we can't take Americans.
Rule about non-belligerents.
- Do you take Canadians?
- Surely.
- Okay. I'm a Canadian.
- Hmm.
- Sea time?
- Plenty.
No, but I guess they'll suit me
as well as any other ship.
The point is whether you'll suit the ship.
- Sign them on right now?
- Yes.
Pardon me, Captain.
There's just one little thing.
I'm a bit short on dough and I'd like
to get some gear before I leave.
Yes, I know that kind of gear.
I'll give you an advanced note
on the onus for 20 dollars,
payable in this office three days
after the ship sails, with you on board.
I think
I'll get her one of these.
- Get who?
- My granny.
A fine sight the old lady
would look sitting in her doorway
in Helensburgh with one of those
round her shoulders!
Wouldn't even keep the draught out.
You'd better stay outside
and keep your money in your pocket.
- What are you after, then?
- I want a Christmas present for Jeannie.
Large beer, please.
Coming up.
Same again, Joe.
- Hiya.
- Evening.
- Bit of a collar on it, isn't there?
- Sure is.
Let me tell you that you'll find
the best beer in Texas in Galveston.
And the best beer in Galveston,
right here in this saloon.
- Isn't that right, Joe?
- Sure is.
Moreover, Texan beer is
the best beer in the United States.
And American beer is
the best beer in the world.
Listen, if ever you come to England,
I'll take you to The Ship at Faversham
and stand you a pint of Four-X.
You don't know what beer is.
As a matter of fact,
I'm sailing for England at any moment.
Seems you need somebody's help
to win this war,
so I'm coming over to give it to you.
Hmh. Much obliged.
Yeah, and this will show you
how set I am in getting there.
I'm even sailing on an English ship.
A lousy old tanker
called the San Demetrio.
Let me give you a tip, mate.
There's a British Board of Trade
regulation which says that
no man may board a tanker when he's drunk
and the bosuns there
to see no one breaks that rule.
I eat 'em raw.
- Five foot ullage here.
- She's got her guts full, all right.
- What does that make it altogether?
- A bit over 11,000 tonnes.
About three million gallons.
Ah! That'll take a few people
to Newmarket!
She'll be coming round
The mountain when she comes
She'll be coming round
The mountain when she comes
She'll be coming round
The mount...
Oh, now, listen Stutzy, I told you before.
I decided I don't want to sail.
I like this town of yours.
I guess I'll just stick around
a day or so longer
and take another ship, hm?
Okay, just give me back my 15
and we'll turn right around
and have another drink.
Yeah, you know where that 15 bucks is.
In your own cash register.
So, what? You've got 15 bucks worth
of liquor in your belly, haven't you?
Listen, pal.
We've signed the ship's articles
and it's my duty as a citizen
to see you don't break your contract.
- Better be on the safe side, boss.
- Oh!
Hey, buddy,
where do I find deckhands' quarters?
Portside aft.
- No, can't be.
- Oh, can't it?
Guy Fawkes Night, sir.
No fireworks this year.
Let's hope not!
You aren't on the way yet, Yank.
Now, listen, I've told you before.
On this ship, I'm a Canadian!
You're still Yank to us, chum.
Come on, here's something to aim at.
- Hey, got a cigarette, chum?
- Try one of your own, "chum."
- What do I want?
- Hundred and eleven.
Nelson, eh?
One, one, one.
One eye, one arm, one ambition.
Let's see.
That's treble 19, 14, double top.
Easier said than got.
- Good shot!
- Got it!
- That's what we call a "whitewash."
- Bah.
Kid's game.
- Hey, where do you think you're going?
- On deck.
Can you read?
- Sure, I can read.
- Well, read that.
There's enough risks attached to this game
without you adding to 'em.
Come on, I've got a job for you.
All right, make fast there.
And get a move on, Yank.
I want that finished by sunset!
"By sunset?"
What do you think I am?
A lazy cowson.
What do you think you're signed on for?
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side.
We signed you on to work.
Haven't noticed any
other passengers on board, have you?
Well, I'll do my best,
but the smell of paint
always makes me sick.
That's too bad because if you are sick,
you can clean that up too.
Well, it's nearly teatime.
I'm going to change.
I'd like to see anything stop
the chief changing for tea!
- Sounded like depth charges.
- Can't be!
No destroyers to drop them.
Certainly, it wasn't the Jervis Bay.
- Action stations!
- Aye-aye, sir.
They're still hull down,
but I know their target's
either the Deutschland or the Scheer.
- Chief Yeoman!
- Sir!
- Let's scatter the convoy.
- Scatter!
Right, I'll take over. I'm going to close.
Right, sir.
- What's that at?
- Port 30, sir.
Ring up the engine room,
tell the Chief from me
he can bust the engines.
Aye-aye, sir.
Engine room.
If we can draw her fire long enough,
the convoy may get away.
It might even get a shot at her ourselves.
I'll do my best, sir.
Be some time yet, I'm afraid.
Signal from escort, sir.
Scatter, maximum speed.
- Hard to starboard.
- Hard to starboard.
Life jackets on, all of you.
Battleship shelling the convoy.
Trust Jerry to pick on teatime!
- -
- Chief there?
- Captain!
I can use everything
you've got now, Chief.
I'll give you all I can.
- All right, here?
- All right, so far.
- Ever seen him smile?
- I did once.
Of course, it might have been
a touch of wind.
"Touch of wind?"
Need half a gale, I should think!
Can't we have a go at her, Bos?
Get away. She's miles out of our range.
We're not miles out of hers.
Jeez, getting close.
Here, why doesn't she fire back?
She's only got six-inch guns.
Jerry's got eleven-inch.
What's going on?
She's walking right into it.
I've seen some wonderful things
done at sea in my time but...
She hasn't a hope, has she, sir?
Not a hope in hell.
She's just committing suicide.
She's going, sir.
God bless her.
- Hello?
- Chief, Jervis Bay has gone.
Stand by for anything now.
Right, Captain.
We're on the limit down here.
Not a degree over 400, mind.
It's pretty dark now, sir.
With any luck,
we'll still give him the slip.
- Flares!
- That's torn it!
Make you feel stark naked, don't they?
- Can't see him!
- Get along and see what the damage is.
- No water yet, sir.
- Good, must have been well forward.
That one wasn't, though.
Where was it?
Aft side of pump room!
Hole in the port bow, sir.
No sign of Daines.
Must have burst right below him.
- Fire?
- No, sir.
Fire aft!
Foreside of engineers' quarters!
Yes, sir. Spouting out. Deck's punctured.
Abandon ship.
Topsides all of you, quick as you can!
Come on, old girl.
You got to find another ship!
The boat! Get moving!
Hey, Sparks, get out of it.
You can't help us any longer.
- Out you get, boys.
- Right, sir. One more for luck?
- You're all right?
- I'm all right.
Let go!
Can you take us, sir?
That last one carried our boat away.
Down you come! Look sharp!
Who's that fell?
Davies. I think he's all right.
Think you'll be warm enough?
Let go! Send her off forward.
Pull like hell round to windward.
We're floating on petrol.
- Is that you, Mr. Hawkins?
- Yes, sir.
Got the bosun's lot as well.
Good luck!
Any more for the skylark?
I wish they'd leave off
sending those up.
It's either light enough to read by
or else it's as black
as the inside of a cow!
Can't see a sign of the other boats.
Hope the old man got away all right.
He was cutting it pretty fine.
How about the mate's boat?
Anyone see Mr. Wilson get away?
Well, boys, we ought
to be picked up pretty soon.
Bound to be ships about.
Nothing more from the convoy, sir.
- Keep listening just the same.
- Very good, sir.
Well, we'd better go
and have a look for them.
That was their position,
as near as I can make it.
We'll sweep a 15-mile radius
and see what we can find.
- And hope we don't find the raider.
- You mean hope she doesn't find us!
She'll be coming round
The mountain when she comes
She'll be coming round
The mountain when she comes
She'll be coming round
The mountain
She'll be coming round
The mountain...
Can't you keep her head on?
I'm tasting the soles of me boots!
I can keep her head on to one sea,
but not two at once.
Oh, she'll be...
Coming round
The mountain when she comes
That's 20 times
she's been round the bloody mountain!
Why can't you be sick like everybody else?
You know me, Bos.
I'm only sick when I smell paint.
All right, sir?
Morning, Captain. Welcome aboard. Smith.
Morning, Captain. I'm Waite. San Demetrio.
Have you seen any of my other boats?
I've got your chief's mate
and his party aboard.
- They're down below having some grub.
- Fine.
Doing a brisk trade this morning, eh?
Ninety-odd up till now.
I'm crowded out below.
Anyone's watch still going?
Well, it must be breakfast time, anyway.
What do you think, Chief?
Shall I issue some more grub?
By all means. Not for me, though.
How about a nice juicy steak?
How about a nice juicy biscuit?
Hey, you'd better turn it in, hadn't you?
It's all right, Bos.
I'd rather finish my spell.
What's the matter, chum? Ain't you hungry?
I left me teeth on board!
Never mind.
I'll lend you mine when I finished!
Shall I split them up into proper watches
when they finished eating, Chief?
I think you should.
We may be rowing for a long time.
Mr. Hawkins, as senior deck officer,
you're in charge of this boat.
If you want advice about anything,
you're welcome,
but don't think you have to ask me.
I can take orders as well as give them.
Thank you, Chief.
I'm glad you're here, all the same.
More than I am.
A ship!
Double banker.
She's a long way off.
We'll have to pull like hell.
- How about rigging the sail?
- How about it?
In this weather,
you'd lose the canvas before you'd set it.
They'll never see that in this weather.
What we need is a pillar of smoke by day,
like those blokes in the Bible.
No good! She's almost hull-down.
They must keep their eyes
in the backs of their heads.
In the backs of their trousers,
if you ask me.
What's the matter, Yank? Run out of songs?
Saving my breath, pal.
If I were you, I'd save that too.
You might be needing it.
I'd give a lot for a fag. Anybody got one?
That's the best I can do.
Half a minute, chum.
My feet still there?
Men who are off watch eat first.
Right. Change over.
Quick as you can, boys.
Try and keep an even stroke, son.
It's easier for all hands.
Here, lean your head against this.
- How's that?
- Fine.
I think I'll have a nap.
It's cold enough for a top hat, isn't it?
What wouldn't I give to be kipped down
snuggled alongside the old woman?
- Here, what's today?
- Wednesday.
- Wednesday?
- Wednesday? Early closing.
Wednesdays when I'm home,
the missus shuts up shop.
We've got a little newsagents
and tobacconists.
And off we go to the pictures.
When we come out, we go and have one.
What wouldn't I give to be having
a pint in the Old Elephant now?
- Yeah, if it's still there.
- Of course, it's still there.
Oh, jeez, it's cold!
Cold? This is only November.
What'll he do when the winter comes?
I was dreaming I was at home.
What a place to wake up in.
Sorry I woke you,
but I was getting the cramps.
I dreamt Jeanie was trying
on those stockings and they were too big.
Don't worry about them.
You'll never see them again.
How are you feeling now?
Not so bad.
I've still got a pain in my belly.
- What's biting you, son?
- I thought I saw something.
- Where?
- Up there.
Look! It's a plane come to look for us!
- Where?
- There!
- Bos, get the flare out!
- Where is the flare?
That's no plane. That's bloody Jupiter!
I'm afraid he's right.
Hey, Chief!
Do you see what I see?
Wake up, chum.
- Mac!
- Yes, sir?
What about a sail?
I think maybe we can manage.
She hasn't altered course yet.
- Hey!
- Hi there!
Making a lot of smoke, isn't she, Bos?
Almost looks as if she's on fire.
She's on fire, right enough.
A tanker on fire
with a half-painted funnel.
You never did finish painting
that funnel, did you, Yank?
Yes, it's her, all right.
Good for her.
Though why she's not
at the bottom of the sea, I can't imagine.
I never thought we'd see her again.
I say, Chief...
Well, what do you know?
Two days freezing to death on this boat
and we're right back
where we started from.
Listen, boys.
Lord knows why she hasn't gone sky-high,
but the fact remains, she hasn't.
Now, the Chief and I think
we might manage to reboard her.
If we can, we have
a sporting chance of being spotted
and taken off before she either blows up
or goes to the bottom.
Well, she hasn't gone up yet.
Perhaps she won't go up at all.
No, there's no use
pretending it's not risky.
But it's a risk either way.
You may get blown sky-high there,
or you can freeze to death here.
It's just a matter of taste.
Well, I'd sooner fry than freeze any day.
- Me too.
- So would I.
I don't see we're so badly off here
now we're under sail.
It seems to me that--
Aye, it's all right now,
but if it comes on to blow again
and we have to take down the sail,
then you'll have to row again
and how will you like that?
I doubt if we can last
much longer in this boat.
We've got three sick men already
and we've got to think of them.
Another night like last night
would put paid to them
and damn near finish the rest of us.
What about it?
Well, if you ask me,
she's come along and found us.
She's a good ship.
- Hear, hear!
- That's right.
- Me too.
- Hear, hear!
Mac, bring us round under her stern.
It'll be more sheltered in her lee.
Down mainsail!
Down foresail!
Chief, you follow me.
Then get the sick men up.
Below there! Make this first!
Will I go up behind him
and take his weight?
Up you go.
All right, son,
take it easy. I've got you.
Bos, get the rest up.
Going to have a look round.
- Look at that!
- I can see, sir.
More like a volcano than a ship!
- Why in the world hasn't she gone up?
- Lord knows.
Unless there's so much pressure
inside the tanks
because of the heat
that the flames can't flash back.
Like a gas jet, eh?
What do you think, Chief?
Well, she hasn't gone up yet.
I should say there's a good even chance
we can get the fires out before she does.
Better get the boat up, then.
We may need her.
Oh, I hope not.
- That's the lot, sir.
- Good. Now here's what we'll do.
- Rum, sir!
- What?
Left over from Saturday's issue.
Nearly full. Well done, youngster.
Now, listen, everyone.
We've got to get the boat up.
Bos, Jones and two men,
get the davit squared up.
The remainder, as soon as you've had
your rum, find some buckets
and get started on the fires
on the well deck.
Stay up there, you two.
Get into chains.
If you don't hurry up,
I'm going to bash my brains out
in my own engine room!
The swine's stuck.
That's got her!
Davit's all squared up,
Mr. Hawkins.
We'll have to drop this for a bit!
Man the falls.
Heave when she gets
to the top of a wave.
No use! All hands on the forward end.
That's torn it!
Told you we should've stayed in the boat!
Why the hell did we come back on board?
If you want the boat,
you'd better swim for her.
Housden, nip below.
Tell the Chief the bad news.
Well, we're stuck here now
till someone spots us.
Better get back on the fires
before she blows us all to glory.
Bad enough losing the boat,
we've lost the stores in her as well.
Jamieson! See if you can find anything
in the way of grub.
Very good, sir.
And have a look at the water tanks
while you're at it.
Chief, this is hopeless!
Might as well try
to put it out by spitting on it.
Don't worry.
I may be able to raise
enough steam for the hoses.
You can, eh? What's it like below, then?
Like a sewer,
but if I can take my men off you,
I think we can fix something up.
- Davies, Boyle.
- Come along with me.
- How long will it take you?
- About four hours.
We'll try to hold our own here
till you're ready.
Just in time. Give her a kick.
You would have a bellyache
at a time like this.
Come on, let me have a go.
So far, so good. Now for the fuel pump.
Food's ready, sir.
You two! Break off and eat.
- This the best you can do?
- A bit burnt, I'm afraid.
They were in the fridge.
- The fridge is on fire, you see.
- Ah.
What a ship.
The water's all right.
What's this?
That's a steak.
Better try and find my teeth.
That ought to do the trick.
Get your hose couple onto the pump.
That's more like it, Chief.
Bos, you can take half the men
and start on the fires amidships.
Very good, sir. Come on, Yank.
We'll split up into watches
and carry on through the night.
Let's hope there's no U-boats around.
Our blackout's none too good.
Okay. That seems to have done it.
- Hello, jock.
- Morning, sir.
What have you found?
Six tins of condensed milk, sir.
And this.
I bought it in Galveston, sir.
To take back to my granny in Helensburgh.
The old lady feels
the tea rationing pretty badly.
And how are you going to make tea?
I was just going to light the range
when you came in.
And blow yourself to blazes?
Don't you realise
the ship's full of petrol fumes?
Never heard about the man who looked
for a gas leak with a lighted match?
Never mind, son.
It was a good idea all the same.
- Morning, Mr. Hawkins.
- Morning, Chief.
I see you've got the fires out.
Yes, thanks to your hoses.
The next job's to keep them out.
- Ow!
- That was a good one!
Ah, it doesn't matter.
I'm so cold I can't feel it.
I've set lookouts.
All we can do now is to hope
she keeps afloat till somebody spots us.
I sounded the double-bottom tank.
She's not making any water.
That's a comfort.
How's Boyle?
Not too good.
But we are at least out of the weather.
Yes, you've got something there, Chief.
It's the cold that
gets you down more than anything.
Breakfast, sir.
Such as it is.
Bos! Grab yourself a carrot!
I'll take over your job.
- What you got there, jock?
- Cold water. Want some?
No, thank you.
I don't want to rust me guts.
Oh! What wouldn't I give for a cup of tea?
Not a hope.
Did you never hear of the man
who looked for a gas leak
with a lighted match?
- Morning, Bos.
- Hi, Yank.
You're the very man for this job.
Bosuns never forget.
- Mr. Hawkins, sir?
- Yes!
Chief sends his compliments.
All hands to tea.
- Tea out!
- Hey, boys. Only four mugs.
- You'll have to take it in turns.
- Not much in your line, Yank.
What is this? Magic?
Well, we were all so damn cold,
I thought I'd chance my arm for once.
Talk about a watched pot.
I never knew
a kettle take so long to boil.
Make the most of it, boys.
Can't take a risk like that again.
- Hey, leave some for my lads down below.
- Yes, sir.
That's fine, boys. You've done a good job.
Glad you like it, Chief.
Took plenty of bilge-diving
to get it clear.
I'll bet.
Here, drink it while it's hot.
You look like death, man.
Your pal's right.
You'd better have a rest.
It's only the cold got into my inside.
I'll be all right when I've had this tea.
Can't leave the deck in a mess like this.
Well, take it easy.
I don't want any of you crocking up.
What, with you and Davies
having pains in your guts.
And Mr. Willey not being sure whether
his feet still belong to him or not.
The place is more like a sick bay
than an engine room.
But there's plenty of work still ahead.
How's things up here?
Well, I've checked
the lube oil system. Okay.
Water jackets
and piston cooling likewise okay.
I've been through
all the accommodation, sir.
A cockroach couldn't live below here.
The only cabins fit to use
are starboard aft.
- Any of the old gear left?
- Not a sausage, sir.
- Mr. Hawkins inside?
- Yes, Chief.
- I've got some news for you.
- Not bad, I hope.
No, I don't think so.
Just that I can get her underway.
- Get her underway?
- Why not? The main engines are undamaged.
Wait a minute. No bridge,
no charts,
no wireless,
no signal flags,
no compass,
and even if we had a compass,
no steering gear.
What about the auxiliary steering gear?
What's got into them?
Running races to keep themselves warm!
Well, there's half a wheel.
More than you can say for this.
It doesn't matter much.
This is jammed anyway.
I should say
the bulkhead below is buckled.
- Think you can free it?
- I can have a try.
In any case,
we can always steer by the winch.
Chief, if we can steer her,
we might get the old girl home.
No charts, no compass?
You get the engines going,
I'll fetch you up somewhere
if it's only the North Pole.
That's the idea.
Don't want anyone breaking his neck.
We're shorthanded enough as it is.
You can have any tune you like
for a penny.
Now try.
No good.
- Still stuck, sir.
- No use in fiddling with that.
We should be some time yet.
Here, son.
Make this fast to the binnacle.
What are you up to, Chief?
Oh, just a little idea of mine
while we're waiting.
See you later!
One for room service, two for valet
and three for the chambermaid.
Hey! What's the big idea?
Want to electrocute me?
Yank, take that compass away.
He's got a face like a funeral.
It's okay for dead reckoning.
Mr. Hawkins, come and have a look at this.
Fairy lights?
Fairy lights, my foot.
It's your engine room telegraph.
Taf, switch on the top one!
Ahead. And if you flicker it,
it means full speed.
Middle one!
Now the bottom one.
Neat but not gaudy, eh?
- Jones? Mast to hands aft.
- Right, sir.
While we're waiting for Willey,
I'll see if the men agree with us
about the course.
Listen to me, all of you.
Thanks to the Chief,
we're almost ready to get underway.
Good for him.
Some say, good old Chief.
Bring-them-back Pollard, huh?
We're not back yet.
I'll do my best to steer her
in the right direction,
but it'll be by guess and by God.
Now, what I wanted
to talk to you about is this.
We've got to decide
which is the right direction.
If we hold on our original course
for the Clyde,
we're heading for U-boats,
mines, bombers and all that.
If we turn round and head west,
we'll probably be safe from them,
but we'll be steaming into the weather
instead of running before it.
And we've got a hole
in the bows, remember.
Well, what about it?
Home sweet home for me.
Not me. Had enough trouble for one trip.
I signed on to get to England,
not for an ocean cruise.
I look at it this way.
We set out to take her home
and we've got it halfway already.
Doesn't seem much sense
turning round and taking it back again.
- Bos is right.
- Hear! Hear!
- Right! East it is.
- Mr. Hawkins?
- We've freed the steering gear.
- Fine.
- Set lookout, Bos.
- Aye-aye.
Housden, Jones, up here.
The next question is, which is east?
Too true.
Chief! What's the time
by your clock down there?
- It says half past two.
- Thanks.
Half past two.
Looks about right.
- Let's see... Two thirty.
- November.
Latitude, say... 52.
Sun's about south, south-west.
That makes our head
more or less due south.
That's it.
Here you are. Tap on the skylight
when I give you the signal.
- Well, Taf, here we go.
- We hope.
Slow ahead.
As you were.
She would.
Give her a shot astern.
Blimey, Chief!
Are we going home stern first?
Well, if she'll go one way,
she ought to go the other.
Phew! Just as well.
I'd never have heard the last of it.
- She's answering, all right.
- Good!
Full speed ahead.
- First stop, England.
- First stop, Wales!
First stop Scotland.
It's the Clyde we're bound for!
You're all getting mighty particular.
There's one hell of a lump of land
ahead of us there somewhere.
Good job, too.
If we fetch up anywhere between Narvik
and Gibraltar, we'll be lucky.
Not half!
Well, even if we could get
one glimpse of the North Star,
we'd know if we were on our course.
She'll not clear much tonight.
I'm afraid this northwesterly
will be setting us off to the south
more than we've reckoned.
The engines have made 116 miles.
So, allowing for the weather,
I should reckon somewhere about 80.
How are you managing down below, Chief?
Willey and Davies in one watch,
Boyle with me.
In total, myself and three crocks.
It'll be four crocks
if you don't do something about that.
Wish I could, but what?
How are things topsides?
Might be worse.
Six of us can take a turn at the wheel.
Young Jones is a godsend.
I've made him a watchkeeping officer.
Well, if you trust him so much,
why don't you turn in for a bit?
Yeah, not a bad idea.
Do you ever sleep, by the way?
Oh, yes. I've had a mattress
put in the engine room
so I can be handy if I'm wanted.
Righto. You turn in and rest your feet.
Do 'em good to take your shoes off.
I daren't do that,
I'd never get them on again.
Will I give him a drop of this, sir?
Yes. Good job we left some.
- Where am I?
- Where I should've sent you two days ago.
Just you lie quiet now.
How do you feel now, pal?
We'll soon have you warm.
Central heating, just like the Ritz.
Come on, Yank.
How is he?
He'll do no more work this trip.
- Pretty bad, eh?
- Pretty bad.
I blame myself
for letting him go on so long.
Tried to make him pack it up,
but he wouldn't.
I never knew a little scruff of a man
like that could have so much guts.
You never know
a lot of things about people
till something like this comes along.
He's asleep already, sir.
I'm going to be
a bit short-handed down below.
I'll have to take
one of your lads off you.
Who would you like?
- Oh, he'll do.
- Righto.
Get yourself below and ask Davies
to take you on the oiling round.
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
Any luck, Taf?
Sighted the North Star a few minutes ago.
- Where about?
- Just abaft the beam.
So I brought her round to head due east.
If you watch your wake,
it'll help your steering.
- Steady as she goes, Yank!
- Steady as she goes.
- This was your idea, wasn't it?
- Yes, but the weather wasn't.
Haven't you blokes finished that job yet?
We thought we had till this lark started.
Fast as we knock them in,
the sea knocks them out again.
Well, don't let it get you down.
Just keep plugging away.
- Morning, Chief.
- Hello, Mac. Expecting a heatwave?
Oh, I found it
in one of the wrecked cabins.
No, we're in for a blow, right enough.
Seems to suit you cold-blooded islanders.
Chief? Have you noticed she's a bit more
down by the head this morning?
It's that hole in her bows.
She's shipping water into the forehold
every time she bellies her nose.
I don't like it at all.
Well, how's the patient this morning?
I've been trying to make him take
some of this, but he can't keep it down.
Are you warm enough, son?
You're all right below?
Must be short-handed without me.
Don't you worry.
Your pal here is doing your job.
Doing it well too.
That's good.
Come on, jock. Time we went to work.
- You look like a couple of brass monkeys.
- And feel like them, too.
Well, what's on the menu this morning?
Can't digest new bread.
Ain't half going to cop it
when I get home.
No present for the missus
and me breath ponging of onions.
Nothing for my mum and dad either.
I bought some scent for my mother.
That's gone, too.
Aye. All that was left was the tea
that Jamieson got for his poor old granny.
And we've drunk that.
Well, this won't buy
the baby a new pair of shoes.
This is like trying to steer
an old cow by the tail.
She's as buoyant as a waterlogged sponge.
Hold on!
That's what we call "pooping," son.
You hang on here. I'm going topsides.
- Take over, Willey.
- Right, Chief.
Come on out of it, you two!
Let someone else have a turn.
Chief, she'll break her back
if this keeps up.
Isn't there any way
of pumping out the forehold?
Not a hope.
Steam line's all shot to blazes.
- Any bones broken?
- Don't think so.
No, not so. You'd notice it.
At this rate,
the forehold bulkhead's bound to go.
- Then we'll be for it.
- You're telling me!
Wait a minute!
Haven't you got an empty tank amidships?
Yes, number six.
And number nine right is full.
If we run the petrol out
from nine into six,
it should alter her trim
and bring her bowels up.
- Sounds fine. Can you do it?
- I think so.
It means going down into the forward
pump room and opening the block valves.
I'll need someone to help me.
Better be a volunteer.
Room's sure to be full of gas,
maybe flooded as well.
If you could ease her off,
she'll ride better while I'm working.
Right, Chief!
None of your granny knots now
or I'll never see Barra again.
Nip below.
Tell him to ease the engines down.
Bring her up into the wind.
Chief's going down into the pump room.
Hello. Where have you sprung from?
- I heard you say you need some help.
- Good lad, Taf.
Argh! Would be my right hand.
- Like me to fix that finger for you?
- Wish you could.
Sure, I can fix it.
Come on over here.
Well, it won't do any harm
to air that for a minute.
Let's have a look at it.
It's not going to be
a very elegant piece of surgery.
Hey, you're not going
to cut it off, are you?
No. I'm just going to pierce the nail
and let some of that pus out.
Ever tried it before?
Sure. Did it to a horse
that had a bad hoof.
- Feels better already.
- That's what the horse said!
Here, use this. It's cleaner.
She's riding as easy
as I can make her, Chief.
- Look at this. Surgeon as well.
- Right. Let's get started.
- I'm helping the Chief.
- Okay, kid.
Better put these on, hadn't you?
No rope. Only follow the ladders.
Head on straight down.
One, two...
Well, there's something there.
All right. Play them down.
Carry on with that. Quick as you can.
Start that one.
All right, Taf.
You go on up, I'll finish it.
Hang on!
You're all right?
All you've got to do now...
Open your deck valves,
wait for it to run through.
- How do you find her?
- Quite a bit livelier.
- I think we've saved the bulkhead.
- Not falling into it like she was.
Good. Can I have a word with you?
Take over for a minute, Bos.
That's about all we can do.
She'll weather it now, with luck.
Yes, it's about all
we can do for the ship.
What's on your mind, Chief?
I've just been along to see Boyle.
How's he getting on?
I've made him as warm
and comfortable as I can,
but cold condensed milk
for a man in that state...
And he's only the first.
Any one of us
might crack up at any minute.
Cold, wet, underfed, tired out.
And a long way to go.
I suppose we couldn't light another fire?
A hot meal would make all the difference.
In this weather,
she's spilling petrol all over the place.
The poop's chock-full of vapour.
It was a risk before.
It would be suicide now.
How's your poor feet?
They haven't dropped off yet,
but I sometimes wish they would!
All right, you shove off.
- Sir?
- Come here.
You should never see that
in a well-run engine room. Turn it off.
Jamieson, I've got a job for you.
Go and find a nice clean bucket,
fill it with those vegetables of yours
and bring it down here.
Yes, sir.
If you hadn't scolded your hand,
I might never have thought of this.
When I was a lad,
I used to wash my boilersuits this way.
All we've got to do
is to leave out the soap.
That's great!
Hello, Chief.
A present for you.
- One for you too.
- Oh, thanks.
How on earth did you manage it?
Plenty more when you come off watch.
Never new chief engineer
turned chief cook before!
What a turn-up for the book, eh?
Where did you never learn
not to speak with your mouth full?
Wait till you see what I've brought you.
The chief's managed to boil some spuds
so I've mashed them up
with condensed milk for you.
I'm not hungry.
But this is hot food.
The very thing you need
to make you nice and warm. Hot!
What's the matter?
Jeannie's stockings.
You're not still worried
about them, are you?
Had them here just now.
Och, they've fallen onto the floor.
They'll only fall down again.
I think I'd better put them up here
on the shelf.
I hope they're the right colour.
The hot grub seems
to have cheered them all up.
Sounds like quite a concert.
Could I only take your hand
As I did when you took my name
Well, it is only a beautiful picture
In a beautiful golden frame
With all his great power and riches
He knows he can never replace
One thing in the mansion that's absent
His wife's tender smiling face
And each time he sees her picture
The same words he always says...
There you are, pal.
How's things?
Somebody's singing.
Yeah, they're singing, all right.
Here we are rolling about in a gale
in the middle of the Atlantic.
U-boats all around, no escort...
But as far as the British are concerned,
it still seems to be Saturday night.
Saturday night.
Oh, to see Glasgow on a Saturday night.
We'll have a look at it together, huh?
Right. Now, you've got
to take things easy.
In a beautiful
Golden frame
Bowes, you ought to sing in the choir.
Believe it or not, Chief,
when I was a nipper, I did.
The boy wonder of Faversham!
Hey, fellas.
Boyle can hear you singing in there.
How about giving him something he'd like?
You know, a kind of request.
How about it, young jock?
- "Loch Lomond?"
- "Annie Laurie."
Och, Boyle's no Scot.
Well, he lives there, that's near enough.
I've got it.
I belong to Glasgow
Dear old Glasgow Town
But what's the matter with Glasgow
For it's going round and round?
I'm only a common old working chap
As anyone here can see
But when I get
A couple of drinks on a Saturday
Glasgow belongs to me
Oh, I belong to Glasgow
Dear old Glasgow Town
But what's the matter with Glasgow
For it's going round and round?
I'm only a common old working chap
As anyone here can see
But when I get a couple of...
- It really ought to be a Union Jack.
- It's all we've got, sir.
Anyway, I reckon the Red Duster
is good enough for anyone.
Ready, sir.
I wish I had a prayer book for him.
- Pardon me, Mr. Hawkins.
- Yes, Yank?
I haven't got a prayer book, but well I...
I don't know whether it's much use or not,
but I have got a Bible.
Well, you see it was a kind of a present.
- My kids gave it to me when I left.
- "Kids?"
Sure. There's no law against
a man having a family, is there?
Thank you very much, Yank.
I'll be glad of it.
Yes, sir.
"The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want."
"He maketh me to lie down
in green pastures."
"He leadeth me beside the still waters."
"He restoreth my soul."
"He leadeth me in the powers
of righteousness for his name's sake."
"Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil."
"For thou art with me."
"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
"Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies."
"Thou anointest my head with oil,
my cup runneth over."
"Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life."
"And I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever."
- Amen.
- Amen.
Therefore we, his shipmates,
commit the body of John Boyle to the deep.
Very well, boys. That's all.
Yank, what do you make of that?
Dirt ahead!
- Land!
- Where away?
Fine on the starboard bow.
- No place like home.
- Don't you count your chickens, mate.
We don't know what country it is yet.
Keep your fingers crossed
it isn't a German-occupied one.
Nice thing if we've brought
the petrol all this way
just for Jerry to get it.
Come along, my lucky lads.
Tenner a go, pay when you get there.
Here, I'll have a basin full of this.
What is it this time?
What country it is. Come on.
Argh... France!
- Scotland.
- England.
- Ireland.
- Norway.
I hope I don't win this one!
Wherever it is,
they're not taking any notice of us.
Fine thing. Come all this way
and we get a welcome
like we had halitosis.
We'll stand off till morning.
- Slow ahead, starboard.
- Starboard it is.
- Morning, Nelson.
- Good morning, Mr. Dodds.
- Any news?
- Not a thing.
What have you got there?
Tender from Fleming,
for repairs to the Delfino.
Dodds here.
Late yesterday, Lloyd's at Queenstown
reported your San Demetrio
off the West Coast of Ireland.
It's the Demetrio, off Ireland! Yes?
We've just heard from the destroyer
that went to her assistance.
They report her badly damaged
but still seaworthy.
Did they say who's manning her?
Her own crew!
Second officer, chief engineer, 13 others.
- We're sending a tug to meet her.
- Grand. Thanks very much.
She's on her way to the Clyde.
Ah, look me up a train to Glasgow.
- Well, what do you think of that?
- I was thinking this.
If a crew from another ship
had brought her home,
they'd stand to get
a packet of salvage money.
But as it's our own chaps, the poor devils
won't be entitled to a penny.
Trust you to think of the main chance!
- But it doesn't seem fair, does it?
- It does not.
Wait a pip. I've a hazy idea
there was a case where the crew reboarded...
And got salvage money
for bringing their own ship home?
I've never heard of that.
Well, this fellow has.
- One o'clock from Euston, Mr. Dodds.
- Thanks.
Ah, here we are.
"Dr. Lushington ruled
in the case of the Florence
that a crew can reboard its own ship
as salvers provided that -
one, the abandonment must be
in consequence of danger
by reason of damage
to ship and state of the elements."
I imagine that's putting it mildly.
"Two, the abandonment must be bona fide
and carried out
under the orders of the master."
We know George Waite well enough
to be certain about that.
"Three, the master must not be
among those who reboard the ship."
He wasn't because we know
he's in Newfoundland.
- There you are! They get it.
- Oh, here's a bit more.
"Should the crew accept
the assistance of any other vessel,
the claim for salvage would lie
in favour of this vessel
and not of the original crew."
- The tug! The tug!
- What tug?
The Admiralty said they're sending a tug.
You can bet your boots our lads
don't know they're entitled to salvage.
And if they take a tow,
the poor fools won't get a brass farthing.
San Demetrio, ahoy!
Hello. What's this fellow after?
Orders from the Admiralty
to tow you into Rothesay.
Well, son, that's the end
of your first voyage.
It looks as if I've got to stand you
- that pint of Four-
- X after all, Yank.
Make it a barrel.
Boy, am I going to get stinkin'!
I'd like to know how
they expect me to tow a ship your size.
Who the hell's asking you to?
We can manage all right as we are.
Spoken like a sailor.
But it'll take you a long time.
- How many knots can you make?
- Nine!
I can make 12.
It is right and proper
and a part of my duty
which I shall gladly discharge
to recognise to the full
the courage, devotion and sacrifice
of each of these men.
I have decided
that there should be shared among them,
in proportion to the services rendered,
salvage money totalling 14,700 pounds.
And there is another matter
that I should like to mention.
The crew have unanimously asked
that the ship's Red Ensign
should be presented to Preston,
known to them as Yank.
- Stuff to give him, mate.
- Oh, Yank.
He will remember,
as we in England will remember,
that except when it was lowered
for the burial of John Boyle,
this ensign flew
at the mainmast of the San Demetrio
throughout her misfortunes.
And that it still flew
when at last she came steaming up
the sheltered waters of the Clyde.
I should not like to leave this case
without thanking everybody concerned
for having given me
the best working day of my life,
in listening to the very modest recital
of some gallant gentlemen
concerning a memorable achievement.