Murphy’s War

A lone survivor from a British naval ship is obsessed with getting revenge on a German U-boat crew that massacred his shipmates in the water.



Genre: Drama, War
Rating: 12
Directed By: Peter Yates
Written By: Max Catto (novel), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) 
Released: 1971
Runtime: 107 minutes


Peter O’Toole as Murphy
Siân Phillips as Dr. Hayden
Philippe Noiret as Louis Brezon
Horst Janson as Commander Lauchs, German Submarine Captain
John Hallam as Lieutenant Ellis, Seaplane Pilot from RNMS Mount Kyle
Ingo Mogendorf as Lieutenant Voght, Submarine Executive Officer


In the closing days of World War II, Irishman Murphy (Peter O’Toole) is the sole survivor of the crew of a merchant ship, Mount Kyle, which has been sunk by a German U-boat, which then machine-gunned the survivors in the water. Murphy makes it ashore (to a missionary settlement on the Orinoco in Venezuela) where he is treated by a pacifist Quaker doctor, Dr Hayden (Siân Phillips).

When he discovers the U-boat is hiding further up river, under the cover of the jungle, he sets about obsessively plotting his revenge to sink it by any means, including using a surviving Grumman J2F Duck floatplane from the Mount Kyle. The floatplane had been recovered, the wounded pilot later being shot dead in his hospital bed by the U-boat captain, in order to preserve the secret of the sub’s location and, presumably, its action in shooting survivors in the water.

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