Director: Andrew V McLaglen
Producer: Euan Lloyd
Script: Reginald Rose
From a book by James Leasor ‘Boarding Party’
Music: Roy Budd
In the neutral waters off Goa, a Portuguese colony in India, houses the setting for this unusual but true war story. What's more unusual are the heroes of this dangerous mission. It is 1943, and German merchant ships are relaying information to U-boats as to the whereabouts of Allied war vessels. The German merchants being in waters considered neutral are all but impossible to stop.
Two British officers (Gregory Peck and Roger Moore of special operation executive (SOE), are assigned to the task of putting an end to these deadly exploits. They turn to a group aging veterans but haven't seen action in over 40 year called the Calcutta Light Horse, who previously saw service in the Boer War of 1900. These guys spend most of their time in key posts within civilian life and the odd jaunt to the Polo Club. They are frustrated veterans who would do anything to get back into Germans but were refused on any number of grounds. They are "The Calcutta Light Horse". Most would give their right arms to see action again, and now they will have their chance...their mission to board the German Vessels and destroy them!
Led by one of their own (David Niven), they jump at the chance to help the war effort, and head fearlessly into danger, and face tense situations with bravery and humour and become heroes once again. The "Sea Wolves" is great war story, that is based on actual events, and will have you smiling and rooting for the good guys all the way through. And of course with Moore involved, you know there will be some romance as well!
You can't go wrong with this cast, who only get better and better with age. The regulars are there with Peck, Niven and Moore faultless in these roles. All capable of comedy and at times that’s what the film delivers. Also included are Patrick MacNee and Trevor Howard. It was directed by the highly competent Andrew McLaglen and based on the book "Boarding Party" by James Leasor. It was beautifully filmed on location in India.
The film has special interest to me because it was portrayed on real events not released until 1978. The daring and pure courage of these exploits draw breath. It’s not a very serious film and has plenty of comic events but once you sit back and consider the content it all starts to sink it.
The film is dedicated to Earl Mountbatten (former beloved viceroy of India and an honorary commander of the Calcutta Light Horse). He was assassinated by the cowardly IRA in 1979 by planting a bomb on his boat while he was in holiday in the South of Ireland. His grandson, Nicholas, aged 14, Paul Maxwell were also killed in the blast.