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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • None
  • Teaser trailer
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • Featurette


Village Roadshow/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 116 mins . PG . PAL


German director Wolfgang Petersen brought us an epic submarine drama in the form of Das Boot (The Boat) some 20 years ago and it has stood the test of time, aided by a recent Dolby Digital 5.1 audio remix. When a film like U-571 comes along, it will automatically be compared to the German classic, as it has a lot to live up to if it is to capture the tension, suspense and drama.

Director Jonathan Mostow has crafted a some-what factual, some-what fictional, tale of the capture of the German enigma code machine. In this instance though, rather than basing it around the actual events on u-boats U-110 or U-505 (explored later in the documentaries) or even use an English crew, the story is based around U-571 with an all American cast. Entertainment it may be but it seems alot of liberties have been taken by Hollywood of late.

The story begins with U-571 being disabled by an Allied depth charge suffering casualties in the engine room leaving the crew without any mechanics to repair the engine. Word has found its way to the Americans of the location so a plan is devised to rendezvous with the U-boat posing as a German salvage crew and to get there before the real crew arrives.

The plan backfires when the submarine they arrive on is destroyed, leaving them to fend for themselves aboard the disabled submarine. From here, there only hope is to make it to allied ground before the Germans find and kill them and without notifying the allies of their whereabouts. Quite a predicament to be plunged in to especially with such cramped, confined and claustrophobic conditions.


Is there anything that the folks at Village Roadshow can't do? I ask you this because this is another stellar transfer of a movie that would be very difficult to encode.

From the opening scene where the innards of the submarine are saturated in red light to the scenes where power is out and the deep cold blackness becomes evident, the depth of detail paints a perfect picture of the situation. On the flip side, the daylight scenes are rendered vividly providing an extreme contrast to the images below deck.


Going even further with the quality is the audio that provides an exceptional soundtrack for the senses. The 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack makes use of every speaker, every pan, every directional transition, every possible combination to fully entertain you throughout.

As with the movie, there was many a time during the soundtrack that ideas were lifted from Das Boot, particularly the use of ricocheting bolts flying around the sub when the pressure outside builds up forcing the sub to creak and groan all around you.

The highlight though has to be the depth charges that producing some whopping deep bass that will pound on your chest like an enthusiastic St Johns ambulance applicant. The main depth charge scene is literally one explosion after another that doesn't seem to stop. Surely you'll all be entertained by such pleasentries. :)


A very good collection of extras greet us on this disc.

  • Animated menus and 16x9 support are all present here which is a welcome benefit for those of you with the capable viewing hardware.
  • A Spotlight on location with director Johnathan Mostow and interviews with Dino De Laurentis and cast providing an excellent 14 minutes of information about getting the movie into production with a splattering of behind the scenes footage.
  • The Making of U-571 is another 6 minute documentary to compliment the spotlight feature. Here we learn how they made a complete full scale sea worthy submarine for use in the movie which is a testament to the lengths the production crew went to for authenticity. The worlds largest rain system is also featured.
  • A Teaser and Theatrical Trailer are present with great soundtracks to accompany them.
      The final main feature is the Breaking the Code section:
    • Capture of U-505 is a short 3 minute documentary with a very old voice over of some B&W.
    • Capture of U-110 features director John Mostow interviewing Lt Commander David Balme who captured an Enigma machine. Balme discusses his incredible experience in the short 9 minutes

    • Submarine Remembers is another short 8 minute interview with Vice Admiral Patrick Hannifin voicing his experiences.
    • Enigma Code Machine features cryptologist David Khan who describes the Enigma code machine and its use during the war.
  • The DVD-ROM section contains a good selection of extras including cast and crew biographies, photos and some cool detailed diagrams of the German and American submarines.


Whilst it survives as a very good suspense movie, many of the situations encountered are reminiscent of Das Boot. Mostow has still provided an edge of your seat movie, a Das Boot for the 90's perhaps, with a mega soundtrack and great video to keep you happy all the way through.

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