The Sea Shall Not Have Them is our candidate for the most dramatic title of any British World War II film. Happily, the film itself upholds the promise of its name. The focus of the story is a dramatic rescue at sea, which consumes well over a third of the running time. A British bomber carrying high-ranking officer Michael Redgrave, commander Dirk Bogarde and two other men is blasted out of the sky by a German plane. The four men survive, board an inflatable dinghy, and patiently await rescue in the storm-tossed Atlantic. The Air-Sea Rescue Units are poised to write off the search for the downed flyers as hopeless, but Redgrave is carrying vital documents, and is therefore not expendable. Based on a novel by John Harris, The Sea Shall Not Have Them scores highest on its suspense content, and lowest on its banal dialogue exchanges.
by Hal Erickson synopsis