Greyhound (film)

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Greyhound
Greyhound poster.jpeg
Official release poster
Directed byAaron Schneider
Screenplay byTom Hanks
Based onThe Good Shepherd
by C. S. Forester
Produced byGary Goetzman
Starring
CinematographyShelly Johnson
Edited by
Music byBlake Neely
Production
companies
Distributed byApple TV+
Release date
  • July 10, 2020 (2020-07-10)
Running time
91 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$50.3 million[3][4]

Greyhound is a 2020 American war film directed by Aaron Schneider and starring Tom Hanks, who also wrote the screenplay.[5] The film is based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester, and also stars Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, and Elisabeth Shue. The plot follows a commander of the US Navy on his first war-time assignment in command of a multi-national escort group defending a merchant ship convoy under attack by submarines in early-1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic, only months after the U.S. officially entered World War II.

Greyhound was initially scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 12, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing, but was eventually cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic after previously being delayed indefinitely. The distribution rights were then sold to Apple TV+, which released the film digitally on July 10, 2020. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the action sequences and effective use of the 90-minute runtime. At the 93rd Academy Awards, the film earned a nomination for Best Sound.

Plot[edit]

During the Battle of the Atlantic, convoy HX-25, consisting of 37 Allied ships, is making its way to Liverpool. The convoy's escort consists of the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Keeling, radio call sign "Greyhound", captained by Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) of the United States Navy; the British Tribal-class destroyer HMS James, call sign "Harry"; the Polish Grom-class destroyer ORP Viktor (with a Royal Navy liaison officer on the radio), call sign "Eagle"; and the Canadian Flower-class corvette, HMCS Dodge, call sign "Dicky". Krause is serving as overall commander of the escort ships, but despite his seniority and extensive naval education, it is his first wartime command.

The convoy enters the "Black Pit"—the Mid-Atlantic gap where they will be out of range of protective air cover. While they are still three days away from the resumption of air cover, high-frequency direction finding from the convoy flagship results in the interception of several German transmissions, indicating the presence of U-boats. Greyhound's radar operator identifies a surfaced sub heading towards the convoy. Greyhound moves away from the convoy to intercept it based on its bearing and gets the U-boat within firing range, but the heavy seas allow the U-boat to dive before Greyhound can get a visual. After sonar contact is re-established, the submarine tries to slip under Greyhound, but Krause maneuvers his ship above the U-boat and fires a full pattern of depth charges, resulting in his first kill.

The crew's jubilation is cut short as they soon receive reports of distress rockets at the rear of the convoy. A Greek merchant ship was attacked by another U-boat and is quickly sinking. Krause moves Greyhound to assist, evading torpedoes fired at his ship with careful maneuvering. The surviving Greek sailors are rescued, and Greyhound returns to the convoy just as the bridge receives multiple messages from the other escorts: a wolfpack consisting of six U-boats is staying just out of firing range of the convoy; Krause suspects they are waiting for nightfall, when the escorts will have no visibility. The attack commences that evening with five merchant ships being torpedoed and sunk. One U-boat torpedoes an oil tanker and escapes Greyhound by using an underwater decoy, tricking the crew into wasting most of their remaining depth charges. Krause chooses to rescue survivors from the burning oil tanker rather than go to the aid of the other ships first, a decision he comes to regret.

The next day, the wolf pack targets Greyhound. The captain of the lead submarine, callsign "Grey Wolf", taunts the convoy and its escorts via radio transmission, threatening to sink them all. Krause learns that Greyhound is down to six depth charges, leaving it with no effective response to an underwater attack. The U-boats launch multiple torpedo runs, which Greyhound is barely able to evade. Greyhound and Dicky combine to sink one of the U-boats in an exchange of surface broadsides. Dicky receives minor damage due to the close range of the engagement and Greyhound is hit on the port side by one of the U-boat's deck guns, which kills Krause's mess attendant, George Cleveland, and two sailors. During the funeral service, Eagle is attacked and eventually sinks. Krause, aware that doing so might expose the shoddy state of the escort fleet, elects to break radio silence by transmitting a single word, "help", to the Admiralty.

With the convoy close to reaching air cover, the remaining U-boats mount an all-out assault on the destroyers. One of the torpedoes glances off the side of Greyhound, and the other barely misses contact. After heavy fighting, Greyhound sinks Grey Wolf with a full broadside. To everyone's relief, they spot air support deployed from British RAF Coastal Command and use their guns to mark the last visible U-boat, allowing a PBY Catalina bomber to line up a depth charge attack and sink the sub. The rest of the pack quickly flees before they can be discovered.

While assessing damage, Krause receives radio contact from the head of the relief escorts, HMS Diamond, that his relief has arrived and Greyhound is due for repair and refitting in Derry alongside his two surviving companion vessels. The crew receives a "job well done" on their four U-boat kills. As Krause turns over the deck to a junior officer (his watch is officer of the deck), all present on the bridge gaze at their Captain in surprise, as they realise he hasn't left command since they entered the Black Pit 48 hours earlier, their looks turn to new-found respect. While setting the new course, passengers and crew of the remaining convoy ships cheer and send up flares to salute Greyhound's crew for their valor and victory at sea while Krause finally prays and rests.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The museum ship USS Kidd served as the movie set

It was announced in September 2016 that Tom Hanks was writing a screenplay about a World War II navy destroyer. Hanks would also star in the film.[7] In February 2017, Aaron Schneider was brought on to direct, and Sony Pictures acquired the distribution rights.[8]

Pre-production photography took place in January 2018 at sea on board HMCS Montréal, a frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy. In March 2018, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue, Rob Morgan, Karl Glusman, and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo were cast, and filming had commenced in Louisiana,[9][10][11] aboard USS Kidd in Baton Rouge.[12][13]

Release[edit]

Greyhound was initially scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label on March 22, 2019, before being delayed to May 8, 2020 and finally June 12, 2020.[14][15]

Like many other films, it was then removed from the release schedule in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.[16] Hanks himself had been diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier that month while filming Elvis for Warner Bros.. In May 2020, it was announced Apple TV+ had acquired distribution rights to the film for about $70 million; Stage 6 Films was left as the sole Sony distributor as of the release of the film.[17] It was released digitally by the service on July 10, 2020.[18] Apple said that the film had the biggest debut weekend of any program in the platform's history, with Deadline Hollywood saying the figures were "commensurate with a summer theatrical box office big hit".[19] In November, Variety reported the film was the 24th-most watched straight-to-streaming title of 2020 up to that point.[20]

Reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 78% based on 223 reviews, with an average rating of 6.50/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Greyhound's characters aren't as robust as its action sequences, but this fast-paced World War II thriller benefits from its efficiently economical approach."[21] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22]

Owen Gleiberman, in his review for Variety, said the film is "less a drama than a tense and sturdy diary of the logistics of battle" and "though much of the action is set in the open air of the ship's command perch, Greyhound often feels like a submarine thriller: tense, tight, boxed-in."[23] Writing for the Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips gave the film three out of four stars and said: "Like the canine, [Greyhound is] trim, narrow of scope, and it runs efficiently and well despite a barrage of on-screen time stamps and vessel identification markers."[24]

David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "C−" and wrote: "A terse and streamlined dad movie that's shorter than a Sunday afternoon nap and just as exciting, Greyhound bobs across the screen like a nuanced character study that's been entombed in a 2,000-ton iron casket and set adrift over the Atlantic. The film offers a handful of brief hints at the tortured hero who Forester invented for his book... but the whole thing is far too preoccupied with staying afloat to profile the guy at the helm in any meaningful way."[25]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards April 25, 2021 Best Sound Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman Nominated [26]
British Academy Film Awards April 11, 2021 Best Special Visual Effects Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness and Sebastian von Overheidt Nominated [27]
Best Sound Beau Borders, Christian P. Minkler, Michael Minkler, Warren Shaw and David Wyman Nominated
Cinema Audio Society Awards April 17, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Live Action David Wyman, Michael Minkler, Christian Minkler, Richard Kitting, Beau Borders, Greg Hayes and George A. Lara Nominated [28]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards March 7, 2021 Best Visual Effects Greyhound Nominated [29]
Critics' Choice Super Awards January 10, 2021 Best Action Movie Greyhound Nominated [30]
Best Actor in an Action Movie Tom Hanks Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society January 18, 2021 Best Visual Effects Greyhound Nominated [31]
Golden Reel Awards April 16, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Dialogue and ADR for Feature Film Michael Minkler, Warren Shaw, Will Digby, Dave McMoyler, Michelle Pazer, David Tichauer and Paul Carden Nominated [32]
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Sound Effects and Foley for Feature Film Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Will Digby, Ann Scibelli, Jon Title, Jeff Sawyer, Richard Kitting, Odin Benitez, Jason King, Luke Gibleon and Marko Costanzo Won
People’s Choice Awards November 15, 2020 Favorite Drama Movie Greyhound Nominated [33]
Favorite Drama Movie Star Tom Hanks Nominated
Favorite Male Movie Star Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards January 11, 2021 Best Visual Effects Greyhound Nominated [34]
Satellite Awards February 15, 2021 Best Visual Effects Nathan McGuinness and Pete Bebb Nominated [35]
Seattle Film Critics Society February 15, 2021 Best Visual Effects Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness, Whitney Richman and Sebastian Theo von Overheidt Nominated [36]
St. Louis Film Critics Association January 17, 2021 Best Action Film Greyhound Nominated [37]
Visual Effects Society Awards April 6, 2021 Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature Omar Meradi, Jeremy Poupin, Sylvain Robert and Deak Ferrand Nominated [38]
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature Chris Gooch, Tiago Santos, Stu Bruzek and Sneha Amin Nominated

References[edit]

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External links[edit]