I was a quartermaster and had charge of No. 4 lifeboat.
– Angus Macdonald

• Scene [Opening Credits begin in darkness]:

Bruno Lawrence
A Louis Malle Film


As the words fade out, it becomes apparent that there is movement in these dark depths, but the audience is uncertain, disoriented. A faint pinging is heard, a swirling. Perhaps we are underwater? Is there a shape, black against the blackness, moving through it? We think there is, but are still straining to make it out when …


ACT I: Wreck

• Scene [Awakening (Friday, November 6, 1942, c. 1 a.m.)]

CLOSE-UP of Angus’s eyes opening out of some fathomless depth. Was the noise only in his dreams? It seems not: there are clanging pumps and sirens, shouting voices, all coming from outside.

WIDE-ANGLE shows his narrow, cramped cabin. There are a few pitiful ornaments: a little china cup, framed photographs. He rolls out of his bunk, starts to huddle on clothes and sea-boots.

Out on deck. Angus comes out from behind a steel bulkhead, and is shown pushing his way through a chaos of people running and shouting.

Voices scream: “Over here!” “Out of the fucking way!” “Diana!”

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