Currently screening on AppleTV+ from director Aaron Schneider and writer Tom Hanks based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester is the story of men running like a GREYHOUND.
US Navy Commander Krause (Tom Hanks) has been assigned to the USS Keeling to be a part of an escort group that are to defend merchant ships crossing the Atlantic. This 37-country multi-national group is defending against German submarines at the beginning of World War II.
Given the codename Greyhound, along with the HMS James – Harry, Polish destroyer Viktor – Eagle and Canadian HMCS Doge – Dickie are about to enter a part of the sea known as the Black Pit and must go it alone without air support for three days. It does not take long before the German U-boats make themselves known.
That is when Commander Krause begins his assault to protect the other ships and once the firing begins, it does not stop. The ‘wolfpack’ is waiting for the cover of night to begin their attacks again. Taunted by the German submarines, the crew keeps to their jobs and tries to help the ships that are hit by taking their share of submarines with depth charges.
Getting closer to the reacquisition of air support, Commander Krause has a decision to make. The submarines are beginning an all-out attack while Commander and crew do everything it takes to stay alive and support the boats that are still afloat. It is a fight that only one can win!
Hanks as Commander Krause does what this actor has always done, put everything into a performance bringing tension and a bit of fear into this character. In GREYHOUND we also see a character that follows his beliefs and is a stern Commander but also a fair one. I would expect nothing less from Hanks. He has always brought such amazing stories to the screen and finds characters that are exceptional in their beliefs and extraordinary in what they accomplish with the support of a crew.
This is seen time and time again from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN to SULLY, Hanks plays opposite those who trust and believe in the lead character. There are also moments where the flaws of his character show, yet it does not deter them from doing what is right for others in the more dire of circumstances. Those are the story I definetly want to see and experience.
Stephen Graham as Lt. Cole supports his Commander and might hesitate for a moment when given an order but sees it through and understandings why Krause is the Commander. Rob Morgan as Mess 2nd Class George Cleveland is absolutely lovely, and he deserves a shout out for it.
Also, Elisabeth Shue as Evelyn, Commander Krause’s love who may have had a small role, but it is one that shows the worry of women watching men go off to do a dangerous job in a dangerous time.
Other cast include Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Lopez, Karl Glusman as Eppstein, Tom Brittney as Lt. Watson, Matt Helm as Lt. Nystrom, Craig Tate as Pitts, Devin Druid as Wallace, Travis Quentin as Ipsen, Jeff Burkes as Shannon, Matthew Zuk as Flusser, Joseph Poliquin as Helmsman Lee, Michael Benz as Carling, Jake Ventimiglia as Flipper and Chet Hanks as Bushnell.
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The novel The Good Shepherd written by C.S. Forester is a story that shares the struggles of the era with war at sea. More than that it shares the story of a battle group and what was required of them to fight a taunting enemy. This would not be his only story of war responsible for the series of Horatio Hornblower and the novel African Queen which was also made into a film in 1951 with Humphrey Bogart and many more.
GREYHOUND gives us a moment to prepare for all the action that comes after the opening scene with Hanks and Shue. The moment Commander Krause steps aboard his ship it is a whirlwind of strategic decisions and knowing each one of those decisions can cost lives. Even when Hanks’ character questions himself quietly (and you can see it on his face), when the moment calls for it – the answer is as swift as the U-boat chasing them.
Although unfortunate not to have seen it on the big screen, I would not have missed it on a smaller one for the world. This is just what the quarantine ordered for entertainment that brings suspense, drama, intrigue and heroism that takes us all away from the moment we are living in. That is what entertainment is supposed to do – sweep up away and experience something that is impactful, and GREYHOUND does just that.
In the end – the only thing more dangerous than the front lines is the fight to get there!