Greyhound
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 film follows a US Navy commander on his first assignment commanding a multi-national escort destroyer group of four defending an Allied convoy of thirty-seven ships from German U-boats in early 1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic, shortly after the United States have 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 canceled 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 positive reviews from critics, with praise for the action sequences and effective use of its 90-minute runtime. At the 93rd Academy Awards, the film earned a nomination for Best Sound.

Plot

In February 1942, convoy HX-25, consisting of 37 Allied merchant and troop ships, making its way to Liverpool, enters the "Black Pit", the Mid-Atlantic gap, where they will be out of range of protective air cover for the next five days. The convoy's escort consists of the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Keeling (DD-548), radio call sign "Greyhound", captained by Commander Ernest Krause of the United States Navy; the British Tribal-class destroyer HMS James F80, call sign "Harry"; the Polish Grom-class destroyer ORP Viktor H34, call sign "Eagle"; and the Canadian Flower-class corvette, HMCS Dodge K136,[6] call sign "Dicky". Krause is overall commander of the escort ships, but despite his seniority and extensive naval education, it is his first wartime command. Three days later, High-frequency direction finding from the convoy flagship intercepts a German transmission and Greyhound identifies a surfaced U-boat heading towards the convoy and moves to attack. The sub tries to slip under Greyhound, but Krause sinks it with a full pattern of depth charges to the crew's jubilation.

As they return, another U-boat, bearing an emblem of a grey wolf, sinks a Greek merchant ship, as Krause moves Greyhound to assist, and with careful maneuvering evades a torpedo fired at his ship by the U-boat. Greyhound receives reports of five other U-boats from the other escorts, indicating a wolfpack consisting of six U-boats is staying just out of firing range of the convoy waiting for nightfall, when the escorts will have zero visibility. That evening, the U-boat, with the emblem of the grey wolf, torpedoes an oil tanker and escapes Greyhound by using an underwater decoy device 'Pill-thrower', tricking the ship's sonar into wasting depth charges. Krause chooses to rescue survivors from the tanker first before going to the aid of the other ships. This decision results in the loss of a supply ship. A member of the U-boat's crew, identifying himself as "Grey Wolf", taunts the convoy and its escorts via radio transmission, as the wolfpack commences attack that night with three merchant ships being sunk.

The next morning, Krause learns that Greyhound is now down to only six depth charges. Greyhound and Dicky combine their attacks to sink one of the U-boats using surface broadsides. Dicky receives minor damage due to the close range combat, and Greyhound is hit on its port side by the U-boat's deck gun, killing mess attendant, George Cleveland, and two sailors. During a funeral service that follows, another ship is sunk and Eagle is badly damaged and later sinks. Krause allows the crew of Eagle to abandon their ship. Aware that he might compromise the remaining defenders, Krause elects to break radio silence by transmitting the single word "help" to the Admiralty. A return message deciphers 'expect aircraft' and 'point X-ray', which suggests reinforcements being dispatched and their rendezvous point shall be modified.

With the convoy close to reaching air cover, Greyhound battles two U-boats and after heavy fighting, Greyhound sinks "Grey Wolf" with a full broadside. Air support in the form of a PBY Catalina deployed from British RAF Coastal Command arrives and Greyhound fires to mark the location of the remaining U-boat, allowing the PBY to depth-charge and sink the sub and the crew rejoice. While assessing contact with the remaining U-boats have been lost, the head of the relief escorts, HMS Diamond, arrives and relieves Greyhound and the other two destroyers of their duty, which will be due for repair and refitting in Derry. Krause receives congratulations on the four U-boat kills. While setting the new course, passengers and crew of the convoy ships cheer Greyhound's crew, after which Krause is able to retire to his cabin and finally sleep.

Cast

Production

The film was relatively faithful to the novel, with two major exceptions. The characters and their names remain basically the same (e.g. Ernie Krause is George Krause), and Krause is more of a bitter man, having been divorced from Evelyn. She cheated on him, but he recognizes that he was part of the problem by placing the service ahead of her. In the film, they are still lovers. The character of Cleveland is based on a Filipino messmate who survives in the book. The film invents a U-boat using Greyhound's transmitting frequency and broadcasts threatening messages over the ship's loudspeakers. The fictionalised Polish Grom-class_destroyer ORP Viktor was based on scans taken of the real Grom-class_destroyer ORP_Błyskawica, a museum ship in Gdynia, Poland. Pre-production photography took place in January 2018 at sea aboard HMCS Montréal, a frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy. HMCS Sackville, the last surviving Flower-class corvette, was used as the model for the film's corvette, HMCS Dodge (call sign "Dicky"). Producers took numerous 3D scans of the restored ship's exterior at Halifax, Nova Scotia to create the CGI version of the corvette.[7] In March 2018 filming commenced[8][9][10] aboard USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[11][12] The actors were trained on the ship. A fictionalised version of the Kidd is mentioned in the film as having encountered a an underwater decoy device on its first patrol, whereas in real life, the USS Kidd was not launched until late February 1943. In the studio, sets were created of the bridge and the command center. A gimbal was created to make the effect of the ship rolling.[13]

Release

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 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.[citation needed] 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]

Greyhound is available on Apple TV+.[21]

Reception

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 79% based on 228 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. 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".[22] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[23]

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".[24] 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".[25]

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".[26]

Accolades

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 [27]
British Academy Film Awards April 11, 2021 Best Special Visual Effects Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness and Sebastian von Overheidt Nominated [28]
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 [29]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards March 7, 2021 Best Visual Effects Greyhound Nominated [30]
Critics' Choice Super Awards January 10, 2021 Best Action Movie Greyhound Nominated [31]
Best Actor in an Action Movie Tom Hanks Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society January 18, 2021 Best Visual Effects Greyhound Nominated [32]
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 [33]
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 [34]
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 [35]
Satellite Awards February 15, 2021 Best Visual Effects Nathan McGuinness and Pete Bebb Nominated [36]
Seattle Film Critics Society February 15, 2021 Best Visual Effects Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness, Whitney Richman and Sebastian Theo von Overheidt Nominated [37]
St. Louis Film Critics Association January 17, 2021 Best Action Film Greyhound Nominated [38]
Visual Effects Society Awards April 6, 2021 Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature Omar Meradi, Jeremy Poupin, Sylvain Robert and Deak Ferrand Nominated [39]
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature Chris Gooch, Tiago Santos, Stu Bruzek and Sneha Amin Nominated

Planned sequel

A sequel is in production.[40]

See also

References

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