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In Which We Serve (1942) Poster

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Mrs. Alix Kinross: [Christmas dinner toast] Ladies and gentlemen. I'll begin by taking my husband's advice and wishing you all a very happy Christmas. I'm sure Elizabeth and June will back me up when I say I'd like to deliver, on behalf of all wretched naval wives, a word of warning to Maureen who's been unwise enough to decide to join our ranks. Dear Maureen: we all wish you every possible happiness, but I think it only fair to tell you in advance exactly what you are in for. Speaking from bitter experience I can only say that the wife of a sailor is most profoundly to be pitied. To begin with, her home life, what there is of it, hath no stability whatever. She can never really settle down. She moves through a succession of other people's houses, flats, and furnished rooms. She finds herself having to grapple with domestic problems in Bermuda, Malta, or Weymouth. We will not deal with the question of pay as that is altogether too painful. But we will deal with is the most important disillusionment of all, and that is that wherever she goes there is always in her life a permanently undefeated rival: her husband's ship. Whether it be a battleship or a sloop, a submarine or a destroyer, it holds first place in his heart. It comes before wife, home, children, everything. Some of us try to fight this and get badly mauled in the process. Others, like myself, resolve themselves to the inevitable. That is what you will have to do, my poor Maureen. That is what we all have to do if we want any peace of mind at all. Ladies and gentlemen I give you my rival. It is extraordinary that anyone could be so fond and so proud of their most implacable enemy - this ship. God bless this ship and all who sail in her.

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[first lines]

Narrator: [voiceover] This is the story of a ship...

[long sequence of ship-building and launch]

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[last lines]

Narrator: [voiceover] Here ends the story of a ship, but there will always be other ships; we are an island race, through all our centuries the sea has ruled our destiny. There will always be other ships and men to sail in them. It is these men, in peace or war, to whom we owe so much. Above all victories, beyond all loss, in spite of changing values and a changing world they give to us, their countrymen, eternal and indomitable pride.

[sequence of ships launching and at sea]

Captain Edward V. Kinross: Open fire!

Narrator: God bless our ships... and all who sail in them.

[close-up of the Royal Navy ensign]

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Flags: Very pretty sky, sir. Somebody sent me a calendar rather like that last Christmas.

Captain Edward V. Kinross: Did it have a squadron of Dorniers in the upper right-hand corner?

Flags: No, sir.

Captain Edward V. Kinross: That's where art parts company with reality.

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Captain Edward V. Kinross: A happy and efficient ship - a very happy and a very efficient ship. Some of you might think I'm being a bit ambitious wanting both but in my experience you can't have one without the other. A ship can't be happy unless she's efficient and she certainly won't be efficient unless she's happy.

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[Captain Kinross hands a hot drink to a sailor that he has just rescued]

Captain Edward V. Kinross: It's just Bovril - heavily laced with sherry.

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