The Bogart obsession continues, this time with one of his World War II ship-based actioners (I'll be pimping my thoughts on The Caine Mutiny in due course, which I recorded off Channel 5 back in 2002 - at the same time as ...North Atlantic).
It's more like 'Action in the first and third acts of the North Atlantic, with characterisation shoved into act two' ... but that's not a catchy title in the slightest, but quite true of the film's structure. It does feel a bit pieced together, a bit ... average perhaps - at times anyway.
The first act is nothing short of thrilling, the action really does kick off with a sizeable bang. It's all rather fast paced and in your face, with some great stunt work and special effects. Then once that's done with, it's time for second act character building, which is where Bogart (mostly) goes on vacation from the set leaving you wondering if pimping the movie on his name alone is all that suitable.
Regardless, it's still an interesting watch - and yep, once again (as I've previously talked about), marriage is dealt with astonishingly flippantly ... in that "might as well get married, what the hell" sort of way. But no sooner is Bogie hitched, than he's off on another venture into the North Atlantic with a fleet of other ships taking supplies to the men on the ground.
But disaster lurks below, those pesky Germans from the first act are back and are intent on sinking our ships! Indeed, it's all rather good VS evil and quite propagandistic ... but who cares really, even Casablanca was used as propaganda to an extent (it only got the green light after Pearl Harbour happened, and indeed the script was read the day after the event).
Back to Action in the North Atlantic - basically, a bit hit & miss, but when it hits it really goes for the KO.