Men in Boats

Several weeks ago, my husband and I streamed Das Boot [The Boat], the fictional war epic about a German U-boat and its crew, written and directed in 1981 by Wolfgang Petersen. It was a riveting film, all 3 hours and 48 minutes of it: the claustrophobic submarine, the men crammed aboard, old veterans, untested newbies, the steely captain, the naive war correspondent—and then the Allied warships tracking it, their ominous sonar pings more dramatic than any Hollywood soundtrack.