Greyhound, written by and starring Tom Hanks, tells the seemingly simple—and based-on-a-true—story of Allied convoy HX-25, containing 37 ships, that must pass through a treacherous three-day stretch of the Atlantic Ocean. Nicknamed the “Black Pit,” this part of the ocean will leave the convoy without air support, and thus vulnerable to Axis U-boats, for days.
During the beginning of the film, American Navy Commander Ernest Krause, played by Hanks, is characterized as a Christian. The first shots of him (mirrored at the end) show him before his bed reading from and praying over an open Bible. Decorating his wall is an image of Hebrews 13:8, paraphrasing the original text of, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This verse will summarize Krause’s approach to faith in times of warfare: unwavering, steady, and tireless.
The first transmissions from a U-Boat, potentially a scout for the opposing German force known as the Wolfpack, are intercepted by the Greyhound, and the film slips into the tense game of cat-and-mouse (although who is cat and who is mouse fluctuates frequently) that will define the rest of the film. The sub is visible above the surface before slipping away as the crew scrambles to chart its path and destroy it. As the crew celebrates the victory by saying, “50 less Krauts,” Krause visibly displays remorse at the 50 souls he was responsible for terminating.
Four additional members of the Wolfpack appear and blow up one of the convoy’s ships. A transmission from the Wolfpack tells of the Allied men who just perished, of how many more deaths there will be, and of how the “great war is so very hungry.” The convoy must face down a near-invisible enemy that can pick off ships like a wolf pack would from a herd of elk.
Many more lives are lost. Krause stoically reads Scripture as the men are buried at sea. Without giving too much away, the movie begins and ends with prayer and devotion to the God who is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
Greyhound was digitally released on Apple TV+ due to COVID-19, and is based off the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester. It is rated PG-13 for war-related action/violence and brief strong language. (Apple TV+)