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The Enemy Below takes place in the South Atlantic Ocean, where a German U-boat faces off against the USS Haynes, an American Destroyer that's patrolling the waters. Captain Murrell (Robert Mitchum), who just took command of the USS Haynes, is constantly ridiculed by his crew. They call him unfit and challenge his authority at every step. Instead of trying to prove himself, Murrell takes all the nasty comments he's given. He is haunted by his past command position. It was another destroyer that sank in a raid by the Nazis. Back then, Murell didn't have the courage to see the battle through. He fled, leaving his men to fend for themselves. When the U-boat attacks the USS Haynes, he sees it as a chance to prove his courage and ability to both himself and his men. He takes the helm for one more shot at being a true leader and making up for his past mistakes.