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Ages ago, skipper Fred (Freddy Quinn) was (involuntarily) involved in
the theft of a gold shipment back in Hamburg, and since he had to flee
Germany and has finally come to Sardinia where he thinks he will be able
to find the man who can prove his innocence. However, he has no money and
no boat, and only a job at a diving school keeps him from starving.
like a gift from heaven, Andrea (Karin Dor) and Harry (Werner Pochath)
arrive, and they offer him a whole chunk of money and a ship of his own if
he takes them on a little diving trip. However, it soon turns out the two
of them are not so heaven-sent after all, they were actually involved in
the robbery that had Fred flee the country, and now they want to dive for
the loot that has gone missing in a shipwreck on the seabed off Sardinia,
with the guy Fred has hoped to find having died in the process.
soon get ugly, especially between hot-headed Harry and Fred's first mate,
the good-natured and naive Heinz (Volker Bogdan). On top of that, the
shipwreck proves to be rather difficult to find. But all of that is
nothing compared to the arrival of Barko (Franz Mosthav) and his sidekick,
the brute Mario (Frank Reno), who are also interested in the gold and take
over the expedition at gunpoint.
Fights soon erupt on a regular
basis, Harry tries to play everybody against everybody and even
after Barko is unarmed, nothing much changes. Andrea gets quite friendly
with Fred but he's unsure whether it's genuine or not.
group of scoundrels finds the gold, and once that's achieved, Harry sees
to it that Barko dies in a "diving accident", then forges an
alliance with Mario, pretty much takes Andrea hostage, and the three leave
in a dinghy with the loot, leaving Fred tied up on the boat, Heinz
unconscious, and a busload of dynamite linked to a fire via an ever
shortening fuse. But Heinz comes to just in time, shoots the fugitives
dead and defuses the dynamite even if it costs his own life. It's then
that the coastguard arrives.
Having found and returned the gold, Fred
has made peace with his conscience, and Andrea has vouched for his
innocence, so he is allowed to return to Germany a free man. Unfortunately
though, a stray bullet has hit her during the escape and killed her in the
Basically, this is not a bad film, a tight, well-paced
little thriller that might not be wholly original but it delivers the
goods, and it features a great scumbag performance by Werner Pochath, and
Karin Dor comes across as both seductive and ruthless enough to convince
in her role. The main problem with the film though is its lead, Freddy
Quinn - and not so much his acting (which is adequate but by no means
great) even but his image: Basically, Quinn was a Schlager star in
Germany, one who has come to fame with singing German language chanties
and has subsequently built himself a maritime reputation. This all leads
to the fact that his role in Haie an Bord has been considerably
watered down from what could have been an ambiguous hard-boiled character.
But there just isn't place for anything ambiguous in Quinn's image, and a
few songs he sings in the film seriously undermine his hard-boiled image.
So basically, this film is sunk by its own star.
That all is not to say Haie
an Bord is a total shipwreck, because it isn't, it's still a decent
thriller, but one that never manages to reach its full potential ...