last update: March 11 1999                                                      Credited cast overview:

From  BBC Online:

           Universal Studios is making a World War II film about a bunch of Americans who
       captured Hitler's Enigma machine and subsequently broke the Nazi codes.

       The film has raised more than a few hackles in Britain - because the capture of the
       machine was in fact made by the British Navy - and it was British experts that
       cracked the codes at the top-secret Bletchley Park base in Buckinghamshire.

       Their work led to the deciphering of German navy messages and helped to save
       many British convoys.

       'Based on real events'

       The Enigma machine was vital cracking Hitler's secret codes. The $55m
       Hollywood production, expected to star Harvey Keitel and Jon Bon Jovi, is also
       considering switching the action from the mid-Atlantic to the Mediterranean. The
       studio said it won't promote the film as fact but will instead say it is based on real

       The Royal Navy said it is not surprised by the Hollywood plans. "It is unfortunate,
       but it is not the first time, and I am sure it will not be the last, that Hollywood has
       distorted history."

       The recent World War II blockbuster Saving Private Ryan angered some British
       veterans because the film only showed Americans in northern France.

       'Typical American approach'

       Captain Joe Baker-Cresswell was the wartime commander of the Royal Navy
       destroyer HMS Bulldog which seized the machine from a German U-boat in May

       Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme his son Charles Baker-Cresswell
       said he was disappointed by the film.

       "It's a typical American approach. We've seen this time and time again."

       Pearl Harbour: The subject of many US World War II film. sBack in 1941 the
       submarine that was carrying the enigma machine had already sunk two ships from
       the convoy the Bulldog was accompanying, when depth charges forced it to the

       Luckily Captain Baker-Cresswell decided to board the submarine before sinking it
       - an action he later described as a "whim".

       The crew found vital code books which the German crew had not had time to
       destroy. They listed the top secret codes the Germans were to use for the next four
       months of the war.

       Charles Baker-Cresswell said of his father's discovery: "As soon as they got the
       stuff on board he realised he had something pretty rare."

       From JAM! Showbiz:

       Free to Rome

       McConaughey's a big star here -- but he's a big nobody in Italy
       By LOUIS B. HOBSON -- Calgary Sun

       HOLLYWOOD -- Matthew McConaughey loves Italy.
       "It's one of the first places I've been in the last couple of years where nobody
       knows or cares who I am," explains the lanky Texan, who's in Rome filming the
       Second World War submarine movie U-571. His co-stars include Bill Paxton,
       Harvey Keitel and rocker Jon Bon Jovi. "All the Italian paparazzi are running after
       Harvey and Bon Jovi. It's so refreshing to be left alone."

       McConaughey inherited U-571 from Michael Douglas, who was attached to the
       project for almost a year.

       "I think Michael realized he was a bit too old for the character. Heck, at 29, I'm a
       bit too old to be playing the captain of a Second World War sub."

       McConaughey promises that U-571 won't be "one of those kick-ass summer
       action movies. It's going to be much more like a Das Boot." McConaughey is still
       developing a film on the life of daredevil Evel Knievel. "I'm determined to do the
       safer stunts, but I'll leave all his fantastic stuff up to professional stuntmen."

       Next up for McConaughey is EDTV, which opens March 26.

From the World Entertainment News Network:


       - IN MALTA From WENN news editor KEVIN LEWIN in London

       JON BON JOVI and HARVEY KEITEL are set to boost tourism in Malta thanks
       to the Mediterranean holiday island's offshore water tanks.

       Sea-faring movies such as RAISE THE TITANIC and pirate flop CUTTHROAT
       ISLAND have already made use of Malta's famous deep-water tanks - which
       allow movie makers to shoot from dry land with an open-sea backdrop.

       And now Bon Jovi, Keitel and MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY's latest movie
       project - war film U-571 is set to make use of a new underwater facility in

       A Maltese Embassy spokesman says, "The tanks have become big tourist spots
       because people love to see where and how the big films are shot. We hope U-571
       has the same impact."

       From the Reuters newswire:

       Jon Movie News

       FEATURE - WWII U-boat movie gets true-grit treatment
       09:13 p.m Feb 11, 1999 Eastern
       By Jude Webber

       ROME, Feb 12 (Reuters) - ``Saving Private Ryan'' did it for the Normandy
       landings. ``U-571,'' a new World War Two epic adventure, aims to do it for the
       battle of the Atlantic.

       The film tells of a bold bid by U.S. sailors to steal the German coding device,
       Enigma, from a stranded U-boat in 1942 and so to turn the tide of the war.

       ``The texture of the movie is completely authentic,'' director Jonathan Mostow told
       Reuters Television at Rome's legendary Cinecitta studios where filming started last

       ``The guys who were on the submarine were young, like our cast. All the details of
       the submarines, all the technical aspects, the commands issued, the type of things
       that happen are all based on reality. This is the way it was,'' he said.

       Mostow's movie, starring Hollywood tough guy Harvey Keitel, Matthew
       McConaughey and singer-turned-actor Jon Bon Jovi, is veteran Italian producer
       Dino De Laurentiiis' 600th film.

       Set as the Allies were reeling from British prime minister Winston Churchill's
       warning that they were about to lose the war in the sea, the film takes its inspiration
       from two operations in which German U-boats were captured by U.S. and British

       ``Like in 'Saving Private Ryan', the story is a story that weaves together a lot of
       incidents that are based in fact into a fictional story,'' Mostow said, stressing the
       qualities he wanted to bring to the fore were ``realism and authenticity.''


       ``I have to confess -- I feel moved,'' De Laurentiis told reporters in front of the
       replica of a German submarine in Cinecitta's Studio Five.

       ``The last news conference I did here in this studio was for the filming of 'War and
       Peace' in 1954, 45 years ago,'' said the diminutive 79-year-old. ``I'm happy I'm still

       The price of making movies has shot up in that time -- De Laurentiis said ``U-571''
       would cost $90 million, mostly because engineers had to construct replica U.S. and
       German submarines.

       ``We searched for World War Two submarines everywhere in the world but didn't
       find one so we had to construct one in the shipyards in Malta,'' he said. The film will
       shoot on location in the Mediterranean island later this year.

       Mostow said the crew had ``spared no expense and made every effort to ensure
       the texture is real.'' One stroke of luck was finding a mint-condition, original Enigma
       in Dortmund, Germany.

       One of the production designers, Goetz Weidner, worked on the
       German-submarine movie ``Das Boot'' and scriptwriter David Ayer is a former
       U.S. Navy sonar operator who served on a nuclear attack submarine during the
       Cold War.

       >From the outside, the sub sets where the interior shots will be filmed look like
       large grey tanks with green and red tubes feeding into them from above and
       wooden planks outside.

       But step inside and it's like going back in time.

       In the German U-Boat, a period gas mask is left on one of the narrow bunks. The
       smell of grease and paint hangs in the engine room and there is an old-fashioned,
       German-labelled tin of condensed milk in the galley kitchen.

       Designers have built a special machine onto which sections of the sets can be
       mounted to simulate underwater movement.

       ``The most difficult part of the film will be the sequences we film on water,''
       Mostow said. ``Water is not a friend to film, they don't mix. But we have absolutely
       the best people. We have the guy from 'Titanic' who's our marine coordinator, who
       did 'Waterworld', who did 'Amistad' -- so we're in great hands.''

       Although James Cameron's ``Titanic'' won 11 Oscars, it also turned into the most
       expensive film ever made -- costing $200 million to make and another $100 million