Aboard the U.S. submarine S13 in the China seas, Chief Torpedoman Burke goes about his duties. In actuality, he is Quartermaine, the infamous former commander of the British ship Royal Scot, which was sunk by Germans with a Field Marshal aboard. Quartermaine had told his sweetheart that the Field Marshal would be aboard, not knowing that she was an informant for the enemy. When the S13 sinks, Burke takes charge when the commander, Ensign Price, is unable to command. Burke must keep his mates alive long enough on the bottom of the sea for rescuers to arrive. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A sailors-trapped-in-a-sinking-submarine drama: Will they drown? Will the oxygen run out? Will they suffocate from chlorine gas? Will divers get to them in time? And what about that religious fanatic on board? John Ford skillfully ratchets up the tension, but some shaky special effects, unlikely characterizations and broad acting give an uneven effect, compared to later and slicker entertainments like RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP. However, this production has genuine historical value because it shows the difficulties in changing over from silent to sound,: sometimes it's a silent film with sound effects and [tinny] music. Other scenes have dialogue with one character actually speaking while another answers in silent intertitles. Most oddly, sometimes a character starts speaking, then an intertitle shows noticeably different lines, then the character finishes speaking. Not many movies have such a variety of expression.
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