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Hell Below (1933) Poster

(1933)

Trivia

The print shown on TCM is the 1937 re-release, with some bits of 1933 dialogue obviously eliminated in order to meet the stricter standards of the now enforced 1934 production code.
The destroyer shown sinking in the movie is an actual decommissioned WWI destroyer, USS Moody. Additions were made to the superstructure to replace missing sections, and scuttling charges simulated the torpedo hit.
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The photographic crew devised a scheme to photograph targets through a periscope, with a series of lenses and prisms.
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Considerable variations in running times were reported in reviews from press previews. Daily Variety reported a time of 155 minutes on 17 March 1933 while the Motion Picture Herald reported 78 minutes on 15 April 1933. In its review, Variety listed 105 minutes on 2 May 1933, but the TCM print was 101 minutes long.
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LCDR Toler (Walter Huston) upon taking command says "Let's go below and look at your ship." Submariners refer to their vessel as a "boat" not a ship. In similar fashion, submariners while politely disdainful of their surface counterparts, joke that there are two types of naval vessels: submarines and targets.
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This film received its initial television broadcasts in Los Angeles Friday 31 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in Philadelphia 28 August 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); its earliest documented telecasts in New York City took place 1 June 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in San Francisco 7 November 1958 on KGO (Channel 7).
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The American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1940, erroneously tells us in their footnotes that Harry (Snub) Pollard was announced to direct this film, instead of director Harry A. Pollard, who had recently directed a number of other films at MGM.
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