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A classic made-during-the-war film
lkrieg24 March 2001
This film is a bona-fide classic. Made during the height of the war, and before it was a foregone conclusion that the Allies would prevail, it shows a surprisingly detailed (if romanticized) portrayal of life in the "Silent Service". The characters are finely drawn with a craftsman director's skill, and are the archetypes for subsequent films, not derivative cartoons.

This, like all films made during the war, must be taken in context as a form of propaganda. But it is still a fine effort that produces lasting impressions. Remember that a large number of viewers in theaters had family or friends serving in the military, and must have been astonished to see how their loved ones were fighting the war. While many technical details were abstracted for obvious security reasons, there are sufficiently accurate scenarios to satisfy. The appendectomy performed by a pharmacists mate with no surgical training was a real incident adapted for the screen.

All in all, a memorable epic which, like Casablanca, tells a story from a sense of urgency we cannot recreate today. Invaluable, and deserving of a good DVD transfer.
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terrific movie, led by terrific leading man
ss59211 August 2005
This movie is a great example of a thriller, not looking to be a non-fiction account of a WWII sub, just a great story with a group of true professionals. Cary Grant was so compelling in this role that Tony Curtis said he based his famous part in Some Like It Hot on Cary Grant's performance in this picture, and that Curtis always wanted to do a movie with Grant on a submarine from that moment forward---and of course got his wish with Operation Petticoat. A previous reviewer slammed this movie for its anti-Japanese propaganda. Perhaps a slight bit of history would help. Statisitically, an American POW was FOUR times likely to die as a prisoner of the Japanese than of the Germans. The end of the war saved the lives of thousands of Americans because their treatment in Japanese camps was so horrifying. Six foot tall sailors weighing 100 pounds was not an uncommon site. The same Japanese military also starved its own people in places like Okinawa to feed itself, and I would hope that all people would now be familiar with the 'rape of Nanking,' so what was called propaganda was more just the way of the world at the time. This is one reason that the people who fought for America during World War II are revered and treasured so much.
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I fought World War Two at the Rodeo Theater
kclark313 July 2002
I saw it at age seven, and the impact on me was no different than on adults. We struck back at the sneaking enemy. We were on the road to revenge for Pearl Harbor. Aside from all that, here is what I think today. Cary Grant was the perfect hero for us. He was calm and determined. He was real. Then there was John Garfield who spoke for all of us when he branded Japan as a police state. Dane Clark was very good, if somewhat emotional And Charlie of the Angels, John Forsythe, made his debut and he too was good. There was some propaganda, but really not that much. The movie demonstrated the perfect resolve of the USA to destroy the "Japs" as we called them in wartime. It is still a good flick.
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A film that still floats well!
big_bellied_geezer21 August 2002
Here is a great small war movie propelled with the talents of star Cary Grant and a fine supporting cast to boot. Not a major classic by any means but a delight that stands up to repeat viewing. This film was made in the general spirit of great 40's films with it's action/comedy pacing, there's hardly a dull moment. The film feels true to the spirit of the times it was made as well, no false notes struck here. As a footnote, I've noticed a few earlier reviewers noted the presence of "The Skipper from Gilligans Island Alan Hale"...sorry, that's not so. That man is Alan Hale Sr, a very talented actor in his own right who's the FATHER of Alan Hale Jr of Gilligan's Island fame(It's a bit confusing because they both were known as "Alan Hale" and they both looked very similar.) Pick it up for cheap and add it to your collection, you'll be glad you did!
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Good Flick
bobbychuck155 August 2005
I enjoyed the film. It was full of Amaerican propaganda, but it was produced when WWII was still being fought. I saw a in previous review, where a reader said that the movie stared Alan Hale, before he went on to Captain his own boat in Gilligan's Island. It's actually Alan Hale Sr. who's in Destination Tokyo, and Alan Hale Jr., who's in Gilligan's Island. Cary Grant does a good job as Captain, and I enjoyed the drama of Torpedoman Adams getting hit with an appendicitis while the sub is in Tokyo Bay. It also showed that people die during a war. The sub took quite a beating from depth-charges as well as discussing the fear that some men would have had. It was also interesting how they incorporated the Col. James Dolittle raid into the movie. It seemed a little more realistic than in Pearl Harbor. Overall, a pretty good movie.
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Crackerjack War Movie
Robert J. Maxwell18 February 2003
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS. An ur-submarine war movie from Warner Brothers. It has just about everything you'd expect from the polished craft shop that WB was in the 1930s and 1940s. That is to say, every cliche in the book, very nicely buffed, and some of which had not yet become cliches.

The cast is workmanlike and no one disappoints. Cary Grant is a bit hard to swallow as some dude from Oklahoma City, but okay. Let's see. Among the rest of the crew, we have John Garfield as a wolf and a wise guy from New York. Then there is "Dakota," presumably from Dakota. The green new kid who looks too tall to be in such a cramped space, who endures some friendly hazing from the more experienced, and who eventually wins his spurs. There is the atheist who undergoes a religious conversion under stress. There is the avuncular older man who takes other crew members under his wing. An underappreciated comedic cook. The ubiquitous James Ridgely as an aerology officer. And, let me think, I believe that's all, except -- where the hell is the braggart from Texas??

Incidents. Very neatly drawn. The first suspenseful dive under threat of air attack. The taking aboard of a passenger in a fogbound Aleutian nook. The attack by (and destruction of) two Zero float planes. The unexploded bomb lodged in the superstructure that must be manually disarmed. The knife in the back by the treacherous Japanese pilot. The funeral at sea. The sneaking through the antisubmarine nets. The appendectomy performed by amateurs under primitive conditions on the bottom of Tokyo Bay. (Based on a true incident.) The landing party on the Japanese coast gathering information vital to the Doolittle raid, hunted by Japanese patrols. The B-25s taking off from the Hornet and Enterprise with the departing gumchewing crewmen waving cheerfully from the airplane windows. (No mention of their premature launch or the loss of every airplane.) The torpedoing of a Japanese carrier, accompanied by dialogue like, "Take her UNDER the carrier. We'll finish her with the sting from our tail!" The depth charge attack with the shattered chronometer and the water spurting from the burst pipes. The demolition of the pursuing destroyer with a "down the throat" shot. The triumphant return home with the wife and kiddies waiting on the dock at Mare Island.

It's fascinating to watch. The imagery itself, crude by today's standards, is gripping. And there is the colorful change of uniforms from dress whites on Sutter Street to dark sweaters, head covers, and watch caps in the landing party. Okay, the sub does look like a toy in some shots. And the Navy didn't want to release enough information about sonar equipment to make the scope look like anything other than an oscilloscope later sold to the producers of "Plan Nine From Outer Space." And maybe it's hard to believe that Cary Grant would daydream about his kid's first haircut while the submarine is about to implode on him. And, sure, some of the dialogue is plain silly. And nobody above the age of twelve would take a doll aboard the boat to play with. (Well, maybe they would at that.) And some slight problems with continuity: when the carrier is torpedoed from the bow, John Garfield is seen jumping gleefully and saying, "It was mine! It was mine!" And then, when the carrier gets a second dose from the stern tubes, we see Garfield again, guiding the fish into the tube.

None of that matters much, though. This is not a thought piece. It's craftsmanship, not art. You have to go with the flow on this one. If you want to see Garfield in a more realistic WB war effort, catch "Pride of the Marines" if you can. You won't forget that one. Well, you won't forget this one either, but for very different reasons.
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A great film
mermatt8 June 2001
With all the stir over Bruckheimer and Bay's silly PEARL HARBOR action ride, you might want to see some more realistic and gritty war films. Among them should be the historical retelling of Pearl Harbor in TORA! TORA! TORA! and the Doolittle raid in THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO.

The Doolittle raid would not have been possible without the scouting job of the submarine that snuck into Tokyo bay to guide the plains in over the city. This film gives a rousing account of that mission as well as a beautifully done propaganda job to keep the troops and folks back home energized during the war.

The film still stands up well as a genuine action adventure. Definitely a movie for those who enjoy great film.
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excellent "sub" picture that stands out from the norm
MartinHafer14 February 2006
There were a lot of war pictures made during WWII, though this one stands out as being far better than average. Part of this is the excellent acting and direction and part of this must be the result in writing an unusual plot for a submarine movie. Instead of just blowing up Japanese ships, the crew is ordered to sneak into Tokyo Bay. The tension, as a result of this slow covert mission, is incredible. About the only negative I can think of for the film is that there are more shots of toy subs AND the sides of the back lot pool in it than usual. Most sub films, if you look carefully, were filmed in these pools and the sides of the pool can occasionally be seen. However, the number of times you see the shot is fake is higher than normal, so it reduces my rating slightly.

FYI--try watching OPERATION PACIFIC (1951) after you see this film. In this sub movie, the crew trades movies with another sub crew so they can be entertained on their long missions. They trade a cowboy flick and are given DESTINATION TOKYO. Later, one of the crew members remarks that he liked the film, but it was REALLY SHORT ON REALISM!! That's funny, huh?!
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Fantastic Classic 1943 Film
whpratt17 July 2008
Have not seen this film in years and it was a great experience seeing this film and the great veteran actors who made this into a great WWII story. Cary Grant, (Capt. Cassidy) plays the commander who manages to take his submarine right into the backyard of the Japanese Nation. John Garfield, (Wolf) plays a great role who charms the crew with his tales of all the women he met along with a great deal of exaggeration. Alan Hale, (Cookie Wainwright) was a cook on the submarine and was able to give a great deal of comedy to his role as the chef. This film will keep you on the edge of your seat when the sub comes under fire from the Japanese Destroyer's while one of the crew is having surgery by a man who knows nothing about appendicitis. Dane Clark, (Tin Can) gave a great supporting role in this film and this film started a great career for Dane in Hollywood. Great film, don't miss it, you can see this film over and over.
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Excellent War Drama
DKosty12311 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is Cary Grant's only war effort. In it he proves he can do drama very well. It must have been a change of pace for movie goers because Grant had not done much drama as he was always being cast in light comedies.

I have watched the DVD version of this in the Cary Grant signature collection & the copy is very well made, like they found a pristine studio master to make it from. The supporting cast in this film is very solid. Unlike many war films, it takes time to develop dramatic story lines, & gives the actors more chance to act than many action films of the war era.

The films starts in San Francisco & has two sequences with the Golden Gate Bridge. While this is an action film where you have to wait for the action, it is worth the wait. As the mission is started on Christmas Eve, there is a little early holiday cheer thrown in for good measure.

While the technology in this is more primitive than later silent service films, the results are much more satisfying than some of the films made later. Definitely worth a look especially if you are a fan of Grant. Barrymore & Alan Hale Sr. are very well used in the film as well.

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Doolittle's bomb group didn't fly in formation from the USS Hornet
skipw17114 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
First, to all who feel the film was wrong to be used as a propaganda tool portraying the Japanese as villains, terrorists or worse, while the USA was (is) without sin, please use ALL of history as a benchmark. At the time the film was made the Japanese military had committed far more atrocities than the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. They had invaded China unprovoked, indiscriminately bombed population centers of major Chinese cities and raped, tortured and killed a large population of Nanking, the Chinese capital city. This compares with the German march through Eastern Europe at the same time, combined with the Holocaust as well as the unprovoked Italian conquest of Abysinnia (Ethiopia) in the 1930's.

When Jimmy Doolittle's bomb group left the Hornet, they didn't fly in formation, nor arrive over Tokyo in formation. They were forced to leave the Hornet approximately 200 miles sooner than originally planned, due to being detected by a Japanese picket patrol, which the task force sunk. Once Doolittle's plane was airborne it headed for Japan with the remainder of the group following behind at approximately 1 to 2 minute intervals. The film shows the entire bomb group in formation after leaving the Hornet and arriving the same way over Tokyo. In spite of this, and being a bit corny by today's standards, a wonderful tribute to many, many men and woman who made incredible sacrifices ensuring victory in WWII.
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Right On Target
Mpalin7 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
First I'd like to say that I could easily tell that Destination Tokyo was produced during the war rather than after due to its over the top patriotism. Every possible token character is on this submarine; the girl crazy stud, the dumb but lovable cook, the kid who becomes a man, the skipper who is all caring and wise, the guy who has a grudge to bear against the enemy, etc. etc. etc. And of course, they all love their country and miss their wives.

The one particular scene which I found made this movie rise above the rest was the scene in which Cary Grant was explaining why the downed Japanese Airman killed their favorite torpedoman with a knife. Typically in WWII era movies they would simply have said, "Them Japs are animals. Not civilized or even human." (Loosely quoted from John Wayne in "The Fighting Seebeas"), but not Cary Grant. Instead he explained how the Japanese were raised with the Bushido spirit. He didn't demonize them and even said they were not only fighting for their children but for the freedom of the Japanese children as well. I thought this was a bold statement in a time of war, especially WWII.

I really enjoyed this movie not only for the action but also because of the human story. The characters grow and change by the end of the film but also retain their strong sense of national pride. This movie worked really well as propaganda and portrayed the navy in a good light.
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Loved this movie, in spite of its goofs
Captain Ahab23 March 2000
Great propaganda film for WWII. However, can anyone really believe that Cary Grant is from Oklahoma City? Since the Doolittle raid was in April of 1942, the movie has to begin on Christmas day 1941 - a little less that three weeks after the US got into the war. But the Captain says that this is their 5th tour. Cookie says that the previous Christmas (1940) they spent getting depth charged. Unless they decided to get into the war before it was declared. By the way, the actor who played Cookie is not the Alan Hale who went on to become the Skipper in Gilligan's Island. Alan Hale died in 1950. The Skipper was his son, Alan Hale, jr.
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Obviously propaganda, a stirring formula making film
Jibber11 March 2000
Made during the second world war this film obviously shows its propaganda heritage. It does contain all the 'token' characters of a NAVY film including the hothead, rookie, bragger, comedy cook but I believe thats probably because it was the first film with these elements.

The underwater scenes are a little 'Thunderbirds' but they do convey the tension properly and Grant flows with Captain 'esk speeches including the 'Roller Skates' one which is a little bizarre.

Over all a top notch underwater fiesta.
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Destination Tokyo-When War Films Meant Something ***
edwagreen5 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This engrossing film takes place on a submarine bound for Japan to do a lot of damage. It primarily deals with the personnel on board. Led by Cary Grant, a tough, but real family man, this film goes on to explain various situations, including an emergency appendectomy done by a pharmacist on board the ship.

John Garfield, as Wolfie, steals the show. He always talks of his adventures with women. In one scene, he talks about this with the music of Cole Porter's "Night and Day" as a backdrop. Ironically, Cary Grant is not in the scene. Two years later Cary was in a major biographical-picture with that title about the great Porter.

Garfield and his guys do their work on land quickly to deliver valuable information that will aid in the bombing. That bombing as well as the bombing that the sub is subjected to is very realistically done.

Grant talks of something that we can relate to today. He speaks of young Japanese children being taught at a young age to hate. It's so many years later and we hear the same thing about young Palestinians. War comes from hatred.
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Divers Find wreck USS Wahoo, Most Famous WW2 US Sub
Rumjal29 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
News accounts of the discovery of the wreck of the USS Wahoo on the floor of the Sea of Japan in November 2006 included an interview with the deceased skipper's younger brother (now 79) and with Capt. Morton's son. Because USN Capt. Dudley W. "Mush" Morton was so successful at sinking Japanese shipping (Capt. Morton sank 19 Japanese ships in his first year and a half--more than any other US sub at the time), the US Navy decided to break its rules on secrecy and allow news accounts of the USS Wahoo's patrols. As a result of intense public interest in these stories, a decision was made to make a movie fictionalizing the Wahoo and its successes. That movie is "Destination Tokyo" and it is said that Cary Grant met Capt. Morton and used him as the basis for his character in this film.

To call this film "propaganda" as other reviewers have, is to belittle the USS Wahoo and the fantastic successes of its captain and crew who died in action after this film was released, and can only be excused on the basis of ignorance of the history behind the making of "Destination Tokyo."

This film is important then both because it is based upon the success of a real US sub in action and because it was one of the early submarine films of the second World War.

I regret that the news account: "A WWII Submarine Finally Comes Home Divers Find the USS Wahoo, the Most Storied of U.S. Subs By NED POTTER" which contains the interview and appeared at is no longer on the web so the above URL will not work.
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Solid but also better seen from its original context
secondtake11 April 2014
Destination Tokyo (1943)

While not officially a propaganda film (it's not endorsed or paid for by the government), this is one of many films the studios put out to basically join the effort, putting their shoulder to the wheel. It's not a great film for our times mostly because it's overflowing with lessons, with the propagandistic style of persuading us the Japanese were bad and the U.S. soldiers, with all their wonderful flaws, were out to save us.

I say this first because it's a lot of baggage to wade through. The other side to this coin is an adventure war movie where Cary Grant is in charge of a submarine out for a special mission. It's well paced, generally well acted (the cast is filled with lesser actors along with the main three). John Garfield is an average sailor with a big role, and big ego that grates on some of the other sailors. But he tells ribald stories that they can't help listening to. The one older actor is the cook played by character actor Alan Hale, who is appropriately comic.

So, what you get is some very talented people explaining the current events, including lots of anti-Japanese chat. The interior shots in the sub are fairly realistic (though from what I read, an actual sub is far more cramped). The outside stuff varies a lot in quality. The shots of the sub underwater are painfully crude models in water tanks. Some of the landscapes are also invented in the studio and you can tell.

What carries it at all is a sense of danger and necessity. These men have to succeed to defeat evil. Remember (of course) the audience at the time had a very black and white view of the war, and of the enemies. They were anxious for confirmation that we were capable of such things, and that the enemy (Japan, but also Germany is discussed) is fundamentally wrong—they lack freedoms, the woman are simply alive to bear children, no free press, etc.

Why did I watch it? Cary Grant. I'm curious about his range, and his being corralled into this kind of vehicle. I'm guessing he was partly interested in helping the war effort, and partly under contract. And you know what? He's great. He plays it straight, and he's smart, confident, warm, complex. If you like Grant, you might like this movie just for that reason.

Another thing to say overall: it gets better as it goes. The set up in the first half is a bit obvious and sometimes stiff or slow. But there is a medical emergency which is pretty great, and then there is the general operation in Tokyo Harbor. It's all dramatic and well done by first-time director Delmar Daves. Yeah, it's got a lot of dated script to wade through, but the best of it is great war stuff best remembered for its context.
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One of the Best of the World War Two Films
Kirasjeri10 September 1999
For those who hate America and think the Second World War was "useless", this will be a corny movie and propaganda. For the rest of us it is a classic of the very real heroism America's "silent service", the submarines, went through for years on and under the Pacific fighting Japanese militarism. In this case the submarine has to get into Tokyo Bay in April of 1942 to assist Doolittle's raiders (see "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo"). The cast is marvelous, and don't think for a moment a crew didn't feature characters from all parts of America, from Brooklyn to Texas. The warmth and togetherness of the crew was a very true depiction of life inside a WW II submarine. The special effects were certainly standard an acceptable by 1940's standards. Cary Grant is especially effective and touching as the captain. Recommended highly.
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A movie to se.
comsec2 November 1999
Of course this movie is in baseline point of view a propaganda movie for the on going war, but i still think that it's a nice piece of movie. And it contains some realy nice clips.

The underwather shots was taken in a pool(probley plastic) but that doesen't meen that it a bad movie, you have to consider that in 43 they diden't have so well equited underwather cameras, so the choice of doing it in a regular watherpool was a choice that was correct for that time. Today we would probley not even think about doing a shot like that. Times changes.

The movie is not so much realistic when it comes to the conditions on the sub, its more of an "holly"-movie(evryone likes it, and the songs are happy). What i know they diden't play much songs over the speaker system on the subs(correct me if i am wrong), I whant to recommend the movie to evryone that whants to se an 1940 USA-Movie.

Friendly Regards

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Effective, WWII-era submarine film
robb_77228 July 2006
This is a rare World War II film, actually made during the war itself, that never descends into simple propaganda. Director Delmer Daves and the three screenwriters must have been knowledgeable of that era's wartime operations and proceeds as the film seems highly realistic and never stretches credibility for a minute. The gritty film is tightly plotted, and the pace never flags despite the lengthy runtime. The entire cast is exceptional, and the film even manages to avoid much of the ugly racism that often mars many other war-themed movies form this era. A somewhat unusual film for lead actor Cary Grant, cast very much against type, and the commanding actor pulls it off with great aplomb.
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A Pretty Good Submarine Movie
Uriah4320 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Even though it's Christmas Eve a submarine called the U.S.S. Copperfin sails out of San Francisco in 1943 on a top secret assignment which cannot be revealed until another 24 hours at sea. The commander of this vessel is a man named "Captain Cassidy" (Cary Grant) and like many of the men who have served with him has 5 successful patrols to his credit. However, this specific assignment is far more dangerous than anything any of them could have ever realized and it will also have an immediate impact on the war against Japan. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that as far as "submarine movies" are concerned this film certainly ranks as one of the better ones out there. Be advised though that it was made during World War 2 and because of that there are some elements of propaganda here and there. Likewise, even though the plot is based on a true event it is also quite evident that there are some typical Hollywood exaggerations here as well. But even so this is still a pretty good film and I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
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Cary can skipper my sub any day
RNMorton19 December 2008
Grant is sent to Tokyo Bay in early days of Pacific WWII to assist in Doolittle's B-25 raid. Along the way we experience the traditional nervous wartime banter, Hutton getting emergency surgery from a pharmacist's mate, Garfield as the charismatic ladies man, and the senior Alan Hale (father of the Skipper but otherwise pretty indistinguishable from him) serving up his best grub. If it's a wartime navy film you have to bet on either the senior Hale or the junior Hale showing up somewhere on the boat. There's not a lot of heavy-duty battle action until the last half hour or so, but then we get enough torpedoes and depth-charges for any sub junkie. Grant is the best Hollywood sub captain ever, I think anyone would be proud to serve under him. There's something special about the movies made when the outcome of the war was still in doubt. Top notch flick, with the sort of innocence and faith which would not be attempted today. Our loss. 10 out of ten.
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Taking a leisurely cruise across the wide Pacific; or, sailing from San Francisco to Tokyo, by way of The Aleutians.
John T. Ryan5 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
By the time of its release of Warner Brothers DESTINATION TOKYO (1943), it was coming across crystal clear; The Allies were in for a long, drawn out war. False notion of a an early end to War, simply because the United States was now involved were certainly cast into the figurative "circular file" of life.

The underlying circumstances, although basically the same is in the First World War, were complicated by both the political and geographical situations of World War II. The combatants in the First Conflict were made up of nations that were ruled by a group of cousins, better known as the Royal Families of Europe. The Theatre of War were limited to The Western Front in Europe (France, 1914-1918), the Italian & Austro-Hungarian Front (1914-18) and the Middle East Consisting of the fighting against the Ottoman Turkish Empire by the British and the Arab Militias in Arabia and Palestine (the Holy Land, Israel). By contrast, World War II had military engagement of a truly Global Magnitude. Hence we had major Fronts in Europe (Both Eastern and Western), North Africa, the whole Atlantic via combat from the U Boats, Iran, the China-Burma-India Theatre of War, Southeast Asia in Viet-Nam and Burma, Indonesia and the Australian-New Zealand Theatre, The Island Warfare in Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian Island Groups; as well as the whole Pacific.

With such an overwhelmingly immense a job to be done (literally do or die, no ifs ands or butts about it), the full and whole hearted support was needed from the entire Nation; and it's obvious that everyone did. From the Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen on the fronts to the industrial sector with its hard working corps of men and women; all pitched in and in going the extra mile, won the war.

Hollywood sure did its part, as no one can deny. And with that, we are brought down to our subject at hand today.

OUR STORY………In DESTINATION TOKYO we have a feature film which is at once a fine example of top Movie Entertainment, a concise statement of U.S. Policy, a stirring statement of the underlying, unique reasons of our being involved in European and Asian conflicts and an inspirational fictional version of events that have transpired previously. In short, it was at least in part, a propaganda piece par excellence.

The ship has a super secret mission, which proves difficult to the veteran submarine crew. Being experienced fighting men, they fail to understand. Passing up the opportunity to sink some of the enemy Japanese shipping is an unthinkable deed to the crew, both officers and enlisted men. The thought surely though silently, must pass through their collective minds; could this Captain Cassidy (Cary Grant) be afraid of combat? Is he filled with cowardice or could it be those unknown orders that are behind his reserved behaviour.

Finally the big moment comes and the cat gets let out of the bag. The crew finds out the news that they are on a special mission of reconnaissance; rather than combat. They were to get in close to the Japanese coastline, within Tokyo's port city of Yokohama harbor itself. From there, a landing party of two would go in to the beach property in order to check local topography of the land, weather conditions, tides, local conditions of all types.

This seemingly insignificant mission, it turns out, is a necessary step in carrying out the later air raids over the Japanese home islands. This is the very same raid that we have come to know as "the Doolittle Raid." Once the mission has been completed with and the landing party has successfully returned to the sub, they begin their tedious, nerve wracking business of sneaking back out of the chain-link fence protected Tokyo harbor, the Captain proclaims; "The Job's done! Nothing says we can't fight now!" (Or some such) They did and must have sunk half of the Imperial Fleet, in a sort of reverse Pearl Harbor. We can just see the moviegoers rising to their feet and cheering at this scene.

The ship returns safely to San Francisco, from which it had come. Cary's wife (Miss Faye Emerson) and family stand waiting on the pier! THE END.

The journey across the wide Pacific gave the crew to interact and tell us all about themselves. As was the usual practice, Warner Brothers made sure that the crew was a mixture, sort of like a pound assortment of chocolates. Hence, we have guys from all over: New York, the South, Texas, the Dakotas and California. The excellent work of cast members like John Garfield, Alan Hale, Dane Clark, John Forsythe and Bill Kennedy sparkled.

WE must concentrate on Tom Tully's work as the career man Petty Officer, Joe. Through his dialogues with others, as contrasted with the way he eventually pays the ultimate price, makes for an excellent back-drop for expressing what was the difference between our way of life in the U.S.A. and the life of those brought up under a Militarist Totalitarian System. At times, the speeches delivered by the Captain and others may seem to be have been a little much in the post World War II era.

But once that one considers the events of 9/11, well………………..
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Run out and join the Navy today, Uncle Sam Wants You
ffrudder26 January 2000
This film was made in the middle of World War Two and was signed-off on by the Navy Department. Therefore, it is a very propaganda-oriented film. Despite this, I still think it is one of the better WWII Submarine films. Cary Grant is always entertaining, and you might notice Alan Hale as the cook, before he went on to skipper his own boat in "Gilligan's Island." If you like submarine films or World War II films this one is worth seeing.
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Hard To Take Seriously When You See Toy Boats
ccthemovieman-129 August 2007
The major problem with watching these 1940s films about World War II is how slow they now appear. When released, most films were of similar ilk and moviegoers were used to hearing a lot of talk, having characters developed, suspense built up and not a whole of action. That's fine, but it doesn't work today and particularly for a war movie. Hey, guys - the main audience for action films - want to see some of just action: action.

Instead, what you get here , at least in the first hour which is all I remember nodding off, is talk, talk and more talk. We get characterizations of every major figure on the ship.

Combine that with horrible special-effects (this WAS made almost 65 years ago) and you have a bad movie. Looking at an obvious scale model of submarine takes away from the story. I mean when you are laughing and recalling the days of playing with toys like this in your bathtub as a kid, it's hard to take the movie seriously.

I don't mean to sound this harsh but after viewing "Master and Commander: Far Side Of The World" and "Das Boat" and a several other films involving ships and submarines, It's tough to go back and watch something that looks this unrealistic, despite a good cast and decent script.

I will defend this film - and others of the period, however, for its patriotism. What a sad day it is when an American film made during WWII is now derisively insultingly called "propaganda" by a number of critics here. What do they want, a pro-Japanese or a pro- Nazi movie? Probably.
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