The new commander of a Navy Underwater Demolition Team--nicknamed "Frogmen"--must earn the respect of the men in his unit, who are still grieving over the death of their former commander and resentful of the new one.
In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the US, a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries and scouts.
World War II drama in which Richard Widmark, as Lt. Cmdr. John Lawrence, replaces the popular commanding officer of a group of underwater demolition divers. a crew of fiercely independent studs who hang their proverbial hats in Davy Jones' locker. The martinet Lawrence tightens the discipline of the unit, making him mucho unpopular with the macho frogmen. Finally, Lawrence proves himself as more than just a stuffed white shirt, showing he has the cojones to keep up with their peculiar brand of the jones, becoming one of the team by fearlessly defusing a live torpedo at the risk of his own life. Written by
Jon C. Hopwood
Opening credits: This is a true story based on incidents which occurred in the latter part of World War II. It deals with one of the most hazardous and unique branches of the Armed Forces---- the Underwater Demolition Teams. See more »
The triple-tank aqualungs used by the UDT frogmen during the film's climactic mission are incorrect for the WWII period. Although 'Jacques Cousteau', an officer in the French Navy, was working with experimental aqualungs near the end of WWII, U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams did not have them during the war. Re-breathers, which had filters to trap carbon dioxide, were in use during this time period. Modern SEAL type units still use re-breathers because they produce no bubbles which can attract unwanted attention like they did in the movie. The Japanese divers in the movie had bubble-less re-breathers. See more »
Stock plot benefits from fine technical detail-- an interesting historical document
The story in this one is nothing new-- the captain of an underwater demolition team (UDT) during WWII, who is a replacement to the previous beloved captain, must gain the respect of his men. The dialogue is at times a little hokey, and the performances are solid, but nothing stellar.
However, the project was obviously a heart-felt effort to capture, in detail, life aboard a WWII vessel, the procedures, the politics, and the rather fascinating methods and exploits of early UDTs, and that's what makes the film stand out. What you get is (I'm guessing) a pretty accurate representation of naval special forces in WWII, and it is quite interesting to watch how a team would covertly get in and out of shallow water near a beach to plant explosives and do recon, while being heavily shelled, often with nothing on them besides swim trunks, flippers and goggles! There are also a few very good, tense scenes. (the scene where their explosives expert has to disarm a torpedo with a tongue depressor is particularly nice-- expresses all the emotion and tension of such a moment without forcing it with a dramatic score).
Recommended to anyone interested in war history, or who enjoys a nicely crafted war movie.
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