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.
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 »
My dad used to tell us stories about the film every time it came on - he was in UDT Platoon 2 on TDY from Korea and got to spend part of his rotation for R&R doing the film with his team. They did all the underwater work, the scenes with the landing craft picking up the team from the water, and they set the satchel charges for the shot when they blow up the beach obstacles prior to the landing.
He also used to to tell stories about Dana Andrews and his drinking during the filming, but that is another story. It is a good movie and, from Dad's and the UDT's perspective, had some BS in it - but relatively accurate overall.
In Korea, his team was assigned to swim in from off-shore and go inland to blow up installations, bridges, etc. overrun by the North Koreans/Chinese. They had to swim their stuff in from miles offshore, hump the explosives inland (armed with a knife and a pistol - Dad said he used a .38 because he couldn't hit much of anything over 30 yards away with a .45), blow up the objective then make it back out. Of course, things were even MORE primitive for the combat swimmers of WWII!
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