6.7/10
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24 user 7 critic

Operation Pacific (1951)

Approved | | Drama, War | 27 January 1951 (USA)
During WWII, a submarine's second in command inherits the problem of torpedoes that don't explode. When on shore, he is eager to win back his ex-wife.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Lt. (j.g.) Bob Perry
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...
The Talker (as Bill Campbell)
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...
Cliff Clark ...
Commander, SUBPAC
Jack Pennick ...
The Chief
Virginia Brissac ...
Vincent Fotre ...
Soundman
Lewis Martin ...
Squad Commander
...
Junior
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Storyline

The submarine USS Thunderfish successfully completes a secret mission to rescue a group of orphans on a remote Pacific island. On the way back to Honolulu they encounter a Japanese aircraft carrier but the torpedoes they fire explode about halfway to the target, a recurring problem that has plagued the submarine fleet for some time. The Thunderfish's XO, Duke Gifford runs into his ex-wife and Navy nurse Mary Stuart at the hospital. There's still a spark between them but the boat is sent out on another mission before anything is resolved. When Gifford's good friend and captain, Pop Perry, is killed Gifford believe it's his fault. A inquiry clears him and after he and his men solve the problem of the misfiring torpedoes, they set out to sea. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sub Raiders Throw an Underwater Uppercut for Uncle Sam! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unternehmen Seeadler  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bootleg liquor mentioned during the jail scene that the characters call ooh-koo-lee-how is actually okolehao (o-koh-leh-how). It's a Hawaiian moonshine based on the root of ti plants and a sugar substance like sugar cane or pineapples. Okolehao means iron bottom or iron buttocks. Derived by the two iron pots used for cooking ti mash on whaling ships. The pots were usually placed side by side, resembling a part of the human anatomy. See more »

Goofs

When the dummy torpedo warhead is being hauled up by crane and dropped on a target to test the new firing mechanisms, 3 tests are performed. All 3 tests are the exact same piece of footage. You can tell by the way the warhead bounces when it hits its target, the same 2 seamen are to either side of it in the foreground in all 3 tests, and the left seaman jerks his right arm to the left in exactly the same manner in all 3 tests. See more »

Quotes

Cmdr. Steele: [whispering to keep babies from crying] I heard every word you said. I've been trying to keep my nose out of your business, but I can't stand by any longer and watch you make a fool of yourself.
Lt. Mary Stuart: Commander Steele...
Cmdr. Steele: Of course he comes to you when he wants to play. Where do you want him to go? Some other woman? You married him for what he is and then tried to make something else out of him. Well, you couldn't, and you never will. You began to feel sorry for yourself. How long would you love him if...
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Crazy Credits

In keeping with the submarine theme of the film: at the very start, we see a submarine periscope break the surface of the sea, then we see an officer looking into the view-port of the periscope, then we see the opening credits appear, as if being viewed through a periscope. See more »

Connections

Features Destination Tokyo (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Give Up the Ship
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the opening credits and often throughout the picture
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User Reviews

Good showcase for Wayne as war hero
14 April 2001 | by See all my reviews

It's hard to decide which genre provided John Wayne the greater opportunity to showcase his talents - the "Western" or the "War Movie". Clearly, he excelled at both (and had more than a few opportunities to demonstrate it). Personally, I've always been a greater fan of his westerns, but when this film appeared on one of my favorite cable channels this afternoon, I found myself willingly drawn in. Although a lot of its elements are standard WWII fare, Operation Pacific still demonstrates why the genre has proven so successful to Hollywood.

This one includes all the cliches - the tragedy of lives lost for a just cause (in this case, the war in the Pacific), the heroism of the men who gave up their lives for that cause (here it's a submarine crew based out of "Pearl"), and the women forced to wait patiently while the men they loved went into harm's way.

Although a lot of this seems outdated and stereotyped some 50 years later, the movies that were made during and immediately following WWII nevertheless reflect the ideals and values that drove an entire nation (and generation) to act and feel as it did. My own father, who was a Navy man during the war, was a big fan of John Wayne. I have to believe that Wayne personified some of the very same values my father had come to embrace as a youth and during his time in the military. For me, this adds some validity and perspective.

I know this is not considered to be Wayne's best war film (and admit to not being an enthusiastic student of the genre), but I'm confident that it's a good example of why these films were (and remain) so popular.


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