6.2/10
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Hell and High Water (1954)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 6 February 1954 (USA)
During the Cold War, a scientific team refits a Japanese submarine and hires an ex-Navy officer to find a secret Chinese atomic island base and prevent a Communist plot against America that could trigger WW3.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Jesse L. Lasky Jr.), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Capt. Adam Jones
...
Denise Montel
...
Prof. Montel
...
'Ski' Brodski
...
Chief Holter
...
Tugboat Walker
Stephen Bekassy ...
Neuman
...
Hakada Fujimori
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Storyline

A privately-financed scientist and his colleagues hire an ex-Navy officer to conduct an Alaskan submarine expedition in order to prevent a Red Chinese anti-American plot that may lead to World War III. Mixes deviously plotted schoolboy fiction with submarine spectacle and cold war heroics. Written by Lew Amack (LAlawMedMBA@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Atom Bomb of Super-Charged Excitement! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

6 February 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inferno  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,870,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the making of Steven Spielberg's 1941, the Director asked Samuel Fuller to come out to the parking lot to see his car. When they got there Spielberg opened the boot, telling Fuller that he always carried a print of his favourite movie with him; the print he carried was Hell And High Water. See more »

Goofs

A WWII era Japanese submarine, I-203, did indeed exist. But I-203 was sunk by the U.S. Navy in 1946. This story takes place in 1953. See more »

Quotes

Hakada Fujimori: I am sorry to tell you, your friend is dead.
Captain Adam Jones: [stunned] Dead...?
Hakada Fujimori: His plane crashed returning from an Arctic expedition. No-one survived.
Captain Adam Jones: [sadly] He never *did* like to fly!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Mam'selle
(uncredited)
Music by Edmund Goulding
[used in the score as a theme for Denise]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
High Water Widmark -- Excellent Cold War Drama
26 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

HELL AND HIGH WATER was produced in 1954 when 20th Century-Fox was showing off their spectacular new CinemaScope process and Sterephonic Sound --- and thereby dominating the box office like they wouldn't do again until the Star Wars movies. They made the most of previously seldom filmed Paris, London, Rome, Tokyo location shots -- combined with excellent storytelling. With this movie they hired Samuel Fuller to direct it, one of the few directors with name recognition.

A group of ex-Navy men are hired as mercenaries to take a submarine to an island in the Arctic to allow two scientists to investigate the suspected existence of nuclear weapons there.......

When I saw this film in 1954, it was as movies were made to be shown. It played the 3,450 seat Loew's Capitol Theater which had an atmosphere fit for royalty; plus the widest screen, best stereo, best projection we ever had in Washington, DC. Loew's Capitol --- which lives on only in memory --- makes our present Kennedy Center look like a tar paper shack in comparison. Hell and High Water just came out in DVD but the CinemaScope effect is muted in that format; still we're used to that now.

I rated this film a 10. In 1954 I might have said 8. But that was then and this is now. A few days ago a movie came out called SUPERBAD -- an instantly disposable piece of tripe, but thanks to 2007's low standards SUPERBAD ranks #81 in the all-time great movie list -- the CASABLANCA of the Bevis and Butthead Era. HELL AND HIGH WATER is a much better movie than any 2007 film, so by today's if-it-has-a-pulse-give-it-an-A standards it's gotta rate a 10.


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