The Deep Six (1958)

PG  |   |  War, Drama  |  April 1958 (West Germany)
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The conflict between duty and conscience is explored in this WWII drama. Alan Ladd stars as Naval gunnery officer Alec Austin, a Quaker whose sincere pacifist sentiments do not sit well ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexander 'Alec' Austen
Dianne Foster ...
Susan Cahill
'Frenchy' Shapiro
Lt. Comm. Mike Edge
Commander Warren Meredith
Lt. Blanchard
Ski Krokowski
Barbara Eiler ...
Claire Innes
Ross Bagdasarian ...
Pvt. Aaron Slobodjian
Mrs. Austen
Walter Reed ...
Paul Clemson
Lieutenant Dooley
Richard Crane ...
Lieutenant j.g. Swanson
Collins (as Morris Miller)
Al Mendoza


The conflict between duty and conscience is explored in this WWII drama. Alan Ladd stars as Naval gunnery officer Alec Austin, a Quaker whose sincere pacifist sentiments do not sit well with his crew members. When he refuses to fire upon an unidentified plane, the word spreads that Austin cannot be relied upon in battle (never mind that the plane turns out to be one of ours). Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"FIND AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE--" (original print ad - all caps) See more »


War | Drama


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

April 1958 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Durchbruch bei Morgenrot  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


(archive footage)| (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The 'Los Angeles Examiner' reported on 7 July 1957 that US Navy Commander Eldon Edwards commanded the USS 'Stephen Potter' for use in this movie. See more »


At the end of Susan's first visit to Alec's place,one reason she says she must leave is because it is quite late. And it was indeed dark out when she arrived, but it is clearly daytime when she leaves. See more »


How Many Hearts Have You Broken (with Those Great Big Beautiful Eyes)
Music by Al Kaufman
Played at the Armenian Social Club
See more »

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User Reviews

Ladd on the downslope
18 May 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This is one of a series of films made by Alan Ladd on the downhill side of his career after he left Paramount. A lot of them were good routine action stuff that had made him so popular in the 1940s. But he was getting older and wouldn't transition into older character parts.

The Deep Six concerns a naval reserve officer who because of his Quaker upbringing freezes in a combat situation. The men on the ship lose confidence in him and his only friend is the CPO on the destroyer, played by William Bendix.

In fact Bendix gives the best performance in the film. Ladd and Bendix did several films together at Paramount in the 1940s and they had a deep friendship and an easy camaraderie that comes through in The Deep Six. Bendix was a cut above a lot of the other character actors at Paramount, whereas he may have been doing character roles at Paramount, from the mid 40s on he was a popular radio and then TV star with his Life of Riley series.

The rest of the cast fills their roles out nicely. James Whitmore, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Dianne Foster, and especially Keenan Wynn as the ship's hardnosed executive officer who is Ladd's chief tormentor. Look for Joey Bishop in a small role as one of the sailors.

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