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The commander of an American submarine during World War II sets out to destroy the Japanese Aircraft carrier which launched the attack on Pearl Harbour. His wife and child have been captured by the Japanese and they are using them and other prisoners of war as human shields for the carrier. Written by
Daniel Bruce <email@example.com>
This movie represents one of a select group of a few World War II submarine movies which have won the one single Academy Award in a technical category, that's just only the one Oscar in either special effects or sound editing. These movies include Crash Dive (1943); The Enemy Below (1957); Torpedo Run (1958) and U-571 (2000). The non-WW II sub-movie, The Hunt for Red October (1990) also won just the one Oscar as did the WW 2 part sub-movie 49th Parallel (1941), but for Best Original Story. See more »
Towards the end of the film, when the Grayfish is lying on the bottom, the captain urges the radioman to keep trying to contact the Bluefin (the other submarine) on the radio, and the radioman replies, "I'm broadcasting, sir," while he works his Morse Code key. The Bluefin eventually answers. Conventional radio signals will not penetrate underwater.
However, the QC sonar onboard WWII submarines was set up so that it could be used in conjunction with a straight key for Morse Code sonar pulses for emergency communication, so the scene depicted is plausible. See more »
[standing waist-deep in freezing Aleutian water]
Have you ever felt anything this cold?
Yes... Brighton in August.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: SOUTH PACIFIC 1942 See more »
This is not such a successful movie. Glenn Ford is solid as always and Ernest Borgnine delivers a serviceable performance, but the problem is the script and direction. The story is on the sluggish side and after the midway point you don't have a sense of enough really at stake. The flashbacks to civilian life also take the audience out of the war story in a way that releases any built-up tension. Then the movie has to start all over.
The effects are also not terribly good, even by 1958 standards. Too many model shots of ships, and the interior of the sub really does feel like a studio set, especially due to the lighting design.
One thing that is especially interesting about TORPEDO RUN is a sub evacuation sequence in which the seamen exit the submarine at the floor of the ocean using Momsen-lungs, special breathing devices. These devices are very rarely shown in submarine movies.
A much, much better sub movie was released a few months before this one: RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP.
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