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The Atomic Submarine (1959)

Not Rated  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  29 November 1959 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 905 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 25 critic

Ships mysteriously disappear on route across the Arctic Sea, and a specially-equipped submarine is sent to investigate.

Director:

(as Spencer G. Bennet)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Franz ...
Lt. Cmdr. Richard 'Reef' Holloway
Dick Foran ...
Cmdr. Dan Wendover
...
Dr. Carl Neilson Jr.
Tom Conway ...
Sir Ian Hunt
Paul Dubov ...
Lt. David Milburn
...
CPO 'Grif' Griffin
Victor Varconi ...
Dr. Clifford Kent
...
Julie
...
Adm. Terhune
Jack Mulhall ...
Justin Murdock
Jean Moorhead ...
Helen Milburn
Richard Tyler ...
Frogman Carney
Kenneth Becker ...
Frogman Powell (as Ken Becker)
...
Yeoman Chester Tuttle
Frank Watkins ...
Watkins
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Storyline

In the far and distant future of 1968, many ships and planes are crossing the North pole to transport passengers and cargo. However lately more than eight ships and seven submarines have vanished mysteriously. The Tigershark is sent out to investigate their whereabouts and - if possible - remove the cause of their disappearance. But the life form Commander Vandover and his crew encounter may be too powerful even for their weapons of newest technology... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When U.S.A. Killer Subs meet a ruthless power in the icy depths of a Polar Sea! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Atomic Sub  »

Box Office

Budget:

$135,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Alex Gordon claimed that the production averaged 50 set-ups per day and on one occasion did 72. See more »

Goofs

The Magnetic North Pole is not located under the Geographic North Pole, which is where the UFO returns in the film to "recharge its batteries" from the Earth's magnetic field. Science had acknowledged this at least two decades before 1959, which was when the film had been released. More current maps show it shifting a bit to the north of Canada. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: It was foolish. It was insane. It was fantastic.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Low-budget thriller with some interesting concepts
29 May 2003 | by (nashville, tn) – See all my reviews

Something about this movie makes me believe it was inspired by some article in an old Popular Science magazine about giant atomic-powered cargo subs of the near future plying the short route to the Pacific under the polar ice cap. (I must have missed that development while I was commuting by hovercar to my all-plastic cabin in the mountains, where a home breeder reactor supplies me with power too cheap to meter.)

The actors are (mostly) competent, with B-movie stalwart Arthur Franz in the lead. The script is serviceable, containing some creepy moments as well as an occasionally interesting clash of ideologies between military tough guy Franz and the peacenik scientist son (Brett Halsey) of his revered mentor. Though they despise each other at first, they find they can agree on the need to kick some alien booty.

The fx team of Jack Rabin, Irving Block and Louis DeWitt collaborated on quite a few low-budget sci-fi's in the 50's -- the most notable example being "Kronos", with its bizarre, energy-sucking giant cubist robot -- and manage to achieve a few interesting effects in this one, too.

The most unusual thing about this film is that I believe it's the first sci-fi movie to use the concept of a "living" spaceship. And I'm willing to bet money that the film's slime-dripping, tentacled alien Cyclops is the direct inspiration for The Simpsons' Kang and Kodos. Even the voice is similar.

If you're willing to forgive its obvious limitations, "Atomic Submarine" is an entertaining little low-budget romp.


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