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The Atomic Submarine (1959)

Not Rated  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  29 November 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 934 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 25 critic

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


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Our fleet of atomic submarines has disappeared!" See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Atomic Sub  »

Box Office


$135,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Alex Gordon, the film cost $135,000 to make. Allen Connor, then an agent for Wallace Middleton's talent agency, was among those who loaned Gordon the money to get the movie off the ground. See more »


There is no Nobel Prize in oceanography. See more »


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


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

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User Reviews

Don't believe the incredible low IS quite enjoyable.
23 January 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Atomic Submarine" is rather surprisingly a release from the super-intellectual Criterion Collection. This surprised me, though after seeing it, I could see that the film was a very good B-movie--and there was a lot to admire.

The film begins by learning that various ships entering the Arctic region have been lost--so many that the government is sending their top submarine there to investigate. This ship discovers something that no one had anticipated...and I won't say more because I don't want to spoil the suspense--and there is quite a bit.

This film has several deficits--mostly due to its very low budget. Because they could not afford tons of special effects, a few shortcuts were used. Stock footage (often a bit grainy) of ships sinking, a rather silly creature near the end and sets that looked more like sets than a sub are all things you are bound to notice. And, the script is occasionally a bit clichéd. But, on the other hand, the film is pretty exciting and seemed to get the most out of its low budget and short filming schedule. Plus, the story underneath it all was quite creative and great. Clever and well worth seeing.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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