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Up Periscope (1959)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 19 April 1959 (Japan)
In 1942, Navy Lieutenant Kenneth Braden from the underwater demolition team is sent to a Japanese island to photograph secret radio codes.



(screenplay) (as Richard Landau), (novel)

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Complete credited cast:
Commander Paul Stevenson
Sally Johnson
Lt. Pat Malone (as Alan Hale)
Lt. Phil Carney
Ensign Cy Mount
Lt. Doherty
Seaman Peck
Pharmacist Mate Ash (as Edward Byrnes)
Seaman Floyd
Henry Kulky ...
Chief Petty Officer York

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Lieutenant Braden discovers that Sally, the woman he's been falling in love with, has actually been checking out his qualifications to be a U.S. Navy frogman. He must put his personal life behind him after being assigned to be smuggled into a Japanese-held island via submarine to photograph radio codes. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The man they called the 'human torpedo' - the secret underwater marauder who hit like no man hit before! See more »


Action | Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 April 1959 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Up Periscope!  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


(Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debut of Warren Oates. See more »


The "Japanese" aircraft that attacks the submarine is a North American T-28 Trojan that did not enter service until the early 1960s. See more »


Lt. j.g. Kenneth M. Braden: How come they call you Weary?
Weary: That's my name.
Lt. j.g. Kenneth M. Braden: Nickname?
Weary: No, sir, my real name. I'm the youngest of 13 children. I guess when I was born, my mother couldn't think of another name.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC - 1942 See more »


Edited from Destination Tokyo (1943) See more »


Please Be Kind
Music by Saul Chaplin
Played when Braden and Sally are lying on the beach and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Tense and intriguing WWII submarine drama about a dangerous mission carried out by a demolition expert , James Garner
20 July 2015 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Well starred by Edmond O'Brien and James Garner , Warner Brothers' "Maverick" Man and with agreeable cast ; there's plenty of emotion and thrills in the final action scenes keep you eyes peeled . This is a great production ready right now in his big-screen , meticulously mounted and efficiently directed by Gordon Douglas . In 1942, Navy Lieutenant Kenneth Braden from the underwater demolition team is sent to a Japanese island to photograph secret radio codes . As a rebellious demolition expert ,James Garner, assigned to serve on Edmond O'Brien's by-the-book sub . His assignment : to sneak onto Japanese-held island and steal a top-secret code book .

This underwater actioner contains suspense , thrills , intrigue , a love story and many other things . Although being a routine submarine movie also packs some thrilling moments and results to be pretty good . This nail-biter is a tightly-knit drama centered on the relentless sea maneuvers of a submarine sailing undercover toward a Japanese island . Thrilling as well as exciting battle of wits between two officers : James Garner-Edmond O'Brien , who gradually come to respect each other . Trouble is Commander Paul Stevenson/Edmond O'Brien , may not wait for Lt. J.G. Kenneth M. Braden/James Garner to complete his assignment before taking the submarine back underwater . Both of whom are a compellingly balanced match as two clever as well astute commanders . Interesting screenplay , being based on the novel by Robb White and script written by Richard Landau . The film is famous as one of the best WWII submarine movies though some scenes at sea , however, suffer from the utilization of obvious models in a just as obvious studio tank . Adequate special effects , though all underwater miniature submarine shots were reused from the film Destination : Tokyo (1943) . The main cast , support actors and technicians spent about a month filming on board this ship . Inexorable duel of great stars into a submarine , as nice acting by James Garner as a demolition expert unwillingly assigned to a sub and Edmond O'Brien as stiff-upper-lip commander . Secondary cast is frankly good such as a likable veteran Alan Hale Jr. as Lt. Pat Malone , beautiful Andra Martin , a very young Edd Byrnes as Pharmacist Mate Ash , Frank Gifford , Bernie Hamilton , and this picture marks the feature film movie debuts for Wareen Oates as a sailor who is constantly eating and always to be found in the mess hall heating . Colorful and vivid cinematography by Carl E. Guthrie in excitement Technicolor smash , including spectacular maritime scenes . Thrilling as well as suspenseful musical score . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Gordon Douglas who captures the claustrophobic up and undersea tension . Rating : 6.5/10 . Better than average , well worth watching .

This nail-biting sea epic represents one of a select group of a few World War II submarine movies which have nice special effects and breathtaking sound editing . These movies include ¨Crash Dive¨ ; ¨Torpedo Run¨ and ¨The Enemy Below ¨. Furthermore , other important films about submarines are the followings : ¨Run Silent Run Deep¨ by Robert Wise , ¨Crimson tide¨ by Tony Scott with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman; ¨K19¨ with Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson and the best ¨Das Boot¨ (1982) by Wolfgang Petersen with Jurgen Prochnow .

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