106 user 19 critic

In Harm's Way (1965)

Approved | | Drama, War | 6 April 1965 (USA)
A naval officer reprimanded after Pearl Harbor is later promoted to rear admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Admiral Broderick
C.P.O. Culpepper


On patrol the morning of December 7th commanding a cruiser Captain Torrie receives word of the attack on Pearl Harbor. His orders are to find the Japanese force and attack it. The picture tells the story of three families during the outbreak of World War ll. Written by michaeloshey

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Stripped of everything - they lived and loved and fought as if there were no tomorrow... See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 April 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Erster Sieg  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm prints)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The fictional ship in the movie is a composite of several WWII cruisers. 1. The USS Salt Lake City was known as the "Swayback Maru". The ship in the movie and in the novel the movie is based on was known as "Old Swayback". 2. The USS San Francisco was the flagship of a squadron of ships in the famous naval battle of November 12, 1942, in the Solomon Islands area. The fictional ship in the movie was also the flagship of a squadron of ships in an important naval battle. 3. The two ships mentioned above survived WWII. The fictional ship in the movie was sunk, so it could also be based on any US Navy cruiser that was sunk during the Solomon Islands campaign. See more »


At about 1:17:55, as Adm Torrey (John Wayne) is giving his toast, Egin's chair moves out of frame by itself, no doubt by a stage hand (lower right corner of the screen). See more »


Captain Rockwell Torrey: Well, I'm... flying under... false colors, Miss Haynes. I don't know my son. I've been divorced for many years and he's been raised by his mother and family. I didn't even know he was in the Navy.
See more »


Referenced in Inside the Tower (2015) See more »


Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
Written by Charles Tobias, Lew Brown, and Sam H. Stept
See more »

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User Reviews

For once an all-star cast adds to the movie
26 December 2002 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Critically under-valued at the time of it's release and now largely forgotten, Otto Preminger's World War Two movie is a first-class entertainment, intelligently scripted, crisply photographed and very well directed. (There is a beautifully sustained scene where Preminger cross cuts between John Wayne's date with Patricia Neal and son Brandon De Wilde's date with Neal's room-mate Jill Haworth in which the characters of all four protagonists are neatly established).

For once an all-star cast adds to, rather than detracts from, the film. With a few exceptions (Henry Fonda and Franchot Tone in blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos) all the actors are allowed to flesh out their roles with Patricia Neal and Burgess Meredith outstanding. Ultimately. of course, it never rises above melodrama and is the cinematic equivalent of those door-stopper novels favoured on the beach, but then melodrama was always where Peminger really came into his own. While certainly not in the class of "Laura", "Bonjour Tristesse", "Anatomy of a Murder" or "Advise and Consent", it is no disgrace and is a reminder that even second-rate Preminger is head and shoulders above a lot of the junk food cinema that fills our multi-plexes today.

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