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


In harm's way they went. The men. The women. The lovers for a night. The lovers for keeps. The strong. The weak. They went, as they were...in Harm'sway. 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?


Jere Torrey's boat PT-44 was in the Pacific and participated in the actions around the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal. It was sunk December 12, 1942 by the Japanese destroyers Kawakaze and Suzukaze off Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. See more »


When the boatswain's mate orders, "On deck, attention to port," the water in the background can be seen moving as if the ship (which has just anchored) is underway. See more »


Captain Rockwell Torrey: Well, I'm here to see a nurse. What are you here for?
Ensign Jere Torrey: To see a nurse.
Captain Rockwell Torrey: It looks like we have something in common after all.
Ensign Jere Torrey: I'm just a chip off the old block, sir!
See more »


Edited into Bass on Titles (1977) See more »


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

Wayne in Command
30 July 2002 | by (Falls Church, Virginia) – See all my reviews

John Wayne spent much of his later career foolishly playing much younger characters (e.g. "McQ" or "Brannigan") or indulging in clearly conscious self-parodies such as "True Grit." Most of his roles in the 60s and 70s were unworthy of his talents, but in 1964 he turned in one of his finest performances in Otto Preminger's "In Harms Way." His portrayal of Captain (later Rear Admiral) Rockwell Torrey saves an elaborate war film and shows that the Duke was a very capable actor.

Wayne will always be remembered as an action hero - riding, brawling, and shooting his way across the screen, stopping now and then for a drink or, less often, a kiss. But in this film, there are no horses, his one brawl is verbal, and he doesn't even carry a gun. Shorn of his usual props and plot devices, Wayne has no choice but to act and he delivers an extremely effective performance. He commands, he counsels, and in his own understated way, he loves. The picture's soap opera structure actually works to his advantage, giving him many opportunities to show different sides of his character's personality and to interact with almost every other performer in the film.

The rest of the huge cast is generally strong. Patricia Neal is fine as Wayne's romantic interest, playing a nurse who, as she says, is not a lady; Kirk Douglas is a bit overbearing at times as his exec, but then the role calls for it; Dana Andrews has one of his few good mature roles as the overly cautious Admiral Broderick. Everyone is up to the task but it's Wayne who carries the picture.

"In Harm's Way" is a heavily fictionalized account of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent campaign to take and hold Guadalcanal. Although the story owes more to the source novel than to real history, the tone of the film reasonably reflects the anxieties and uncertainties the Navy faced during the first year of the Pacific War.

26 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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