Submarine X-1 (1968)

G  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  1968 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.1/10 from 394 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 4 critic

After losing a submarine and fifty crew in a battle with a German ship during WWII, a Royal Navy officer gets a second chance in a daring raid with midget subs.


(as William Graham)


(screenplay) (as Donald Sanford) , (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A love-struck landlord tries to convince a pretty tenant to dump her fiance and give him a chance.

Director: David Swift
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Carol Lynley, Dean Jones
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In German-occupied Italy during World War II, an American paratrooper on a mission to blow up a bridge enlists the help of five Italians just released from a military prison, and a sexy Italian girl who joined up with them along the road.

Director: Leopoldo Savona
Stars: Jack Palance, Giovanna Ralli, Serge Reggiani
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are good ones, and the engagement lasts for a considerable time.

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Lloyd Bridges plays a WWII commando leader who leads a group of soldiers on a suicide mission to destroy a Nazi naval stronghold on the French coast.

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Andrew Keir, Sue Lloyd
Rabbit, Run (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A crude man is stuck in a loveless marriage. One day he decides to run away from his life and family. First he finds a mistress, but just because a man runs away from one disappointment, doesn't mean he won't run into another one.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: James Caan, Carrie Snodgress, Anjanette Comer
1918 (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

It's 1918, the height of United States involvement in World War I - Liberty Bonds are sold, German immigrants are suspected as traitors or saboteurs, young men everywhere succumb to the ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Harrison
Stars: William Converse-Roberts, Hallie Foote, Matthew Broderick
Spies Like Us (1985)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two bumbling government employees think they are U.S. spies, only to discover that they are actually decoys for Nuclear War.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

For his first command in the Pacific war a by-the-book officer is ordered to take his submarine on a reconnaissance mission to locate a fleet of Japanese fighting ships the Allies have lost... See full summary »

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet
Stars: John Bentley, Brett Halsey, Wayne Heffley
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

What could be worse for two cavalry officers than to battle with native tribes? To battle each other for the same woman.

Directors: Arnold Laven, Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Tom Tryon, Harve Presnell, Senta Berger
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Squadron Leader Quint Munroe, an RAF pilot in World War II, has a hard time dealing with the presumed death in action of fellow Sq. Leader David 'Scotty' Scott, whose family practically ... See full summary »

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: David McCallum, Suzanne Neve, Charles Gray
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Submarine commander Ken White reminisces about his wartime years aboard submarine USS Tiger Shark and struggles with feelings of personal guilt.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: William Holden, Nancy Olson, William Bendix
Torpedo Run (1958)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A submarine commander is forced to blow up a Japanese ship with prisoners.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Diane Brewster


Complete credited cast:
Commander Bolton
David Sumner ...
Lt. Davies R.N.V.R
Norman Bowler ...
Sub. Lt. Pennington
Brian Grellis ...
C.P.O. Barquist
Paul Young ...
Leading Seaman Quentin
William Dysart ...
Lt. Gogan R.N.R.
John Kelland ...
Sub. Lt. Willis R.N.V.R.
Kenneth Farrington ...
C.P.O. Boker Knowles
Keith Alexander ...
Sub. Lt. X-3
Carl Rigg ...
C.P.O. Kennedy
Steve Kirby ...
Leading Seaman X-2
Leading Seaman X-1 (as Nicholas Tate)
George Pravda ...
Captain Erlich


After losing a submarine and fifty crew in a battle with a German ship during WWII, a Royal Navy officer gets a second chance in a daring raid with midget subs. Written by Patrick Dominick <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


3 Man Subs Vs 3,000 Man Battleship.... and the secret punch that ambushed a Nazi Armada


Action | Drama | War


G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Submarino X-1  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This World War II submarine movie was based on an actual Second World War mission whilst the Australian video-cassette sleeve notes state that this movie is "Based on classified data released by the British Government." See more »


Throughout the early portion of the movie the X craft program is referred to as "Top Secret". At this point in time, the British used the term "Most Secret", Top Secret being an American term. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Superficial, Boring and Clichéd from Beginning to End
21 April 2005 | by (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

"Submarine X-1" is just another of several WWII films that rolled out of Oakmont Productions in the late 1960s. Like "Attack on the Iron Coast" and "Mosquito Squadron", this flick lacks innovation, flair and plays like an extended episode of "Black Sheep Squadron". Movies like this were never meant for the big screen. Director Graham had worked almost solely on made-for-TV films up until this point, and it's no surprise that he went back to that medium. His attempt at making a war film is a big disaster.

The rather boring script is written by John C. Champion, who takes the X raid on the German pocket battleship Tirpitz and turns it into what should be a rousing tale of heroism and courage. It's not. Surprised? Lt. Cmdr. Bolton (James Caan, "A Bridge too Far") loses his submarine in the North Atlantic and his men blame him for the ship's destruction and death of 50 crewmen. Well, he's cleared of guilt and re-assigned to train crews of experimental midget submarines - and, what a shock - some of his distrusting former crewmembers wind up in the squad he's too train! I don't know where to start with a film like this. It's not particularly bad. It's just... well... not good. The sets, including some marvelous Scottish scenery and great submarine interiors, look beautiful and Ron Goodwin's music score is rousing as usual, these are the only good things about this movie. James Caan is a great actor; watch "The Godfather" series and try to say he's a poor actor. It's not that he can't act in this movie. He's never given an opportunity to act! He just mumbles occasional, witless dialogue and gives everyone around him strange facial expressions. The supporting cast don't make much of an impact, either. Everyone simply goes through their paces, carries out the mission and in 90 minutes, we've learned nothing about them and can't care less when some of them get killed. Interestingly enough, most of the supporting cast is comprised of English television-actors, which just adds to the "made-for-TV" look and feel of this film.

It's also important to note that everything about this movie is a pure cliché.. Bolton's character and those around him are built around our expectations based on other war films like "The Devil's Brigade". Bolton is simply a stereotype, and not even a two-dimensional one at that. The German characters range from stupid to stupider, from the parachutists that attack the secret submarine base and talk with terrible accents, to the Navy officers who question prisoners and yell a lot but never appear particularly menacing. They waste their time with interrogations about a surviving submarine, rather than doing something practical – such as sending one of dozens of E-Boats out to search for the sneaky enemy vessel! This film couldn't get anymore clichéd if it tried; all it lacks is a sappy love interest. Interestingly enough, there is one blond bombshell – but she only gets once scene and then is forgotten rather abruptly. The nuts and bolts of a good film are all present, but never developed.

The special effects are pretty poor, as is the case with every other Oakmont Production to emerge in its understandably short existence. The underwater photography is fantastic, but every time Graham takes his camera above the water, viewers are treated to shots of obvious toy ships being blown to pieces. The miniatures look like they came out of a Japanese monster movie – not a war movie! The camera-work in the talky scenes is unoriginal and flat and the film just looks boring.

When watching a movie like this, one has to take into account the time period in which it was made. "Submarine X-1" and every other film of its kind belonged on the small screen or, better yet, on the big screen as propaganda films during 1943 or 1944. As a late-60s "action" piece, this one ultimately fails despite some obviously good intentions.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Submarine X-1 (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: