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Down Periscope (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  1 March 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 16,085 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 31 critic

Lt. Cmdr. Tom Dodge is assigned as Captain to the USS Stingray, an old diesel driven submarine that has seen better days. With a crew that consists only of weird guys (and a gal), he's ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bradford Tatum ...
James Martin Jr. ...


Lt. Cmdr. Tom Dodge is assigned as Captain to the USS Stingray, an old diesel driven submarine that has seen better days. With a crew that consists only of weird guys (and a gal), he's headed against the atomic powered USS Orlando, with the mission to destroy a dummy battleship. Written by Thomas Meyer <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A rusty sub. A rebel commander. A renegade crew. When destiny called, they should have hung up.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some crude language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abajo el periscopio  »

Box Office


$25,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the end of the movie, Lt. Cmdr. Tom Dodge ('Kelsey Grammar') is informed by Vice Adm. Dean Winslow (Rip Torn) that he would not be receiving a Los Angeles Class submarine, but would instead be placed in command of a Seawolf Class submarine. The Seawolf Class was intended to be the replacement for the Los Angeles Class, however due to high costs, only three were ever built. Ultimately the more cost-effective Virginia Class was chosen to succeed the Los Angeles Class in the US Navy. See more »


Just after the scene where Admiral Graham gets in the helicopter to join the hunt, there is a scene between Capt. Dodge and Lt. Emily Lake where the boom microphone can be seen by Lt. Lake's leg. See more »


Executive Officer Martin T. 'Marty' Pascal: [loudly] Buckman! What the hell are you doing?
Seaman Buckman: Stocking the pantry, sir!
Executive Officer Martin T. 'Marty' Pascal: You forgot like an idiot, Buckman, because you're stocking the pantry like an idiot!
[grabs two cans]
Executive Officer Martin T. 'Marty' Pascal: What are in these cans?
Seaman Buckman: That one's coffee, and that one looks like cooking lard, sir.
Executive Officer Martin T. 'Marty' Pascal: And which one do you think we're gonna be using more often, sailor? The coffee or the lard?
[Buckman shakes his head uncertainly]
Executive Officer Martin T. 'Marty' Pascal: You think we're all gonna jump out of bed in the morning and have a big, hot, steaming cup of pig fat?
Seaman Buckman: Well, it...
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the credits begins to roll, The Village People and several cast members start singing "In The Navy." See more »


References Animal House (1978) See more »


Anchors Aweigh
Written by Charles A. Zimmerman, A.H. Miles and R. Lovell
Performed by the Men of the Concert Choir
University of Southern California
Courtesy of University of Southern California
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Movie
16 December 2004 | by (Calgary, Alberta) – See all my reviews

I've enjoyed this movie ever since I first saw it in the theatre. Some movies have a cast of characters and a script that come together in perfect synergy, and this is one of them. The characters illustrate some truths about getting the best out of people, working together harmoniously, building a team and achieving goals, without ever preaching morality. The situations are crafted well and are consistent with the movie's opening premise. The tension builds nicely and the humor is clean and consistent throughout. The movie manages to pull me right in to root for the characters, and to laugh pretty well all the way through. This is a feel good movie as good as they come.

What amazes me is that a movie which appears so simple can be so long term entertaining. The music is a perfect copy of music in the typical serious post war navy movies, which helps to create the humor and point out that greatness is in the eye of the beholder. The scenes in the credits are a great music video of "In the Navy", which deserve their own full screen special feature. The scenes and cuts are crafted well, and the casting and acting is right on.

This movie is a classic as great as any ever made, without any pretensions. In fact, the lack of pretension is what makes it so much fun to watch. I love these guys and gal.

The other day I thought of the film, and wondered whether it was available on DVD. Good fortune has come to us, and the DVD came out in May 2004. I headed to the store, and snapped up a copy. Then my wife and I enjoyed another hilarious night in front of the big screen. I've rated this movie as a 10 because it comes together on all levels, far better than many high budget films and Oscar winners. This is entertainment.

Listen up Fox home video: you have a great movie in your vaults, and it's a shame to find a cheap shot DVD with badly degraded off tint colors only 8 years since release. So why not restore the colors and present the film as it was meant to be seen? I'd gladly pay a few bucks more to get the picture right. I'm grateful to have my own copy. Now give us the eye candy that the film deserves, and how about recreating the credit sequence as a full screen music video special feature.

60 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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