Submerged (2001)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  20 May 2001 (USA)
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A moment by moment account of the sinking and rescue of the crew of the submarine USS Squalus which was the first rescue of living crew on a submarine.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Oliver Naquin
Frances Naquin
Jim McDonald
Matthew Wait ...
Martin 'Ski' Sibitzky
Vincent Riotta ...
Harold Preble
Raymond Waring
Alex McSweeney ...
Seaman Lawrence Gainor
John Pielmeier ...
Lt. Cmdr. Fortis
Lloyd Maness
Betty Cole
Rear Admiral Cyrus Cole (as James B. Sikking)
Alex Campagner ...
Machinist Mate Al Prien
Des Coleman ...
Cook Will Isaacs


Based on the best-selling book by Peter Maas, Submerged tells the story of the first submarine rescue in history, that of the crew of the USS Squalus in 1938, and of the man who affected the rescue, Lt.Cmdr. "Swede" Momsen. Written by Jeff Codella

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


59 men trapped below. A desperate SOS. The depths of human courage.




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Release Date:

20 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'odyssée du Squalus  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


While many movies of this type add complications to the rescue, this one simplifies it. In real life several more ships were involved, and when the diving bell jammed on the fourth trip, several dives were made before it could be freed. The bell was also sent on a fifth trip to confirm that no other compartments contained survivors. See more »


While US Navy crews were not fully integrated in the 1930s, black men did serve, as shown in this film, in the mess. See more »

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User Reviews

Well done
19 June 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a military buff and an ex-Navy man, so I'm drawn to this type of movie whether its good or a stinker. Dramatically, I thought this movie worked quite well. There's action, but the viewer isn't hit over the head with it (pun intended). There are elements of the movie that appeal to men (fishing for a submarine with a grapling hook) and elements that appeal to women (the admiral's poor daughter lost her fiance).

I'm not intimately familiar with the real story of the Squalus rescue that this movie is based on, so I may be wrong about this, but I suspect liberties were taken with certain facts in the name of dramatic license. For example, the diving bell almost didn't make it back to the surface on the last of four trips. Swede Momsen, our protagonist, jumps into the water to tie a line on the contraption then proceeds to exhort the crew to "heave!" the bell to the surface by pulling on the rope. I have a hard time believing that really happened.

The filmmakers did pretty well with the military courtesy, but I wonder if Momsen really got away with calling the admiral by his first name with enlisted men within earshot. There's also a scene where someone salutes the admiral indoors. (The Navy only salutes outdoors.)

And lastly, the multiculturalists evidently had something to say about the casting of this movie because there is a black crewman on the submarine and one or two black crewmen in the crowd on the surface. I guess I can't blame the movie makers for doing this because the alternative is to be criticized by black activists, but that's not the way the Navy was in 1939.

All in all, though, a good movie. I gave it a seven.

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