War is Hell and High Water

by peterdi315 | created - 11 Aug 2012 | updated - 14 Aug 2012 | Public

Some of the best war at sea movies - above and below. All-Time. Alphabetically.

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1. Above Us the Waves (1955)

Approved | 92 min | Drama, War

The attack by British submarines on the German battleship "Tirpitz" in a Norwegian fjord during World War II.

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: John Mills, John Gregson, Donald Sinden, James Robertson Justice

Votes: 1,090

2. Across the Pacific (1942)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In December 1941, ex-army captain Rick Leland boards a Japanese ship heading to Asia via the Panama Canal where his Japanese hosts show interest in the American defense plans for the canal zone.

Directors: John Huston, Vincent Sherman | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Charles Halton

Votes: 3,917

3. Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

Passed | 126 min | Action, Drama, War

An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Byron Haskin, Raoul Walsh | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale, Julie Bishop

Votes: 3,163

4. The African Queen (1951)

PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

91 Metascore

In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull

Votes: 66,519 | Gross: $0.54M

5. The Bedford Incident (1965)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

An American destroyer Captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined.

Director: James B. Harris | Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur, Martin Balsam

Votes: 4,191

6. Crash Dive (1943)

Approved | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A submarine lieutenant and his commander fall in love with the same girl.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, James Gleason

Votes: 1,255

7. Crimson Tide (1995)

R | 116 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

66 Metascore

On a U.S. nuclear missile sub, a young First Officer stages a mutiny, to prevent his trigger happy Captain from launching his missiles, before confirming his orders to do so.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, Matt Craven, George Dzundza

Votes: 93,850 | Gross: $91.40M

8. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 211,034 | Gross: $11.49M

9. Destination Tokyo (1943)

Approved | 135 min | Adventure, History, War

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale, John Ridgely

Votes: 4,272

10. The Enemy Below (1957)

Approved | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director: Dick Powell | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison, Theodore Bikel

Votes: 8,963

11. The Fighting Seabees (1944)

Approved | 100 min | Drama, Romance, War

During WW2, the U.S. Navy implements a new idea of forming construction battalions that also are fighting units, in case of Japanese attack.

Director: Edward Ludwig | Stars: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, William Frawley

Votes: 3,017

12. Hell and High Water (1954)

Approved | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

During the Cold War, a scientific team refits a Japanese submarine and hires an ex-Navy officer to find a secret Chinese atomic island base and prevent a Communist plot against America that could trigger WW3.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Richard Widmark, Bella Darvi, Victor Francen, Cameron Mitchell

Votes: 1,364

13. Hell Below (1933)

Passed | 101 min | Romance, Drama, War

In 1918, U.S. Navy Lt. Tommy Knowlton participates in dangerous submarine missions, disobeys orders, gets court-martialed and romances a married woman who happens to be his C.O.'s daughter.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: Robert Montgomery, Walter Huston, Madge Evans, Jimmy Durante

Votes: 418

14. Screen One (1985–2002)
Episode: Hostile Waters (1997)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

In October 1986, a Soviet submarine carrying nuclear missles collides with an American nuclear submarine off the coast of Bermuda.

Director: David Drury | Stars: Rutger Hauer, Martin Sheen, Max von Sydow, Colm Feore

Votes: 1,669

15. The Hunley (1999 TV Movie)

94 min | Action, Drama, History

During the siege of Charleston of 1864, Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley becomes the first submersible to sink an enemy warship in wartime.

Director: John Gray | Stars: Armand Assante, Donald Sutherland, Alex Jennings, Chris Bauer

Votes: 1,095

16. Ice Station Zebra (1968)

G | 148 min | Adventure, Thriller

USN nuclear sub USS Tigerfish must rush to the North Pole to rescue the staff of Drift Ice Station Zebra weather station.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine, Patrick McGoohan, Jim Brown

Votes: 8,094

17. In Enemy Hands (2004)

R | 94 min | Drama, Thriller, War

When American submarine Swordfish is torpedoed the survivors are picked up by a passing German U-boat but an outbreak of meningitis threatens all aboard.

Director: Tony Giglio | Stars: William H. Macy, Til Schweiger, Thomas Kretschmann, Clark Gregg

Votes: 3,608

18. Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)

Approved | 79 min | Drama, War

A famous writer visits an aircraft carrier during the Korean war to learn more about it and the way it's run. He also gets to find out more about the Navy and Marine aviators themselves, their internal and external conflicts and dangers of their job.

Director: Andrew Marton | Stars: Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon, Louis Calhern, Dewey Martin

Votes: 466 | Gross: $1.50M

19. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

81 Metascore

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy

Votes: 189,656 | Gross: $93.93M

20. Midway (1976)

PG | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

48 Metascore

A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight | Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford

Votes: 15,915

21. Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan | Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon

Votes: 14,296 | Gross: $21.20M

22. Murphy's War (1971)

GP | 107 min | Drama, War

A lone survivor from a British naval ship is obsessed with getting revenge on a German U-boat crew that massacred his shipmates in the water.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Siân Phillips, Philippe Noiret, Horst Janson

Votes: 2,750

23. On the Beach (1959)

Approved | 134 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

55 Metascore

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins

Votes: 10,949 | Gross: $11.00M

24. On the Beach (2000 TV Movie)

195 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director: Russell Mulcahy | Stars: Armand Assante, Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown, Jacqueline McKenzie

Votes: 3,504

25. Operation Disaster (1950)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, History, War

The crew of a submarine is trapped on the sea floor when it sinks. How can they be rescued before they run out of air?

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: John Mills, Nigel Patrick, Peter Hammond, Andrew Crawford

Votes: 658

26. Operation Pacific (1951)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, War

During WWII, a submarine's second in command inherits the problem of torpedoes that don't explode. When on shore, he is eager to win back his ex-wife.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond, Scott Forbes

Votes: 2,880

27. Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | 124 min | Comedy, Romance, War

During World War II, a commander finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) submarine, a con man executive officer, and a group of army nurses.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O'Brien, Dina Merrill

Votes: 11,226 | Gross: $23.30M

28. Orzel (1959)

104 min | Drama, War

Based on a true story of Polish submarine "Orzel" (The Eagle): September 1939, "Orzel" is coming to Estonian neutral harbor in Tallin. Under pressure from Germany Estonians have intern the ... See full summary »

Director: Leonard Buczkowski | Stars: Wienczyslaw Glinski, Aleksander Sewruk, Jan Machulski, Roland Glowacki

Votes: 120

29. PT 109 (1963)

Approved | 140 min | Biography, Drama, War

During WW2, Lieut. John F. Kennedy takes command of PT 109 to fight the Japanese in the Solomon Islands.

Director: Leslie H. Martinson | Stars: Cliff Robertson, Robert Culp, Ty Hardin, James Gregory

Votes: 2,020

30. Run Silent Run Deep (1958)

Approved | 93 min | Action, Drama, War

A U.S. sub commander, obsessed with sinking a certain Japanese ship, butts heads with his first officer and crew.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Warden, Brad Dexter

Votes: 9,260

31. The Silent Enemy (1958)

Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Biography, History

In the Mediterranean in 1941 the Italians start using underwater chariots to mine the undersides of allied ships. Explosives expert Lionel Crabbe arrives in Gibraltar to organise defenses, ... See full summary »

Director: William Fairchild | Stars: Laurence Harvey, Dawn Addams, Michael Craig, John Clements

Votes: 464

32. The Silver Fleet (1943)

88 min | Drama, War

Jaap van Leyden (Sir Ralph Richardson) is in charge of a shipyard in newly occupied Holland. At first he collaborates with the Germans because it is the easiest course to follow. Later, a ... See full summary »

Directors: Vernon Sewell, Gordon Wellesley | Stars: Ralph Richardson, Googie Withers, Esmond Knight, Beresford Egan

Votes: 390

33. Sink the Bismarck! (1960)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, History

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 6,322

34. Submarine Command (1951)

Approved | 87 min | Drama, War

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, Don Taylor

Votes: 415

35. Torpedo Alley (1952)

84 min | Drama

Carrier pilot Lieutenant Bob Bingham (Mark Stevens) is rescued at sea by a submarine after he freezes at the controls and crashes, killing his two crewmen. He returns to civilian life but ... See full summary »

Director: Lew Landers | Stars: Mark Stevens, Dorothy Malone, Charles Winninger, Bill Williams

Votes: 112

36. Torpedo Run (1958)

Approved | 98 min | Drama, War

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

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

Votes: 1,654

37. U-571 (2000)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, War

62 Metascore

A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi

Votes: 72,735 | Gross: $77.09M

38. Up Periscope (1959)

Approved | 112 min | Action, Drama, Romance

In 1942, Navy Lieutenant Kenneth Braden from the underwater demolition team is sent to a Japanese island to photograph secret radio codes.

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Garner, Edmond O'Brien, Andra Martin, Alan Hale Jr.

Votes: 1,403

39. The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, War

During WW2, Lt. Rip Crandall, who was a yachtsman before the war, takes command of the USS Echo, a sailing ship, for a secret mission in waters patrolled by Japanese warships.

Director: Richard Murphy | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Ricky Nelson, John Lund, Chips Rafferty

Votes: 1,719

40. We Dive at Dawn (1943)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Drama, War

All leave is cancelled so that a British submarine can be sent after a new German warship. They chase it so far that they have no fuel to get home.

Director: Anthony Asquith | Stars: John Mills, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar, Jack Watling

Votes: 1,174



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