Aboard the U.S. submarine S13 in the China seas, Chief Torpedoman Burke goes about his duties. In actuality, he is Quartermaine, the infamous former commander of the British ship Royal Scot, which was sunk by Germans with a Field Marshal aboard. Quartermaine had told his sweetheart that the Field Marshal would be aboard, not knowing that she was an informant for the enemy. When the S13 sinks, Burke takes charge when the commander, Ensign Price, is unable to command. Burke must keep his mates alive long enough on the bottom of the sea for rescuers to arrive.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Frank Albertson's character is the same one as he plays in John Ford's Salute (1929), although he is now an Ensign. See more »
The only existing version is in the Museum of Modern Art and runs 73 minutes. The credits differ widely from those listed in the AFI Catalogue, probably because this was a working print, as explained in the trivia section. See more »
An American submarine crashes in to a cargo ship off the coast of China and the surviving crew members await rescue
Yeah you've seen this type of movie a few times before . This one is slightly different because it's set in peace time , is directed by John Ford and comes from 1930 which was an era when talkies were making a breakthrough
Actually you have to take onboard as to what films were like in those days. THE JAZZZ SINGER was the first talky but films didn't explode in to full length talkies until a couple of years later and films in the last year of the 1920s often used sound and dialogue as an aural impact aesthetic. In this case MEN WITHOUT WOMEN is somewhat typical featuring a few spoken scenes , sound effects and caption cards featuring dialogue
For the story itself a bunch of men trapped in in a slowly flooding submarine is a movie cliché but to be fair it wouldn't have been in 1930. Narrative wise it also contradicts itself by having a song and dance number featuring a female of the species . As it stands this early John Ford remains interesting for a number of reason including having John Wayne in an uncredited cameo without being any type of masterpiece
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