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The Frogmen (1951)

Approved | | Adventure , Drama , War | 1951 (UK)
The new commander of a Navy Underwater Demolition Team--nicknamed "Frogmen"--must earn the respect of the men in his unit, who are still grieving over the death of their former commander and resentful of the new one.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

John Tucker Battle (screenplay), Oscar Millard (story)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Lt. Cmdr. John Lawrence
Dana Andrews ... Jake Flannigan
Gary Merrill ... Lt. Cmdr. Pete Vincent
Jeffrey Hunter ... Pappy Creighton
Warren Stevens ... Hodges
Robert Wagner ... Lt. (jg) Franklin
Harvey Lembeck ... Marvin W. 'Canarsie' Mikowsky
Robert Rockwell ... Lt. Bill Doyle
Henry Slate Henry Slate ... Sleepy
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Storyline

World War II drama in which Richard Widmark, as Lt. Cmdr. John Lawrence, replaces the popular commanding officer of a group of underwater demolition divers. a crew of fiercely independent studs who hang their proverbial hats in Davy Jones' locker. The martinet Lawrence tightens the discipline of the unit, making him mucho unpopular with the macho frogmen. Finally, Lawrence proves himself as more than just a stuffed white shirt, showing he has the cojones to keep up with their peculiar brand of the jones, becoming one of the team by fearlessly defusing a live torpedo at the risk of his own life. Written by Jon C. Hopwood

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

UNCLE SAM'S UNDERWATER COMMANDOS! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1951 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Froschmänner See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Underwater Demolition Team the frogmen in the film belong to is UDT-4 (some members of the team wear utility jackets with artwork of a large number "4" and a shark on the back). The real UDT-4 in World War II saw combat in the invasions of Okinawa, Saipan, Guam, and the Philippines. Like the fictional Team in the film, the real UDT-4 had one of their boats hit and sunk by Japanese fire at Leyte, and left a sign on the beach at Guam to welcome the invading Marines. See more »

Goofs

The triple-tank aqualungs used by the UDT frogmen during the film's climactic mission are incorrect for the WWII period. Although 'Jacques Cousteau', an officer in the French Navy, was working with experimental aqualungs near the end of WWII, U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams did not have them during the war. Re-breathers, which had filters to trap carbon dioxide, were in use during this time period. Modern SEAL type units still use re-breathers because they produce no bubbles which can attract unwanted attention like they did in the movie. The Japanese divers in the movie had bubble-less re-breathers. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr. Pete Vincent: Looks like you've got what amounts to a legal mutiny on your hands.
See more »

Connections

Version of The 20th Century-Fox Hour: Deep Water (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice tribute to some amazing men
8 February 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

After watching and enjoying this film, I checked out the trivia section for this film and found that many of the events in this film are based on the real life unit they were named for in the film--including the banner on the beach scene. At first I thought this scene totally ridiculous and didn't fit the film--seeing it REALLY happened is amazing! This is an interesting war film even if it didn't get made until well after the war. Most people never think about the need for naval demolitions crews, yet their incredibly dangerous job is shown in this film. How dangerous it was and how they actually performed it was truly interesting for history buffs like myself. Seeing them often diving with no real equipment such as snorkels or tanks (these were only used late in the film) and simply free-diving to set demolition charges is pretty amazing. What was more amazing was seeing how they picked up these guys on the fly, so to speak.

Apart from the technical aspects of the film, the plot itself is somewhat formulaic but interesting. Richard Widmark plays the typical hard-as-nails commanding officer and naturally the men miss their old C.O. since he was "one of the boys" (see THE FLYING LEATHERNECKS and TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH and you'll see what I mean). The whole "loneliness at the top" angle has been done many times before, though this one was played a bit better. Having such pros as Dana Andrews, Jeffrey Hunter and Gary Merrill on hand sure didn't hurt! What did hurt, however, with the formula was that, at times, it made the men seem like whiners.

Overall, rather exciting and well worth seeing despite its roots in Hollywood formula and a fitting tribute to some incredibly brave men.


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