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.


Samuel Fuller


Jesse Lasky Jr. (screenplay) (as Jesse L. Lasky Jr.), Samuel Fuller (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Capt. Adam Jones
Bella Darvi ... Denise Montel
Victor Francen ... Prof. Montel
Cameron Mitchell ... 'Ski' Brodski
Gene Evans ... Chief Holter
David Wayne ... Tugboat Walker
Stephen Bekassy Stephen Bekassy ... Neuman
Richard Loo ... Hakada Fujimori


A privately-financed scientist and his colleagues hire an ex-Navy officer to conduct an Alaskan submarine expedition in order to prevent a Red Chinese anti-American plot that may lead to World War III. Mixes deviously plotted schoolboy fiction with submarine spectacle and cold war heroics. Written by Lew Amack (LAlawMedMBA@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


29 men and one woman ... in the captive world of a submarine ! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Debut of actress Bella Darvi. See more »


A WWII era Japanese submarine, I-203, did indeed exist. But I-203 was sunk by the U.S. Navy in 1946. This story takes place in 1953. See more »


Prof. Montel: Each man has his own reasons for living, Mr. Jones, and his own price for dying.
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Featured in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (1996) See more »


Music by Edmund Goulding
[used in the score as a theme for Denise]
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User Reviews

A rare look at the alluring Bella Darvi !!!
31 May 2007 | by starracer007See all my reviews

Although she didn't make but three major Hollywood motion pictures, Bella Darvi had magnificent screen magnetism that made a man's pulse beat red hot. In this campy picture (her first film), she does a fine job in her first effort as a film actress, displaying good technique cinematically. She was, as they say, a natural.

The French accent, the smooth skin, the sharp facial bone structure, those arched eyebrows, that smoldering stare, and that oh-so-sexy slightly cross-eyed look just made a guy want and wonder. Her voice was strong and yet soft at the right moments. There was something about her that made a man want scoop her up into his arms and say, "Hey, baby, it's gonna be okay!"

It's too bad that she was perhaps a victim of her own sexuality as it is rumored that Mrs. Darryl Zanuck discovered there might have been some hanky-panky with Mr. 20th Century Fox.

Richard Widmark is fittingly commanding and cantankerous as the sub skipper, and Cameron Mitchell does what he did so well in playing the comic relief sidekick sonar guy.

The script and it's dialog is something straight out of a comic book, but you've got to love it. It's got all of the marbles in one bag: submarines, underwater battles complete with ramming full speed ahead, a silent running sweatout, crash dives, commando shore raids, evil Commies, a spy guy named Chin Lee, a B-29 bomber, and just to put the cherry on the Boston cream pie, the obligatory nuclear explosion.

Check Bella Darvi out opposite Kirk Douglas in "The Racers". There again, the lady is smokin' hot!

So, if you want a good time, pop some corn, pull up a chair, and watch "Hell and High Water"!!!

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English | French | Italian | German

Release Date:

6 February 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell and High Water See more »


Box Office


$1,870,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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