The daring exploits of a submarine commander whose mission is to chart the minefields in the waters of Japan during World War II.


Nathan Juran


Charles A. Lockwood (book) (as Vice-Admiral Charles A. Lockwood Vice-Admiral USN Ret.), Hans Christian Adamson (book) (as Col. Hans Christian Adamson USAF Ret.) | 3 more credits »





Cast overview:
Ronald Reagan ... Cmdr. Casey Abbott
Nancy Reagan ... Nurse Lt. Helen Blair (as Nancy Davis)
Arthur Franz ... Lt. Cmdr. Don Landon
Robert Arthur ... Freddy Warren
William Leslie ... Lt. Paul Prentice
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Carroll (as William Phillips)
Harry Lauter ... Lt. (j.g.) Wes Barton
Michael Garth Michael Garth ... Bill aka Lt. Charlie
Joe Turkel ... Chick (as Joseph Turkel)
Don Keefer ... Jug


The daring exploits of a submarine commander whose mission is to chart the minefields in the waters of Japan during World War II.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Down . . . Down . . . Down . . . into enemy waters with the fightin' hellcats of the U.S. sub pack ! See more »


Drama | Thriller | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The "horns" on WW2 mines were filled with acid. When they were struck the acid was squirted onto the detonator causing the mine to explode. See more »


Near the beginning of the movie when the frogmen are retrieving the mine, they are all wearing light colored wetsuits. A close up of the two next to a mine are suddenly in black wetsuits, but then back to light colored in other shots. See more »

Crazy Credits

The scenes used to show the island they are attacking are from the movie "Crash Dive" See more »


Referenced in Hollywood's Magical Island: Catalina (2003) See more »

User Reviews

Worthwhile For Those Curious About Ronald Reagan As An Actor
24 September 2016 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

I watched this mainly as a curiosity because of the pairing of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis. As I understand it, this was the only movie they ever made together. I really don't know much about either of them as actors. To me, they're the former president and first lady of the United States, and I don't really recall having seen either of them in any other movie. This was one of Reagan's last movies before he went into television and then politics. I've heard a lot of jokes around Reagan's acting career - but based on this I'd say those have more to do with people not liking his presidency than his acting. I can understand why his career was in "B" movies. He wasn't great in this, but he wasn't bad either.

The movie was a bit formulaic. Reagan played Captain Abbott - a submarine commander in the Pacific in World War II. As the movie opens he has to make a decision that results in the death of a crewman. Coincidentally, that crewman was involved romantically with a nurse named Helen (Davis) - who had previously been involved with Abbott. This set up tension between Abbott and his executive officer, Landon (Arthur Franz) who believed Abbott had been influenced by jealousy.

The movie wasn't bad. There were a few suspenseful scenes as Abbott's sub either attacked or was being attacked by Japanese vessels. I thought it strange that, given the tension and distrust between them, the US Navy would keep Abbott and Landon together, and the whole thing came down to a predictably happy ending for all.

I'd say this movie was OK, as was Reagan's performance. I may have watched it out of curiosity because of Reagan and Davis, but having watched it what really strikes me as interesting was the opening prologue by Admiral Chester Nimitz, who clearly thought that the story of Pacific submariners needed to be told. (6/10)

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Release Date:

May 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hellcats of the Sea See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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