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The Atomic Submarine (1959)

Not Rated | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 29 November 1959 (USA)
Ships mysteriously disappear on route across the Arctic Sea, and a specially-equipped submarine is sent to investigate.

Director:

Spencer Gordon Bennet (as Spencer G. Bennet)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Franz ... Lt. Cmdr. Richard 'Reef' Holloway
Dick Foran ... Cmdr. Dan Wendover
Brett Halsey ... Dr. Carl Neilson Jr.
Tom Conway ... Sir Ian Hunt
Paul Dubov ... Lt. David Milburn
Bob Steele ... CPO 'Grif' Griffin
Victor Varconi ... Dr. Clifford Kent
Joi Lansing ... Julie
Selmer Jackson ... Adm. Terhune
Jack Mulhall ... Justin Murdock
Jean Moorhead Jean Moorhead ... Helen Milburn
Richard Tyler Richard Tyler ... Frogman Carney
Kenneth Becker Kenneth Becker ... Frogman Powell (as Ken Becker)
Sid Melton ... Yeoman Chester Tuttle
Frank Watkins ... Watkins
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Storyline

In the far and distant future of 1968, many ships and planes are crossing the North pole to transport passengers and cargo. However lately more than eight ships and seven submarines have vanished mysteriously. The Tigershark is sent out to investigate their whereabouts and - if possible - remove the cause of their disappearance. But the life form Commander Vandover and his crew encounter may be too powerful even for their weapons of newest technology... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When U.S.A. Killer Subs meet a ruthless power in the icy depths of a Polar Sea! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The trailer for this Allied Artists release played down the science fiction elements and made it look more like a military action film. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie Holloway and Neilson walk outside during the day talking about the future. Neilson looks up at the sky and it is not a bright sunshine sky, but a night sky full of clearly visible stars. See more »

Quotes

Voice of Spaceman: At last Commander, we meet as your people say... face to face!
Cmdr. Richard 'Reef' Holloway: That's a face?
See more »

Alternate Versions

This was one of the Allied Artists releases for which a special version was prepared for U.S. television syndication. The film would start with an introductory scroll followed a scene from the movie and then the opening title/credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Atomic Recall (2007) See more »

User Reviews

 
Immediately forgettable but effortlessly likable
28 March 2015 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

Following a series of attacks on cargo ships and, most notably, nuclear submarine's, the Pentagon send their best ship, The Tigershark, to investigate. On board is Lieutenant Commander 'Reef' Holloway (Arthur Franz) and noted scientist Sir Ian Hunt (Tom Conway), who after examining the previous incidents and eye-witness statements, soon form the belief that they are dealing with some kind of underwater alien craft. Holloway's attack-first-ask- questions-later approach puts him at loggerheads with young pacifist Dr. Neilson, Jr. (Brett Halsey), the son of a revered scientist. They soon discover their speedy enemy, and Holloway finds himself confronted by a one-eyed monster intent on world domination.

There is a lot to criticise about The Atomic Submarine, regardless of the obvious budget limitations and drive-in aspirations. Sci-fi movies from the 1950's and 60's manufacture most of their charm from bad special effects and clunky dialogue, but The Atomic Submarine looks particularly ropey, with miniature toys and a fish-bowl filling-in for apparently state-of-the-art aquatic engineering and the great blue yonder. The first two-thirds of the film is extremely talky, which would be fine if not for the characters being little more than B- movie archetypes, either puffing their chest with patriotic defiance or providing some light comic relief.

Yet the climax, which sees a lot of the crew massacred by the drooling extra-terrestrial (voiced by John Hilliard), proves worth the wait. It's certainly formulaic, but it's full of wobbly, retro sets and a genuinely creepy score by Alexander Laszlo, key aspects in what makes these films so fun to watch. The face-off between Holloway and the spaceman also contains some unintentionally hilarious dialogue. "At last Commander, we meet as your people say... face to face!" says the alien. "That's a face?" Holloway replies. The Atomic Submarine is immediately forgettable, best watched late at night when you feel like you're the only person left awake in the world, but this effortlessly likable fluff.

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Atomic Sub See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$135,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gorham Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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