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Battle of the Coral Sea (1959)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | November 1959 (USA)
2:11 | Trailer

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In 1942 submarine commander Jeff Conway secretly photographs Japanese aircraft carriers in the Coral Sea but his submarine is damaged and he's forced to surrender.


Paul Wendkos


Daniel B. Ullman (screenplay) (as Daniel Ullman), Stephen Kandel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview:
Cliff Robertson ... Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Conway
Gia Scala ... Karen Philips
Teru Shimada ... Comm. Mori
Patricia Cutts Patricia Cutts ... Lt. Peg Whitcomb
Gene Blakely Gene Blakely ... Lt. Len Ross
Rian Garrick Rian Garrick ... Al Schechter
L.Q. Jones ... Yeoman Halliday
Robin Hughes ... Maj. Jammy Harris
Gordon Jones ... Torpedoman Bates
Tom Laughlin ... Ens. Franklin


In 1942 submarine commander Jeff Conway secretly photographs Japanese aircraft carriers in the Coral Sea.When his submarine is damaged Conway is forced to surrender to the Japanese.Taken to a Japanese interrogation camp Commander Conway and his submarine crew plan their escape.Their mission is dangerous but staying in the Japanese POW camp could be worse. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most amazing saga of the most decisive battle in naval history ! See more »


Action | Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Batalha do Mar do Coral 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 »

Did You Know?


Submachine guns used were MP40 from Germany. See more »


Although it is hard to see, one of the model ships in the Battle of the Coral Sea was a US battleship. Neither side used battleships in the battle. Also, when the narrator talked about the loss of the USS Lexington, the aircraft carrier shown with holes on the deck and a displaced airplane elevator was the USS Franklin which suffered greatly from a Japanese bombing attack on March 19, 1945. The ship suffered damage from terrible explosions and fire, but survived and sailed all the way back to New York City. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "One of the greatest and most significant battles in the history of naval warfare occurred in May 1942.

The place: Coral Sea, South Pacific.

The participants: the Japanese Fifth Carrier Division and the United States Pacific Fleet.

The issue at stake was simple and clearcut. The enemy was moving rapidly towards Australia and had to be stopped. He was stopped.

The Allied victory in the South Pacific will stand in world history as a noble monument to the memory of the gallant men and officers of the United States Navy who fought and won the battle of the Coral Sea."

Signed: Rear Admiral John J. Bergen, U S N R President Navy League of the United States See more »


Referenced in To Tell the Truth: Episode dated 3 March 1960 (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

Summary of the actual battle
28 February 2007 | by BigD_3285See all my reviews

The Japanese lost the 11,000 ton light-carrier Shoho, while the Americans lost the much more valuable Lexington. In addition, each-side had a top-notch CV (Shokaku and Yorktown) damaged. The Japanese had a 3rd carrier, Zuikaku, which was undamaged during the battle. Based on that, the Japanese won the battle, however, their air group was punished heavily. Their carriers were assigned to support the invasion of Port Moresby, and they had suffered a lot of plane losses so that they no longer felt confident they could do this. So, this swings it to an overall draw.

In the end, it would be the Japanese who were hurting more, because the Americans not only had a lot more pilots in reserve, and thus could replace losses more easily, at this point in the war the Japanese Navy had the more experienced pilots. So, losing pilots hurt them more than it hurt the USA. Also, it took nearly 2 months to sail Shokaku back to Japan and repair her, but Yorktown headed for Pearl Harbor and was patched-up and ready for battle (although not fully repaired) in 3 days.

Incidentally, their plane/pilot losses were so heavy that Zuikaku sat out the battle of Midway waiting for replacement pilots. This was a huge mistake since the 5th flight deck would have been invaluable.

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