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Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | TV Movie 29 September 1991
True story of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, its crew's struggle to survive the sharks and exposure, and the captain's scape-goat court-martial.


Robert Iscove


Alan Sharp

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stacy Keach ... Capt. Charles Butler McVay
Richard Thomas ... Lieutenant Steven Scott
Steve Landesberg ... Lipscombe
Don Harvey ... Kinderman
Robert Cicchini ... D'Angelo
David Caruso ... Wilkes
Bob Gunton ... Chaplain
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... Hashimoto
Jeffrey Nordling ... Tasker
Tim Guinee ... Dobson
Neil Giuntoli ... Goldstein
Gordon Clapp ... Elias
Joseph Carberry ... Spilner (as Joe Carberry)
Dale Dye ... Major Green
Eddie Frias Eddie Frias ... Cortes


True story of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, its crew's struggle to survive the sharks and exposure, and the captain's scape-goat court-martial.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | Japanese

Release Date:

29 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mission of the Shark See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


On 20 August 2017, Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen announced that a search team he led had found the wreckage of the Indianapolis two days earlier in the North Pacific at a depth of 5500 meters. See more »


In the scene where a seaplane lands at sea to rescue the crew, the plane used is a Grumman Albatross. However, this aircraft was not put into service until 1949. The real life aircraft that rescued the crew, was a Catalina PBY. See more »


Hashimoto: Captain. You are a man who believes in fate?
Capt. Charles Butler McVay: No. I'm a man who was trying to accept it.
Hashimoto: It is not easy being a survivor.
See more »


Edited from Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Fans of S.S.'s Jaws should check this one out.
16 November 2006 | by sxylelatsSee all my reviews

Remember the boys out on Quint's boat? At night, down below, swapping seagoing yarns, showing their scars, knowing the shark is out there, waiting in the watery night, guys talk of exploits and escapes. Joining in, the Roy Schieder character naively questions, "What's that one?" noticing another tattoo on Quint's forearm, The USS Indianapolis. Quint tells the tragic story of that WWII ship and crew. His personal motivation as a shark hunter.

Well, if you want more of the story, that's what Mission of the Shark delivers. It is a nicely crafted historical drama with high marks for historical accuracy. Stacy Keach is wonderful as the captain, a tragic figure with biblically bad luck.

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