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Submerged (2001)

A moment by moment account of the sinking and rescue of the crew of the submarine USS Squalus which was the first rescue of living crew on a submarine.


James Keach


Peter Maas (book), John Pielmeier (teleplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Neill ... Lt. Cmdr. Charles B. 'Swede' Momsen
Shea Whigham ... Capt. Oliver Naquin
Emily Procter ... Frances Naquin
Hugh O'Conor ... Jim McDonald
Matthew Wait Matthew Wait ... Martin 'Ski' Sibitzky
Martin McDougall
Vincent Riotta ... Harold Preble
Raymond Waring
Alex McSweeney Alex McSweeney ... Seaman Lawrence Gainor
John Pielmeier John Pielmeier ... Lt. Cmdr. Fortis
Marshall Griffin ... Lloyd Maness
Jenna Harrison ... Betty Cole
James Sikking ... Rear Admiral Cyrus Cole (as James B. Sikking)
Alex Campagner Alex Campagner ... Machinist Mate Al Prien
Des Coleman Des Coleman ... Cook Will Isaacs


Based on the best-selling book by Peter Maas, Submerged tells the story of the first submarine rescue in history, that of the crew of the USS Squalus in 1938, and of the man who affected the rescue, Lt.Cmdr. "Swede" Momsen. Written by Jeff Codella

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


59 men trapped below. A desperate SOS. The depths of human courage.




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Did You Know?


While many movies of this type add complications to the rescue, this one simplifies it. In real life several more ships were involved, and when the diving bell jammed on the fourth trip, several dives were made before it could be freed. The bell was also sent on a fifth trip to confirm that no other compartments contained survivors. See more »


Throughout the movie the name of the sub Squalus is mispronounced as Squawlus. The correct pronunciation is Skwaylus. See more »

User Reviews

Adequate account of dramatic event
31 July 2001 | by stevesvSee all my reviews

This is a relatively faithful recounting of the dramatic rescue of most of the crew of USS Squalus, which went down while conducting diving drills near the Portsmouth, NH Navy Yard in October 1939.

Of course, some liberties had to be taken for dramatic purposes, but key events, such as the divers suffering from the effects of such a deep dive (over 230 feet), and the fact that the rescue bell got stuck coming up with the last of the survivors, requiring yet another harrowing dive to free them, are handled well. Considering the press attention this event got at the time, the total absence of reporters from the movie is surprising, but sort of refreshing in a way.

That said, I never really was engrossed in this movie, with many of the dramatic moments falling flat. Maybe that's because I knew how it would turn out, but still, one would think the film could be a bit better paced. All in all, a 7.

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Release Date:

20 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'odyssée du Squalus See more »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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