Second World War drama starring Burt Lancaster as Lieutenant Jim Bledsoe, who expects to take charge of the submarine Nerka, but the job is given instead to Commander Richardson (Clark Gable), who doesn’t exactly instil confidence in the crew as his last submarine was sunk by the Japanese.
Richardson has to return to the dreaded Bongo Straits where he had lost his previous sub and his men, while the reticence of second-in-command Bledsoe and the resentfulness of the crew make for fine drama in a confined space.
The target is a Japanese destroyer called Akikaze which has sunk four American subs.
Former editor Robert Wise – who numbers Citizen Kane among his early work – proves that there’s much more to his directorial career than the musicals he tends to be remembered for today, and the opening, pre-title sequence of this film is a classic example of movie storytelling.
This terse, brilliantly directed study in revenge is one of the best submarine movies ever made – Quentin Tarantino even referred to it as such in his additions to the screenplay of Crimson Tide.
Lieutenant Jim Bledsoe
Eddie Foy III