EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|RUN SILENT RUN DEEP (director: Robert Wise; screenwriters: from the novel by Commander Edward L. Beach/John Gay; cinematographer: Russell Harlan; editor: George Boemler; music: Franz Waxman; cast: Clark Gable (Commander Richardson), Burt Lancaster (Lieutenant Bledsoe), Jack Warden (Yeoman Mueller), Brad Dexter (Lt. j.g Cartwright), Don Rickles (Petty officer 1st class Ruby), Joe Maross (Chief Kohler); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harold Hecht; United Artists; 2012)|
better submarine film has not been made."
by Dennis Schwartz
better submarine film has not been made. The taut World War II adventure
story, filmed in gorgeous black and white, features
friction between Old School movie star Clark Gable as
the commander of a submarine with the new Hollywood
star Burt Lancaster as the executive officer, both
playing strong-headed, competent and honorable Navy
officers who want to command the submarine. Robert
Wise ("The Sound of Music"/"The Set-Up"/"West Side
Story") wisely elicits all he can get from the boat's
claustrophobic conditions to build tension among
the crew over the power dispute between the two
officers and the dangerous mission of bringing down a
prized Japanese destroyer on Japanese waters in the climactic
sea battle. It's based on the novel by Commander
Edward L. Beach and is scripted by John Gay.
opening sequence, in 1942, veteran hard-nosed American
submarine Commander Richardson (Clark Gable), in the Bungo Straits near
the coast of Japan, is sunk by the Japanese destroyer
Akikaze. Richardson is one of the
few survivors, but feels humiliated
he's assigned as a desk jockey during the next year at
Pearl Harbor. The obsessed commander is focused
entirely on getting revenge on the destroyer and after
he learns the Akikaze sunk four boats, talks the Navy
board into giving him command of the Nerka submarine.
The command had been promised to the ambitious younger
Lieutenant Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster), who is upset with
the decision that he's assigned as the executive
officer and asks for a transfer. That's denied by
The submarine is assigned
to patrol Area 7, which contains the Bungo Straits,
but with orders not to enter the straits. Meanwhile the crew is
upset that their new commander has them drilling all
the time and passing up attacking a submarine,
believing Richardson is a coward. It soon becomes
clear that Richardson is planning to have another
fight with the Akikaze, as he practices by taking out
an enemy destroyer and then enters the Bungo Straits
by redefining his orders as is the captain's privilege
if he determines circumstances change that he must
take advantage of.
In an ensuing sea fight Richardson
gets severely wounded and before Bledsoe could take over
in a mutiny, because Navy orders were disobeyed,
Richardson is declared physically unfit for duty and
Bledsoe assumes the command and goes after the
destroyer. He's helped by Richardson's experience.
The only way not to like this authentic looking action film, with excellent sea fights, is if you don't care for the submarine genre. Upon its release it didn't do that well commercially, but over the years it has gained a reputation as a first-class war tale with star power.
REVIEWED ON 3/20/2013 GRADE: A
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ