Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Submarine Movies

There are a couple of new submarine-themed movies in the news. There's a documentary about WWII submarines and Submariners called "Dive: A Submariner's Story"; you can watch the trailer here. It's supposed to be released sometime this year.

There's also an Australian short film about Russian submariners called "Deeper Than Yesterday" that's being entered at Cannes, so it's probably artsy-fartsy.

What are your favorite submarine movies?


Blogger Charley said...

"Hunt For Red October," "K-19."

4/20/2010 5:30 PM

Anonymous Sandy Eggo said...

I was forced to watch "Down Periscope" in my high school English class. I never really appreciated the film until I married a Submariner...

4/20/2010 5:30 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Das Boot!

4/20/2010 5:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Down Periscope was released I took my wife to see the movie. There were many bits and background jokes that one would only get if they had ever been on a boat. Watching the movie I would bust out laughing at something that no one else in the theater had a clue on, then I'd tell my wife and she'd giggle. I still laugh at that movie today.

4/20/2010 5:39 PM

Anonymous Squidboy said...

Das Boot is my favorite Submarine movie by far. I own every version including the long version (about 6 hours) which I watch every year or two as a reminder. I really wanted to hate Down Periscope, but find it quite entertaining and will always watch it when it's on. A good farce with closer to real life personalities than I imagined would be possible.

4/20/2010 5:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

U-571 and Das Boot.

Das Boot seems to be a fairly accurate recollection as to how unrestricted warfare was actively depicted back then. They had better torpedoes, but we had better sonar and even better radar when running topside.

U-571, wasn't bad at all. The history dates are way off, but it was interesting from a entertainment standpoint.

MT1(SS) WidgetHead

4/20/2010 6:13 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Das Boot, hands down. But you can also throw in, "Run Silent, Run Deep." I loved the humor in Down Periscope..."Think like a pirate. I want a man with a tattoo on his dick. Have I got the right man? " Dodge: "By a strange coincidence, you do, sir."

The WORST submarine movies? Hunt For Red October (nothing like the book), Crimson Tide (oh, God, kill me now).

4/20/2010 7:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Run Silent, Run Deep.

I was fortunate to meet Ned Beach. A true Renaissance man--like his father.

Although he penned "Run Silent, Run Deep," Ned Beach despised what Hollywood did to his book.

4/20/2010 7:42 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

Best submarine movie ever? Gotta be "Crimson Tide"! Not only do you have Denzel, Gene Hackman, and Tony Soprano, but you got a little fuckin' ratdog pissin' wherever it wants to on a boomer! Who cares if the plot is supposedly ludicrous, it's about a boomer...

4/20/2010 8:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The 5th Missile" - and that's why we don't paint underway...

4/21/2010 3:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Crash Dive" and "Operation Pacific".

4/21/2010 3:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For boats leaving the yard, we had a tradition on the first night of sea trials of showing Das Boot and Gray Lady Down as a double-feature. It was mandatory attendance for new guys. :-)

4/21/2010 4:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das Boot; Hunt for Red October; Operation Petty Coat

4/21/2010 5:50 AM

Anonymous Jim Armstrong said...

"Down Periscope" and "Das Boot".

As far as the worst, there was this made-for-TV turd I saw that I can't remember the name of. If I remember correctly, it had the white cop from CHIPS starring in it.
The absolute cringe-inducing scene (out of dozens) was at the end when they are escaping from the sinking sub. The sail was in the background, and you could see the creases from where it had been folded before being inflated. Ah, nothing like real production values!
Don't think it's ever been on again, thank freaking god!

4/21/2010 5:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a big movie guy. I am goal oriented.. I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck... maybe even a "recreational vehicle." And drive from state to state.

4/21/2010 6:12 AM

Anonymous Joe Alferio said...

With the possible exception of "Das Boot", every sub movie I've ever seen makes the mistake of making the sub way too big.

I will say this, I love the line in "Operation Petticoat' when the chief takes one look at Joan O'Brien and states,

"Anybody ever asks you what you're fighting for, there it is."

Joe Alferio

4/21/2010 6:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sub Down...I think, watched it on the boat...was such a "wtf" movie you couldn't help but watch it...once.

4/21/2010 6:52 AM

Blogger Lou said...

For boats leaving the yard, we had a tradition on the first night of sea trials of showing Das Boot and Gray Lady Down as a double-feature. It was mandatory attendance for new guys. :-)

You need to add the first 10 minutes of The Abyss to that list.

4/21/2010 6:54 AM

Blogger Lou said...

As above, "Das Boat", "K-19", and "Down Periscope". I'd like to add "Destination Tokyo" to the list.

I can't believe that this is not on anyone's list.

4/21/2010 7:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Das Boot" gets the realism and accuracy award. It shows so many aspects of submarine life during WWII form a German perspective.
-The awful living conditions on the German U-boats.
-The fatalistic partying by some ashore because it might be their last (and for the Germans it was pretty bad odds).
-The most experienced crewmembers were the CO, the Engineer and the Chief and the Engineer lost it and almost was awarded a 9 mm Luger send off but the crew intervened and shielded him.
-It depicts the mundane and boring aspect of waiting for the hunt and kill.
-It shows the success of the Allie’s ASW escort tactics which were not used at the beginning of the war.
-The disillusionment by the CO that his government was a sham and ruined their country. Governments seem to use propaganda that challenges the imagination of thinking people.
-The new officer was gung-ho after being indoctrinated with the government BS about the virtue of the country and the cause.
-It shows the depletion of the German military, the new crews were very young and very inexperienced. That happens when you lose over 900 submarines due to inept leadership and strategy and the Allies cracking their communications did not help the German’s chances either.
-It shows how Germany lost their primary ports when they had to run the Allies gauntlet through the Straits of Gibraltar and the Med which was owned by the Allies air and naval forces at that time.
-The irony of getting near a sub pen and being attacked by air forces was most fitting end.
-Seeing the German U-boat war through the combat correspondent’s perception and eyes was an added perspective.
Not a flashy film but more a compilation of realism than in any other submarine movie this old goat has seen.

4/21/2010 7:11 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Cmon now. Nobody mentions the 1966 classic "Batman"?

Classic quote:

Catwoman: [the submarine's been hit] Penguin you know I can't take water!
Penguin: You cowardly kitten! You want to live forever?

4/21/2010 8:19 AM

Anonymous xem2 said...

My favorite submarine scene was in Crimson Tide, when they're being chased by two torpedoes. I understand that most people think sonar screens look like the old 1940s radar sweep, and seeing the two red blips moving across the screen makes for a good visual. But there was a blip for the boat, and IT was moving across the screen too! I pointed it out when we were watching underway and everyone was rolling -- not the only thing that got big laughs in this "taught, gripping drama."

4/21/2010 9:14 AM

Blogger Dan said...

Down periscope. Pretty sure I've served with every single guy on that crew. (except Lauren Holley- I'll leave that to you guys that are still active duty)

In fact, I've served with that XO 3 or 4 times.

MMCS(SS/SW) -Retired

4/21/2010 9:26 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

My vote is for "ICE STATION ZEBRA" and the famous line by Rock Hudson - "Everyone on the boat goes by his first name and my name is Captain." We watched that movie during our work up for an ice operation on TREPANG in 1970. The we went to the real thing.

4/21/2010 9:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Beach

4/21/2010 10:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Russians are Coming" was pretty funny.

4/21/2010 10:19 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

I saw Destination Toyko when I turned 18. The next day I went down and spoke to a recruiter about serving on submarines (luckily he was a TMC/SS and knew where I was coming from)

4/21/2010 11:05 AM

Blogger Don the Baptist said...

"Deeper Than Yesterday" That's a fitting title for Russian subs.
"Oh, She'll go all the way to the bottom, if we let her."

4/21/2010 11:40 AM

Blogger Don the Baptist said...

"Deeper Than Yesterday is poised to be the only Australian film at Cannes this year. Kleiman describes his film as the surreal story of a group of Russian submariners who are losing their minds after three months under water."

Russians underwater for THREE MONTHS? I'd call that surreal alright.

4/21/2010 11:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russians underwater for THREE MONTHS? I'd call that surreal alright.

Das Borscht

4/21/2010 12:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ain't Chief Of the Boat, I'm actually Sheena, queen of the jungle!

4/21/2010 2:11 PM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/21/2010 2:53 PM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

I wasn't a U-571 man since Petty Officer Wentz was the LELT at the time on my boat.

I like, "The World Is Not Enough". The Victor III (at 330 feet long) with the Pu rod that was made on the boat was something to see.

"Now that the reactor is shutdown, there's nothing to worry about!"

4/21/2010 2:54 PM

Anonymous Cupojoe said...

How about a shout out for 1990's "Going Under", starring Bill Pullman as captain of the USS SUB STANDARD.

4/21/2010 5:42 PM

Anonymous Veemann said...

Crash Dive (1943)

Hellcats of the Navy

Torpedo Alley

Run Silent, Run Deep

Up Periscope

Ice Station Zebra

Das Boot

4/21/2010 6:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder why no one made any "Das Boot" type films about American WWII submarines?

There has been a lot of good books like "Clear the Bridge" just to name one of many.

There would be some cool names:
"Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Sink 'Em"
or maybe "Sink the SOBs."

I am not sure the modern folks who have been brainwashed by PC (Perpetually Cluessless) Diversity BS propaganda can conceive too much of reality.

"You can't handle the truth..."

4/21/2010 8:00 PM

Blogger Nereus said...

The Abyss, submarines of all breeds, aliens. The opening sequence of the Montana going down, Who needs more.

4/21/2010 9:43 PM

Anonymous Former Squadron Rider said...

For truly capturing submarining (at least for me) it's "Das Boot" and "Down Periscope." For pure comedic value, "Crimson Tide."

4/21/2010 10:12 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

The opening scene in Gray Lady Down was superb, a rare combination of great acting and cinematic art! It showed a beautiful diesel boat submerging.

That was TROUT, I was the OOD.

Filmed off San Diego from a helo. Was the only underway I had under new CO Wayne Drake, a mustang who was the hero of the SARGO fire. We got underway just for the filming.

4/22/2010 4:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hostile Waters" anyone?

Oh wait, that goes in the worst submarine movies category.

4/22/2010 8:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

giant octopus vs mega-shark. What other movie has a giant octopus taking out 5 or 6 SSNs at one time. Or a battleship firing it's 16 inch guns into the water to hit a mega-shark at 500 feet?

submarines play a big part in this epic ode to the submarine force

4/22/2010 11:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gray Lady Down...All the nukes get locked back aft and drown within the first half hour.

4/22/2010 2:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Guess no one on this thread has seen "Submarine commander" circa 1952-53. William Holden is the skipper and my all time favorite as COB TMC(SS) William Bendix, ol'foghorn himself. A lot of the film was shot at Mare Island putting a fleet boat back in comission for the Korean War. Lot of shots actually on fleet boats.

Check it out!!!


4/22/2010 3:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

gotta add "The Flying Missile" circa 1950. Movie about the Submarine Navy Loon Guided Missile program. Starred Glenn Ford as the submarine skipper. Includes a lot of Navy footage of Loon missile launches from my qual boat USS Cusk SSG-348, USS Tunny SSG-282, and USS Carbonero SS-337.

Check it out!!!

Keep a zero bubble.......


4/22/2010 3:19 PM

Anonymous flem snopes said...

Gotta go with Das Boot... so intense at one point I had to go out to the lobby.

Down Periscope, too. "Aye, sir. This is what I live for. DBF!"

One of the sailors in the Luau scene (IIRC) in Operation Petticoat was an EN1(SS) on Sea Poacher when I was aboard. WWII subvet with a populated patrol pin.


4/22/2010 5:01 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Flesh Gordon. THAT was a submarine movie. Screw you!!!

4/22/2010 8:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Favorite movie without a bunch of flair but an actual plot is:

"The Sand Pebbles"


4/22/2010 8:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enemy Below

"sing it Heinie"

4/23/2010 12:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really a submarine movie, but there was some sense of satisification when Topeka got destroyed in the second transformers movie.

4/23/2010 9:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its about time the navy permits women to serve in "tubes".

4/29/2010 5:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am looking for a movie where some men were on a submarine (william holden maybe?) and when the surface the human population has been wiped out. They search for what they think may be a survivor typing out morse code but find in only to be a window shade tapping against a bottle in the wind. Please email me at if you know this movie!

6/25/2010 9:50 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

The movie "Submarines" is so blatently stupid, it was all I could do to keep watching it. Obviously a low-budget film, it really has nothing to do with any sort of reality... like some grade-school project.

1/07/2011 5:13 PM


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