Films to Find

This is a list of submarine related films, some direct, some indirect.

To locate these films please check here:

In Association with


These are not the Hollywood special effects variety. These were made using real metal pressure hulls.

If you have any suggestions for this list, let me know.

"Crash Dive" ----
Tyrone Power and Dana Andrews battle the Japanese and romance the same woman. An unexploded bomb lodges in the superstructure and needs to be defused.

"Run Silent, Run Deep" ----
(1958) Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster have their own personal war while fighting the Japanese.

"Torpedo Alley" ----
Mark Stevens is a navy flyer rescued at sea by a submarine on lifeguard duty and decides to go to sub school. Excellent shots of the sub base at New London in 1952, including scenes inside the escape training tower.

"Submarine Command" ----
William Holden has his own devils to fight. William Bendix as the COB doesn't help. The opening scenes were made on the nest of mothballed subs at the Mare Island Navy Yard in 1950. I spent several weeks doing upkeep on those mothballed subs. There were 62 subs in the nest. All were on shore power with batteries being maintained. They could have been back in action in two weeks. All gone now. This film seems to not be out on video, but it has been on TV!

"Torpedo Run" ----
Glenn Ford and Ernest Borgnine invade the Sea of Japan.

"Operation Pacific" ----
John Wayne finally gets those damn torpedoes to work.


"Hell and High Water" ----
(1954) Richard Widmark is captain of a rogue submarine sent on an espionage mission. This film has not made it to video yet!

"Destination Tokyo" ----
(1944) Unlikely sub captain Cary Grant sneaks into Tokyo Bay and guides the first bomber strike from Jimmy Doolittle's daring raids.

"Hellcats of the Navy" ----
Ronald Reagan does his bit for the war.

"Guided Missile" ----
Glenn Ford helps perfect the first submarine surface launched missile. This film has not come out on video.

"Up Periscope" ----
Edmond O'Brien and James Garner do a bit of espionage on a Japanese held island.

"Operation Petticoat" ----
Cary Grant and Tony Curtis rescue a group of navy nurses, and their boat also becomes the pink submarine. Probably the germ of the idea behind the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."

"Down Periscope" ----
Kelsey Grammer outsmarts an admiral and wins the day with the help of a spaced-out sonarman. This is a romp as to how it could happen with women in the crew.


Some Documentaries are around:

"Victory at Sea" ----
The classic documentary of all the naval battles which was broadcast over many weeks on TV in 1952. The original miniseries format. Chapter 21, "Full Fathom Five," showed submarine crews in training at New London, Pearl Harbor, and combat footage.

"Submarines, the ultimate undersea weapon" ----
Combat at Sea Video Collection by US News

"Submarine War Against Japan" ----
Extensive documentary using actual combat footage.


"Submarines, Secrets & Spies" ----
Several examples of US submarines engaged in espionage assignments, including the USS Halibut tapping Soviet underwater telephone cables in a Soviet bay.

"Submarine: Steel Boats, Iron Men" ----

There are quite a lot of British navy films about submarines. I have several I need to look up.

"World War II, Submarine Warfare" ----
Attack, the battle for New Brittain.

"We Dive at Dawn" ----
A British sub goes after a Nazi battleship


And the Hollywood versions:

"Das Boot" (in German) "The Boat" (dubbed English) ----
Exceptionally well done presentation of the claustrophobic conditions on a German U-boat under wartime conditions. The re-supplying of the torpedoes in a Lisbon harbor was informative. While Portugal was not a beligerant, the Nazis pressured them into using the port as a secret supply base.

"The Atomic Submarine" ----
A science fiction flick in 1959 involving encounters with UFOs at the north pole.

"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" ----
Classic science fiction with Walter Pigeon as a sub captain out to save earth.

"On the Beach" ----
Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and others search for survivors of atomic fallout.

"The Hunt for Red October" ----
The first of Tom Clancy's works that revolutionized the genre. A Soviet sub captain plans to defect with his boat. The DVD has superb surround sound. The torpedoes zing.

"Crimson Tide" ----
Conflict between the captain and his executive officer as to how to respond to a national emergency.

"U571" ----
One heck of a yarn about capturing a German U-boat. The DVD has background information about the story and the making of the film. Excellent Dolby surround sound. The depth charges are all around you.