The captain of a submarine sunk by the Japanese during WWII is finally given a chance to skipper another sub after a year of working a desk job. His singleminded determination for revenge against the destroyer that sunk his previous vessel puts his new crew in unneccessary danger.
Clark Gable ... Cmdr. 'Rich' Richardson
Burt Lancaster ... Lt. Jim Bledsoe
Jack Warden ... Yeoman 1st Class Mueller
Brad Dexter ... Ens. Gerald Cartwright
Don Rickles ... Petty Officer 1st Class Ruby
Nick Cravat ... Russo
Joe Maross ... Chief Kohler
Mary LaRoche ... Laura Richardson
Eddie Foy III ... Larto
Rudy Bond ... Petty Officer 1st Class Cullen
"Run Silent, Run Deep" featured the only pairing of two screen giants-Clark Gable, in the twilight of his career, and Burt Lancaster, whose best performances were still ahead of him. Sad to say that they couldn't be used in a joint effort again, as the on-screen chemistry was on a supreme height.
Gable plays the commander of a WWII submarine that has recently been sunk in an ara referred to as the Bunko Straits, or Area 7. He has been assigned to a desk job back at Pearl Harbor, and even after a year, is still brooding over the loss of his crew and his boat. Lancaster has a good part, that of the Executive Officer of a sub called the USS Nerka. This boat has just had a command change, Lancaster desires that position, but is passed over in favor of Gable, who senses a chance to return to the Straits and extract revenge on the Japanese destroyer which he feels certain sank his old command. The clash between the two men is obvious, but they put their personal differences behind them, and head for a long lasting combat mission, which against orders, will include Gable's return visit to the forbidden area 7 of the Bunko Straits.
Besides the pairing of two of Hollywood's screen legends, the film features the realism of using an actual ship of the line, the USS Redfish, for many of the shots. Also, the viewer has a chance to feel a part of the underwater tensions and claustrophobic conditions that submariners experienced during times of combat underwater. A must-see, or even better, a must buy film for those that enjoy films of this genre.
This is a wonderful movie depicting the experience of one United States Navy submarine during the Second World War. The "Silent Service" never looked better.
It is filmed in black and white, which is (possibly) a salute to the "Victory at Sea" series of a few years before, but this film would not work as well in color (in contrast with "Das Boot," which would not work as well in black and white). Like "Das Boot," the sets are realistic and give the viewer an intimate feeling of the claustrophobia that existed on these small subs.
The script is excellent, although I have one recommendation: Try to watch this film in a "closed caption" mode. I hear fine, but when I watched it a second time in closed captioned, I picked up even more, particularly the names of the crew.
Gable and Lancaster are a little too old for the roles they are playing. But, this is a small complaint in comparison to their remarkable performances. It's easy to think of Gable as "Rhett Butler," no more and no less, but this film illustrates what a very fine actor he was. Lancaster is excellent, and gives a preview of his Oscar-winning turn in "Elmer Gantry," just a year or two later.
This is an old-fashioned film made with the able assistance of the U.S. Navy, and one cannot help but feeling a little pride in our nation and gratitude for our brave WW II veterans, after watching it. Highly recommended.
This was the second of two films that Burt Lancaster's Hecht-Hill-Lancaster company produced with a co-star from the earlier generation of film icons. Lancaster got the services of Gary Cooper for Verz Cruz and for Run Silent Run Deep, Clark Gable signed on for a hitch in as a submarine captain with a mission that isn't in the orders.
Clark Gable has been desk bound for a year after losing his submarine in the Bungo Strait in Japanese waters. He hears of another submarine coming into Pearl Harbor with a wounded captain who will be on medical leave. So with a little back channel influence playing naval politics, Gable gets command of the U.S.S. Nerka.
He inherits a resentful crew and an executive officer in Burt Lancaster who thinks he should have inherited the job. Gable's going back to the Bungo Stratis to nail the Japanese battleship that sank his former submarine and it's against orders.
The conflict already existing between Gable and Lancaster and the one some in the crew would like to make is what gives the film its spark. Though this is a submarine film, you can see plot elements of Flying Leathernecks and The Caine Mutiny here. Brad Dexter is in the Fred MacMurray role.
If Humphrey Bogart on the Caine had had at least one confidant on board he might not have cracked up. Gable's confidante on the Nerka is Jack Warden who is desk bound with him and transferred with him to the Nerka when Gable got command. Both Warden and Dexter are the best in a good supporting cast.
By the way what Gable is drilling his men in doing is shooting with precise speed and accuracy into the bow of an oncoming enemy ship and then diving for cover in split seconds. Quite a maneuver.
* Albert Salmi was first choice for the role of Mueller, but dropped out due to a personality clash with Clark Gable.
* Don Rickles' first movie role.
* Frank Gorshin was originally due to test for the role of Officer Ruby but refused to fly to the testing. Instead he drove and was involved in an accident, leaving him with a fractured skull. After 4 days in hospital he awoke to find the role had been given to Don Rickles.
* The older-younger dynamic (desk-bound older commander taking the reins of what was to be the younger commander's first ship, yet keeping the younger officer on as the Exec) was featured prominently in another Robert Wise film some 20 years later, Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
* The destroyer Cmdr. Richardson (Clark Gable) is obsessed with finding, the "Akikaze", was an actual Imperial Japanese Navy destroyer. She was commissioned on September 16, 1920, and was quite old for ship standards by the time World War II began. As such, she was used as a fast troop transport and convoy escort. On November 3, 1944 she was escorting the carrier "Junyo" and light cruiser "Kiso" toward Brunei in the Philippines. The American submarine "U.S.S. Pintado (SS-387)" attacked the formation and fired torpedoes at the "Junyo", but the "Akikaze" deliberately intercepted the torpedoes intended for the carrier, causing her to blow up and sink with her entire crew of 148 officers and men.