UP PERISCOPE —–this WW2 sub(par) flick broke the surface in 1959, the $1,000,000 Warner Bros. investment based on the hope that James Garner, 31, quite popular from TVs Maverick, would sell this dreary by-the-book matinée, backed by the redoubtable Edmond O’Brien. Glub went the sub, as its boxoffice wake of $3,890,000 only made it to berth #61 that year. Garner, in his autobio, depth-charged it as “Another piece of crap that Warner Brothers stuck me in while I was under contract.”
Conned by Gordon Douglas, it silently runs over 112 minutes, with the sonar soundings of Andra Martin, Alan Hale Jr., Carleton Young, Frank Gifford, William Leslie, Richard Bakalyan, Edd Byrnes, Henry Kulky, Bernie Hamilton and Warren Oates. Brynes (getting huge fan mail as ‘Kookie’ on 77 Sunset Strip) would get a better shot that same year in another Douglas-directed genre actioner, Yellowstone Kelly (also showcasing Martin & Oates).
Sub sagas had a renaissance sortie in the late 50s: On The Beach, Torpedo Run, Run Silent Run Deep, The Enemy Below, Operation Petticoat. Alas, we like Jim Garner and Eddie O’Brien, but this rusty tub should have stayed in dry-dock.