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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Phantom Submarine . The film begins with the following written statement: "In the making of this picture, the cooperation of the Department of Defense and the United States Navy is gratefully acknowledged." According to HR , portions of this film were shot in San Diego, CA. Universal press materials state that the U.S.S. Steelhead, a decommissioned Navy submarine, played the role of the Nazi U-boat in Mystery Submarine . This was the first Universal film directed by Douglas Sirk, a German immigrant who became best known for his work at that studio on such melodramas as Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1956) and Imitation of Life (1959). Although Russell Schoengarth and Ralph Dawson are listed as the film's editors by HR production charts, Virgil Vogel is credited in the position by contemporary reviews and the film's onscreen ... More Less

The working title of this film was Phantom Submarine . The film begins with the following written statement: "In the making of this picture, the cooperation of the Department of Defense and the United States Navy is gratefully acknowledged." According to HR , portions of this film were shot in San Diego, CA. Universal press materials state that the U.S.S. Steelhead, a decommissioned Navy submarine, played the role of the Nazi U-boat in Mystery Submarine . This was the first Universal film directed by Douglas Sirk, a German immigrant who became best known for his work at that studio on such melodramas as Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1956) and Imitation of Life (1959). Although Russell Schoengarth and Ralph Dawson are listed as the film's editors by HR production charts, Virgil Vogel is credited in the position by contemporary reviews and the film's onscreen credits. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Dec 1950.
---
Daily Variety
22 Nov 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Nov 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 50
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 1950.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Nov 50
p. 590.
New York Times
2 Feb 51
p. 19.
Variety
22 Nov 50
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story and scr
Story and scr
Suggested by a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Seagull wrangler
Unit prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Phantom Submarine
Release Date:
December 1950
Production Date:
20 July--31 August 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
16 November 1950
Copyright Number:
LP536
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78-79
Length(in feet):
7,021
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14916
SYNOPSIS

German Madeline Brenner, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is brought before the United States Attorney for the District of New York under the charge of treason. Madeline tells him how she met Eric Von Molter, a renegade German submarine commander, along the beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Von Molter tells her that her husband, whom she thought was killed during World War II, is actually alive and well. She is then told that she must help with the abduction of German scientist, Dr. Adolph Guernitz, if she wishs to be reunited with her husband. After abducting Guernitz and torpedoing the yacht that the scientist had been traveling on, Von Molter then tells Madeline that her husband had indeed died five years earlier, as she had previously believed. Later, Dr. Brett Young testifies that he was assigned by U.S. Naval Intelligence to find the renegade German submarine and rescue Guernitz. Pretending to be an escaped German prisoner-of-war, Brett finds Von Molter's base along the eastern coastline of Mexico and is soon accepted into their group. As a physician, Brett is then given the task of caring for the seriously ill Guernitz. In the meantime, Von Molter declares his romantic interests in Madeline, while planning for the transfer of Guernitz to an unnamed foreign power. Later, Von Molter catches Brett attempting to use the submarine's radio, but does nothing, as he needs Brett to continue taking care of Guernitz. With Guernitz growing weaker, Von Molter decides to take to sea immediately for a planned rendezvous with the Panamanian tanker Citadel . Brett tries to leave a message for U.S. Naval Intelligence when Von Molter ... +


German Madeline Brenner, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is brought before the United States Attorney for the District of New York under the charge of treason. Madeline tells him how she met Eric Von Molter, a renegade German submarine commander, along the beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Von Molter tells her that her husband, whom she thought was killed during World War II, is actually alive and well. She is then told that she must help with the abduction of German scientist, Dr. Adolph Guernitz, if she wishs to be reunited with her husband. After abducting Guernitz and torpedoing the yacht that the scientist had been traveling on, Von Molter then tells Madeline that her husband had indeed died five years earlier, as she had previously believed. Later, Dr. Brett Young testifies that he was assigned by U.S. Naval Intelligence to find the renegade German submarine and rescue Guernitz. Pretending to be an escaped German prisoner-of-war, Brett finds Von Molter's base along the eastern coastline of Mexico and is soon accepted into their group. As a physician, Brett is then given the task of caring for the seriously ill Guernitz. In the meantime, Von Molter declares his romantic interests in Madeline, while planning for the transfer of Guernitz to an unnamed foreign power. Later, Von Molter catches Brett attempting to use the submarine's radio, but does nothing, as he needs Brett to continue taking care of Guernitz. With Guernitz growing weaker, Von Molter decides to take to sea immediately for a planned rendezvous with the Panamanian tanker Citadel . Brett tries to leave a message for U.S. Naval Intelligence when Von Molter raids a port hospital, seeking medication for the ill scientist, but the German submarine commander discovers his note and places Brett under arrest. With Guernitz seemingly lost, the German submarine is spotted by a U.S. Navy search plane. After Madeline releases a flare, the submarine is soon set upon by three passing U.S. Navy destroyers. Von Molter, however, tricks the ships into thinking that the submarine has been sunk by setting off an oil slick, releasing floatables and diving deep. Brett secretly writes the exact location of the submarine's planned rendezvous with the Citadel on one of the released life preservers, and Von Molter is captured after boarding the Citadel . Von Molter informs his captors that the submarine will torpedo the tanker if he is not immediately released. A squadron of U.S. Navy planes arrives, however, and destroys the German submarine before it can fire on the tanker. Based on her cooperation and Brett's testimony, all charges against Madeline are then dropped. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.