Crash Dive (1943)

105 mins | Drama | 14 May 1943

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were SS 111 and Submarine School . On 25 Aug 1942, after Crash Dive had been selected as the film's title, Twentieth Century-Fox announced that it was considering renaming the picture again, because of fears that "the ticket buyers might connect the title with an airplane story." After the opening credits, a written prologue reads: "The cooperation and assistance of the officers and men of the U.S. Navy submarine base, New London, Connecticut, is gratefully acknowledged." Tyrone Power's credit reads "Tyrone Power U.S.M.C.R."
       On 12 Sep 1942, Pittsburgh Courier stated that the film would "touch lightly on the seaman life of Dorie Miller," an African American messman who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic actions aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although Miller is not directly portrayed in the picture, Pittsburgh Courier noted that Ben Carter's character, "Oliver Cromwell Jones," would be depicted as "a heroic mess attendant, very much a part of the plot, and a fighting man among fighting men." According to a HR news item, John Payne and Randolph Scott were originally set to star in the picture. Another HR news item noted that William Perlberg was scheduled to produce the film. He was replaced by Milton Sperling, who, on 10 Sep 1942, left the studio to join the Marine Corps. Lee Marcus then stepped in to act as producer while the film was still shooting. The picture was also Tyrone Power's last before enlisting in the Marine Corps as a private. ... More Less

The working titles of this film were SS 111 and Submarine School . On 25 Aug 1942, after Crash Dive had been selected as the film's title, Twentieth Century-Fox announced that it was considering renaming the picture again, because of fears that "the ticket buyers might connect the title with an airplane story." After the opening credits, a written prologue reads: "The cooperation and assistance of the officers and men of the U.S. Navy submarine base, New London, Connecticut, is gratefully acknowledged." Tyrone Power's credit reads "Tyrone Power U.S.M.C.R."
       On 12 Sep 1942, Pittsburgh Courier stated that the film would "touch lightly on the seaman life of Dorie Miller," an African American messman who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic actions aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although Miller is not directly portrayed in the picture, Pittsburgh Courier noted that Ben Carter's character, "Oliver Cromwell Jones," would be depicted as "a heroic mess attendant, very much a part of the plot, and a fighting man among fighting men." According to a HR news item, John Payne and Randolph Scott were originally set to star in the picture. Another HR news item noted that William Perlberg was scheduled to produce the film. He was replaced by Milton Sperling, who, on 10 Sep 1942, left the studio to join the Marine Corps. Lee Marcus then stepped in to act as producer while the film was still shooting. The picture was also Tyrone Power's last before enlisting in the Marine Corps as a private. Although Power was originally set to report for duty on 1 Oct 1942, he was granted a deferment to finish the picture. He did not make another film until 1946, when he starred in The Razor's Edge . Much background footage was shot on location at the U.S. Naval submarine base in New London, CT, and the Navy supplied equipment and granted access to submarines and servicemen. Although HR production charts include Charley Grapewin in the cast, he is not in the completed picture. Information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that prints of the picture were made with an incorrect certificate number--8371--instead of the correct one--8731. A HR news item noted that Norman Nesbitt was to be the narrator of a "special trailer" for the picture. HR also reported that in conjunction with the film's opening at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on 27 May 1942, the Navy would be "setting up a recruiting station in the lobby" and would "keep it there all through the run of the film." The picture received an Academy Award for special effects (Fred Sersen, photography, and Roger Heman, sound). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jul 43
p. 257.
Box Office
24 Apr 1943.
---
Daily Variety
22 Apr 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Apr 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 42
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 42
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Apr 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 43
p. 1, 6, 8
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 43
p. 8.
Motion Picture Daily
22 Apr 43
p. 1, 6
Motion Picture Herald
24 Apr 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Apr 43
p. 1273.
New York Times
29 Apr 43
p. 25.
New York Times
6 Jun 1943.
---
Pittsburgh Courier
12 Sep 42
p. 20.
Variety
21 Apr 43
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
2d unit dir
Fill-In dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Prod, Prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Loc art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor dir
Assoc
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Submarine School
SS 111
Release Date:
14 May 1943
Premiere Information:
World premiere in New York: 28 April 1943
Production Date:
late July--mid November 1942
addl scenes began on 18 December 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 May 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12147
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
105
Length(in feet):
9,552
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8731
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Lt. Ward Stewart delights in the maneuverability and speed of his PT boat, and is disappointed when his uncle, Admiral Bob Stewart, asks him to join the submarine branch of the Navy. Stewart agrees that it is his duty to serve where he is most needed, but requests a weekend leave before assuming his new post as executive officer aboard the Corsair , which is captained by Dewey Connors. During his train trip to Washington, D.C., Stewart meets teacher Jean Hewlitt. Stewart is instantly attracted to Jean, but his rakish behavior irritates her. He persuades her to go to a party with him, but she does not keep their dinner date for the following evening. Undeterred, Stewart is pleased to discover that she teaches at the Bromley School for Girls, located in New London, Connecticut, which is also the site of the Naval submarine base. Unknown to Stewart, Jean is Connors' girl friend, and after her return to New London, Jean, who wants to believe that she prefers the stable Connors to the devil-may-care Stewart, asks Connors if they can marry before he leaves on his next mission. Connors wants to wait until after he receives a promotion, however, so he tells Jean that they can marry when he returns. The Corsair sails that night, and during the journey, black messman Oliver Cromwell Jones discovers that his friend McDonnell is secretly taking nitroglycerin pills for a heart condition. One afternoon, the sub is fired upon by a German Q-boat disguised as a Swedish scow, and Connors decides to play "possum" and allow the Germans to think that they have been ... +


Lt. Ward Stewart delights in the maneuverability and speed of his PT boat, and is disappointed when his uncle, Admiral Bob Stewart, asks him to join the submarine branch of the Navy. Stewart agrees that it is his duty to serve where he is most needed, but requests a weekend leave before assuming his new post as executive officer aboard the Corsair , which is captained by Dewey Connors. During his train trip to Washington, D.C., Stewart meets teacher Jean Hewlitt. Stewart is instantly attracted to Jean, but his rakish behavior irritates her. He persuades her to go to a party with him, but she does not keep their dinner date for the following evening. Undeterred, Stewart is pleased to discover that she teaches at the Bromley School for Girls, located in New London, Connecticut, which is also the site of the Naval submarine base. Unknown to Stewart, Jean is Connors' girl friend, and after her return to New London, Jean, who wants to believe that she prefers the stable Connors to the devil-may-care Stewart, asks Connors if they can marry before he leaves on his next mission. Connors wants to wait until after he receives a promotion, however, so he tells Jean that they can marry when he returns. The Corsair sails that night, and during the journey, black messman Oliver Cromwell Jones discovers that his friend McDonnell is secretly taking nitroglycerin pills for a heart condition. One afternoon, the sub is fired upon by a German Q-boat disguised as a Swedish scow, and Connors decides to play "possum" and allow the Germans to think that they have been sunk. The strategy pays off and the Corsair sinks the Q-boat, then returns to New London. After their arrival, Connors goes to Washington, where he receives a promotion, while Stewart continues his pursuit of Jean, who does not know that he serves under Connors. Meanwhile, McDonnell explains to Oliver that he needs to go on one more mission to atone for his cowardice during World War I, and Oliver promises to keep McDonnell's condition a secret. One evening, Stewart takes Jean to meet his feisty grandmother, then proposes to her the next morning on their way back to the school. Deeply in love with Stewart, Jean accepts, but when Stewart learns soon after that Connors intends to propose to her as well, he informs Jean that they can no longer see each other. As Jean is telling Stewart that he is the one she loves, they realize that Connors has overheard their conversation. Before the situation can be resolved, the men are sent on a mission to find a secret German naval base. Stewart tries to explain matters to Connors and maintain their friendship, but Connors coldly repulses him and attends only to business. Just as the Corsair is getting low on fuel, they find the base and follow a tanker into the mine-strewn harbor. Stewart leads the landing party, which blows up the ammunition dumps as the Corsair fires on the anchored ships. McDonnell is killed in the raid while saving Oliver and Stewart, who swim through the oil-covered, flaming water back to the sub. Because the periscope has been damaged, the fleeing sub cannot resubmerge, and Connor is forced to stay on deck and guide her through the mines and bombardments from land and sea. He is wounded but not fatally, and Stewart gets him below just before the Corsair submerges. The men make peace, and soon after the Corsair 's return to New London, Stewart and Jean are married. +

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.