Minesweeper (1943)

66-67 mins | Comedy-drama | 1943

Director:

William Berke

Cinematographer:

Fred Jackman Jr.

Editor:

Ted Bellinger

Production Designer:

F. Paul Sylos

Production Company:

Pine-Thomas Productions
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HISTORY

The following acknowledgment appears in the opening credits: "The producers wish to thank the Navy Department for their cooperation in making possible the filming of this picture--and to express especial appreciation to Commander Louis H. Gwinn, U.S.N.R., whose technical aid and advice were of the utmost assistance." According to information in the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, Comm. Gwinn also contributed to the original screenplay. A 21 May 1943 HR news item noted that actor Jon Gilbreath was a Minesweeper Training Officer for the 12th Naval District during World War II. According to a 23 Jun 1943 HR news item, underwater scenes were shot off of Santa Catalina Island, CA, in Jun ... More Less

The following acknowledgment appears in the opening credits: "The producers wish to thank the Navy Department for their cooperation in making possible the filming of this picture--and to express especial appreciation to Commander Louis H. Gwinn, U.S.N.R., whose technical aid and advice were of the utmost assistance." According to information in the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, Comm. Gwinn also contributed to the original screenplay. A 21 May 1943 HR news item noted that actor Jon Gilbreath was a Minesweeper Training Officer for the 12th Naval District during World War II. According to a 23 Jun 1943 HR news item, underwater scenes were shot off of Santa Catalina Island, CA, in Jun 1943. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Nov 1943.
---
Daily Variety
14 May 1943.
---
Daily Variety
8 Nov 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Nov 43
p. 42.
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 43
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 43
p. 9, 10
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 43
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
6 Nov 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Oct 43
p. 1606.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Nov 43
p. 1615.
Variety
10 Nov 43
p. 35.
DETAILS
Production Date:
3 May--late May 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 November 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12472
Duration(in mins):
66-67
Length(in feet):
5,951
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9664
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Navy deserter Lieutenant Richard Houston is knocked out in a boxcar fight and kicked off the train. After rolling onto the edge of the highway, he is picked up by good-natured farmer "Fixit" Smith, who is headed home to San Pedro, California, to enlist in the Navy. When Houston calls himself "Jim Smith from Tennessee," Fixit happily assumes that he is a distant cousin, and insists that Jim live with his family. As "Jim" is an experienced deep sea diver, he rejoins the Navy as a gunner's mate on a minesweeper, craftily using the birth certificate of one of Fixit's cousins as his own. One day after exhaustive training, Jim and Fixit go home to celebrate the birthday of Fixit's beautiful niece Mary, and Jim immediately falls in love with her. However, he soon meets his rival for her affection, gunner's mate Elliot Nash. Fixit, Jim and Elliot are assigned to a mine disposal ship, and one day while on a scouting mission, the ship's mooring lines become tangled in a mine. Sailors Welch and Ryan are sent to untangle the mine, and Elliot and Jim investigate as well. Jim notices that the bomb appears to be slightly different than others they have seen, and removes a "knife" from the mine and returns to the ship. Just as he and Elliot arrive at the ship, Welch and Ryan are killed when the mine explodes. Later, Elliot and Jim are assigned to serve under Lieutenant Gilpin and receive more specialized training in mine disposal. During their first assignment, Elliot rescues Jim when his oxygen ... +


Just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Navy deserter Lieutenant Richard Houston is knocked out in a boxcar fight and kicked off the train. After rolling onto the edge of the highway, he is picked up by good-natured farmer "Fixit" Smith, who is headed home to San Pedro, California, to enlist in the Navy. When Houston calls himself "Jim Smith from Tennessee," Fixit happily assumes that he is a distant cousin, and insists that Jim live with his family. As "Jim" is an experienced deep sea diver, he rejoins the Navy as a gunner's mate on a minesweeper, craftily using the birth certificate of one of Fixit's cousins as his own. One day after exhaustive training, Jim and Fixit go home to celebrate the birthday of Fixit's beautiful niece Mary, and Jim immediately falls in love with her. However, he soon meets his rival for her affection, gunner's mate Elliot Nash. Fixit, Jim and Elliot are assigned to a mine disposal ship, and one day while on a scouting mission, the ship's mooring lines become tangled in a mine. Sailors Welch and Ryan are sent to untangle the mine, and Elliot and Jim investigate as well. Jim notices that the bomb appears to be slightly different than others they have seen, and removes a "knife" from the mine and returns to the ship. Just as he and Elliot arrive at the ship, Welch and Ryan are killed when the mine explodes. Later, Elliot and Jim are assigned to serve under Lieutenant Gilpin and receive more specialized training in mine disposal. During their first assignment, Elliot rescues Jim when his oxygen lines become tangled in a net they are repairing. Gilpin becomes suspicious after seeing Jim's Navy pocket watch with the name Richard Houston engraved on it. When Jim is granted a twenty-four-hour leave, he borrows ten dollars from his shipmate, Stubby, and agrees to deliver a down payment for Stubby's engagement ring. Concerned that he will lose Mary to Elliot, Jim uses the down payment on a ring for Mary, and bets the rest of Stubby's money in a poker game. Jim becomes so involved in the game that he misses dinner with Mary and does not report back to his ship. Fixit gives up the rest of his leave and reports in Jim's place, telling Gilpin that Jim is sick. Fixit is then killed when a Japanese mine is set off by the minesweeper and destroys his ship. After winning money in the card game, Jim, meanwhile, proposes to Mary, who breaks the bad news about Fixit. Stunned and remorseful, Jim reveals the truth about his identity and plans to desert again, but returns to duty after he hears an urgent order from the Naval base for all men to return to base. Although Gilpin intends to arrest Jim, as he has confirmed his true identity as the AWOL officer through an investigation, he desperately needs to discover how the new type of mine which was responsible for Fixit's death works, and allows Jim to dive. Jim and Elliot dive together and when they notice that the mine starts moving up when a plane passes overhead, they report to Gilpin that the new type of mine reacts to sound waves. Gilpin orders Jim to resurface while Elliot disarms the mine, but Jim forces Elliot to resurface instead. Jim starts to dismantle the mine and transmits the information to Gilpin, but is killed when the mine explodes. Despite his death, the information Jim obtained is used to detonate countless mines, and he is posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, while Elliot and Mary mourn his passing. +

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

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