Torpedo Run

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Torpedo Run
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Produced by Edmund Grainger
Written by William Wister Haines
Richard Sale
Screenplay by Richard Sale
Starring Glenn Ford
Ernest Borgnine
Diane Brewster
Cinematography George J. Folsey
Edited by Gene Ruggiero
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
October 24, 1958
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,547,000[1]
Box office $2,580,000[1]

Torpedo Run is a 1958 Metrocolor CinemaScope war film starring Glenn Ford as a World War II submarine commander in the Pacific who is obsessed with sinking a particular Japanese aircraft carrier.

A. Arnold Gillespie and Harold Humbrock were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.[2]

Plot[edit]

The American submarine Grayfish, under Lieutenant Commander/Commander Barney Doyle (Glenn Ford), searches for the Shinaru, one of the Japanese aircraft carriers that led the attack on Pearl Harbor. Doyle receives word that the target has an escort, including a transport ship carrying his wife and child, who were captured in the Philippines.

As luck would have it, Grayfish finds the ships. Doyle's second in command, Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander Archer Sloan (Ernest Borgnine) tries to talk his friend out of risking the lives of his family, but Doyle proceeds with the attack. To their horror, their torpedoes sink the transport. The Japanese make no attempt to rescue the survivors, hoping to lure the sub to the surface. Doyle is forced to leave the prisoners to drown.

Doyle manages to follow the Shinaru into Tokyo Bay itself and tries again to sink his nemesis, but fails and barely escapes from Japanese destroyers. The Grayfish then returns to Pearl Harbor. There, Vice Admiral Setton (Philip Ober) wants to promote Doyle to a desk job, but his anguished second-in-command Sloan begs on behalf of his friend and superior officer for and gets one last chance at the Shinaru. Sloan turns down a command of his own to accompany him.

Doyle is assigned a quiet, out-of-the-way patrol area off the Alaskan coast, but fortune is with him. He encounters the Shinaru once more. The sub sustains some damage from a collision and has to launch its attack using sonar alone. After the torpedoes are away, the sub is sent to the bottom by the Shinaru's escort. Fortunately, the crewmen are able to exit and use Momsen lungs to reach the surface, where they are rescued by a sister sub. When they are brought aboard, they are told that they have sunk the Shinaru.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times was unimpressed, writing, "Stereotypes of pig-boat fighting that were stale in "Destination Tokyo" are played and replayed in this picture as if they were freshly inspired. ... it is also played in a highly hackneyed fashion and often faked with preposterous miniatures."[3]

In a 2014 review of the DVD release, Paul Mavis of DVDTalk.com agreed, calling it "Curiously flat for what should have been a big CinemaScope blow-out ... A potentially fascinating premise is botched with a sketchy, half-hearted script and a peculiarly cautious production."[4]

Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World gave the film a grade of C+, but nevertheless described it as a "well-crafted submarine psychological thriller".[5]

According to MGM records the film made $1,145,000 in the US and Canada and $1,435,000 elsewhere resulting in a loss of $195,000.[1]

Home media[edit]

The film has been released on VHS and DVD, the latter in Warner's Archive Collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ "The 31st Academy Awards (1959) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ Bosley Crowther (October 25, 1958). "Torpedo Run (1958) / Hollywood's Undersea War; Torpedo Run' Opens at the Capitol Borgnine and Ford in Submarine Story". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Paul Mavis (August 19, 2014). "Torpedo Run (Warner Archive Collection)". DVDTalk.com. 
  5. ^ Dennis Schwartz (May 8, 2000). "Torpedo Run". Ozus' World. 

External links[edit]