Crash Dive

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Crash Dive
Theatrical poster
Directed by Archie Mayo
Produced by Milton Sperling
Written by W.R. Burnett (story)
Jo Swerling
Starring Tyrone Power
Anne Baxter
Dana Andrews
Music by David Buttolph
Cinematography Leon Shamroy
Edited by Ray Curtiss
Walter Thompson
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release date
  • April 22, 1943 (1943-04-22)
Running time
106 minutes
Country United States
Language English, German
Box office $3.3 million (US rentals)[1]

Crash Dive is a World War II film in Technicolor released in 1943. It was directed by Archie Mayo, written by Jo Swerling and W.R. Burnett, and starred Tyrone Power, Dana Andrews and Anne Baxter. The film was the last for Power, already enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, before assignment to recruit training also known as boot camp.


A US Navy submarine, the USS Corsair, is operating in the North Atlantic, hunting German merchant raiders that are preying on Allied shipping. Its new executive officer, Lt. Ward Stewart (Tyrone Power), has been transferred into submarines after commanding his own PT boat. At the submarine base in New London, Connecticut, he asks his new captain, Lt. Cmdr. Dewey Connors (Dana Andrews), for a weekend leave to settle his affairs before taking up his new assignment. On a train bound for Washington D.C., Stewart accidentally encounters New London school teacher Jean Hewlett (Anne Baxter) and her students. Despite her initial resistance to his efforts, he charms her and they fall in love.

His infatuation with PT boats irritates Connors but the two become friends after a combat action with a Q ship in which Connors is injured and Stewart sinks it. Connors, unbeknownst to Stewart, is already in love with Jean but delays marrying her until he gains a promotion to commander and the commensurate pay it provided so he could properly support her financially in his view. Tension between the men ensues when Connors discovers that the woman Stewart is wooing is Jean. The film culminates in a commando raid by the Corsair on an island supply base for the German raiders. After the raid, the men make peace, and soon after the Corsair 's return to New London, Stewart and Jean are married.[2]


As appearing in screen credits (main roles identified):

Actor Role
Tyrone Power Lt. Ward Stewart
Anne Baxter Jean Hewlett
Dana Andrews Lt. Cdr. Dewey Connors
James Gleason Chief Mike "Mac" McDonnell
Dame May Whitty Grandmother
Harry Morgan Lt. J.G. "Brownie" Brown
Ben Carter[3] Oliver Cromwell Jones


Part of the movie was filmed at Submarine Base New London, Connecticut. A few naval combatants rarely seen in Technicolor are visible in the early part of the film. The PT boats seen near the beginning are the 77-foot Elco type. The submarine primarily featured as the Corsair is the experimental USS Marlin (SS-205), with a conning tower modified to resemble her sister USS Mackerel (SS-204). A few O-class and R-class submarines, built in World War I and used for training in World War II, are visible in the background of some shots. For wartime security reasons, no submarine classes used in combat in World War II appear in the film. The USS Semmes (AG-24 ex-DD-189) is seen in one shot; there are probably not many good Technicolor views of a four-stack destroyer available today. The Semmes was being used as a sonar testbed at the time.

One of the scenes in the movie was similar to that in the film Destination Tokyo (1943) starring Cary Grant, where the submarines follow an enemy tanker into their naval base through a minefield. Another similar plot theme was in the 1954 movie Hell and High Water about an island base to be used to launch a B-29 in U.S. markings for an atomic bomb attack.


The film won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects (Fred Sersen, Roger Heman Sr.) at the 16th Academy Awards.[4]


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