Original film poster
|Directed by||William Graham|
|Produced by||John C. Champion|
|Screenplay by||Donald S. Sanford
|Story by||John C. Champion
Edmund H. North
|Music by||Ron Goodwin|
|Edited by||John S. Smith|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
Submarine X-1 is a 1968 DeLuxe Color British World War II war film loosely based on the Operation Source attack on the German battleship Tirpitz in 1943. In the film James Caan stars as Lt. Commander Richard Bolton, a Canadian, who must lead a group of midget submarines in an attack on a German battleship.
In 1943, a British naval officer from Canada, Commander Bolton (James Caan) and a few surviving crew members of his 50-man submarine Gauntlet swim ashore after unsuccessfully attacking German battleship Lindendorf. After a review, Captain Bolton is cleared of any wrongdoing and placed in charge of a small group of experimental X class submarines. Bolton is assigned by Vice-Admiral Redmayne (Rupert Davies) to quickly train crews to man the submarines and sink the Lindendorf while it is hidden away in a Norwegian fiord.
Commander Bolton is to train three 4-man crews along the northern coast of Scotland for a trio of midget submarines equipped with side cargoes of explosives. He must overcome tensions with some of his former crew members, while keeping their activities hidden from outsiders and German airplanes. The crews successfully fend off an attack by German parachute commandos, who discover their base. Bolton is forced to make hasty preparations for his attack before their submarine base can be destroyed.
Two of the submarines are lost while attempting to cut through submarine nets at the entrance to the fiord. X-2, is sunk by a German E-boat's depth charges, and a second, the X-1, is scuttled. One submarine crew is captured and taken to the German battleship for interrogation. X-3, the surviving submarine penetrates the submarine nets in the fiord and places explosives under the German battleship. The submarine then manages to escape as the battleship explodes.
- James Caan as Commander Bolton
- David Sumner as Lt. Davies R.N.V.R.
- Norman Bowler as Sub. Lt. Pennington
- Brian Grellis as C.P.O. Barquist
- Paul Young as Leading Seaman Quentin
- William Dysart as Lt. Gogan R.N.R.
- John Kelland as Sub. Lt. Willis R.N.V.R.
- Kenneth Farrington as C.P.O. Boker Knowles
- Keith Alexander as Sub. Lt. X-3
- Carl Rigg as C.P.O. Kennedy
- Steve Kirby as Leading Seaman X-2
- Nicholas Tate as Leading Seaman X-1
- George Pravda as Captain Erlich
- Rupert Davies as Vice-Admiral Redmayne (uncredited)
- Above Us the Waves is a similar film about the true-life submarine attacks on the Tirpitz.
- Operation Source details the use of X class submarines against German battleships in World War II.
- Tirpitz the real-life German battleship attacked by British X class submarines during World War II in a Norwegian fiord.
- "'Midway' writer Donald S. Sanford dies at 92". Variety. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-02-24.