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Operation Pacific [DVD] 
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World War Two Lieutenant Commander Duke Gifford (John Wayne), the skipper of USS Thunderfish, is dedicated to his navy command. However, as he leads a dangerous assault against the Japanese, he must battle his own inner demons: haunted by the death of his ex-commander; and guilt-stricken at the neglect of his wife (Patricia Neal), who waits onshore for his return.
World War II rages across the Pacific and Lt. Cmdr. Duke E. Gifford is in the thick of it. He evacuates children from enemy-held islands. Oversees the development of torpedoes at Pearl Harbor. And prowls the depths in the submarine Thunderfish for a chance to aim his improved "tin fish" - torpedoes - at the enemy. John Wayne plays Gifford in Operation Pacific. "I'm no theory man. I'm a line officer," Gifford barks. He backs it up with lots of bite in several feverish sea battles. He's also a man of heart with a loving wife at home (fellow Academy AwardO winner* Patricia Neal). Vice Adm. Charles Lockwood, World War II commander of all U.S. Pacific submarines, was technical advisor for this adventure packing real you-are-there thrills!
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Top Customer Reviews
The tribute character of this film is immediately established by the opening statement, which deserves to be cited in its integrality: "When the Pacific Fleet was destroyed by the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, it remained for the submarines to carry the war to the enemy. In the four years that followed, our undersea craft sank six million tons of Japanese shipping including some of the proudest ships of the Imperial Navy. Fifty-two of our submarines and thirty-five hundred officers and men were lost. It is to these men and the entire silent service that this picture is humbly dedicated."
This film describes the adventures and misfortunes of a fictitious submarine, USS "Thunderfish" (no ship of that name ever served in US Navy), during Pacific War. The main hero of the film is the executive officer (n°2), Lieutenant Commander Duke Gifford (John Wayne), a competent and courageous officer who just suffered a heartbreaking divorce. Other important characters on board of the sub are the commanding officer, Commander John T. Perry (Ward Bond), a junior officer, Lieutenant Larry (Scott Forbes) and Chief Petty Officer, known to all as simply "Chief" (Jack Pennick).
Now, this film is slightly hurt by the all present pathos and ultra-patriotic tone, but it would not be an issue if the rest of it was good. Sadly, it is not the case. The great problem with this film is that it seems all the time to hesitate between being a document and a war movie - and ultimately it doesn't succeed entirely in neither.Read more ›
Routine WW II submarine film that's lengthy and short on action but long on romance. It's directed in a workmanlike manner by George Waggner. John Wayne plays gung-ho Lt Cmdr. Duke E. Gifford, who's obsessed with fighting the Japanese and reconciling with ex-wife Mary Stuart (Patricia Neal).
It opens with the Duke and his Navy men rescuing on an unnamed Pacific island held by the Japanese some nuns and a group of orphans, who walked 40 miles through the jungle to safety. The Duke returns to Pearl Harbor and on a visit to Honolulu discovers his ex-wife Mary is a Navy nurse and is dating handsome Lt. Bob Perry (Philip Carey), the younger brother of Cmdr. John T. 'Pop' Perry (Ward Bond), who's his boss and best friend. In a submarine battle tragedy, Pop loses his life. Duke takes command of the Thunderfish and is told by the admiral that the rescued submarine is grounded until the cause of why its torpedoes misfire is discovered. At first Duke exclaims in frustration "I'm no theory man. I'm a line officer," but soon the dedicated Navy man finds the cause and takes on the Japanese battleships in the climactic scene. After that victory at sea it now becomes a matter of whether Mary will choose him again or accept Bob's proposal. Only a sucker would bet against the Duke, and my mom didn't raise me to be a sucker.
Vice Admiral Charles Lockwood, WW II submarine commander, acts as technical adviser for this black-and-white film. Though it has nothing much to get excited about, it's at least watchable. The most interesting fact is given in the opening credits: 52 American submarines were destroyed and 3,500 men on them died during the War.
All in all there's not much to say for or against the film. Black and white seems to suit the style of the film. The plot is pretty predictable, with the submarine sailing missions and having problems with its torpedoes. Back on shore Wayne is trying to make up with his ex-wife, but there's a new man on the scene - someone he already knows. And all of the strands are brought together pretty much as one would expect. It is a perfectly pleasant and enjoyable way to spend an hour or two, but it's never in danger of straying into classic territory. However, for the price at the time of writing it's quite a bargain.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good film, I enjoyed it, John Wayne is great in the part of Lt. Cmdr. Gifford. Some of the sequences on board the submarine are funny and atmospheric, there are some great lines,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Simba the Lion
very good film .john wayne always plays a good part in his films .Published 5 months ago by frank parry