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A cunning conning-tower story
on 12 April 2012
'Crash Dive' is one of those war movies that I grew up with and so it has a special kind of place in my psyche. No, it is not the greatest WWII submarine movie ever made - 'The Enemy Below' and 'Run Silent, Run Deep' are both ahead of 'Crash Dive' in my war-film league - but nevertheless 'Crash Dive' is one of those classic WWII films that any decent collection of same would be incomplete without.
Made during 1943, it has a certain cachet that war films made after the war simply do not have - Tyrone Power left Hollywood for the Marines straight after playing his part of the Exec Officer, Ward Stewart - and the propaganda that could well have ruined this film remains muted in the background. The characters are full and complete and we are given little snippets of their innermost thoughts and feelings as the film progresses. The boat's commander and his executive officer are love rivals for the affections of the commander's fiancee played by the delightful Anne Baxter, but they cannot afford to let their feelings endanger the boat and their mission to seek and destroy Nazi Q-ships that are sinking vital Allied shipping. This Fox Studio [Twentieth Century Fox] production won Best Special Effects in 1943 and Dame May Whitty's portrayal of Ward Stewart's grandmother is quite outstanding.
I suppose that if you are younger than 40 years old, this film will not have the same connection as it does to us more mature citizens, but on a wet Sunday afternoon with a good cup of tea and your biscuit/s of choice, this Technicolor film will reach the parts that many other films get nowhere near . . . . . . .