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Crash Dive (TCF 1943, Tyrone Power, Dana Andrews)

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Wartime drama set aboard the USS Corsair, a submarine on active duty. Against his wishes, Ward Stewart (Tyrone Power) is made executive officer and given just days to prepare. Before boarding he meets schoolteacher Jean Hewlett (Anne Baxter), and is captivated. He plans romance, unaware that she already has a sweetheart: Dewey Connors (Dana Andrews) Commander of the Corsair and Stewart’s boss. The men embark on a dangerous mission to destroy a secret Nazi base, but will their rivalry imperil the mission?

Audiences at the time wanted romance and action. Mayo – who worked on Humphrey Bogart’s first feature and directed the Marx Brothers – delivers both, using Power’s matinee idol looks to great effect. After the film wrapped, the actor enlisted in the Marines and went to war. Andrews came to acting via accountancy, and could match his co-star for rugged looks, and here played the noble leader with great efficiency although his career would not peak until the unsurpassed film noir, Laura. Both stars are, however, outclassed by the special effects, which make the subterranean scenes and climactic raid darkly atmospheric. The men responsible (Roger Heman and Fred Sesen) took their own glory, in the shape of an Oscar.

Contemporary reviewer Bosley Crowther said ‘one of those films which have no more sense of reality about this war than a popular song.’

production details
USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 106 minutes | 1943

Director: Archie Mayo
Producer:Milton Sperling
Writer: Jo Swerling (from a story by W. R. Burnett)
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Composer: David Buttolph
Musical Director: Emil Newman
Special Effects: Roger Heman, Fred Sersen

cast
James Gleason as Chief Mike ‘Mac’ McDonnell
Anne Baxter as Jean Hewlett
John Archer as Curly Bowman (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews as Shipwrecked Captain (uncredited)
Harry Morgan as Brownie
Gene Rizzi as Seaman Rizzi (uncredited)
Dana Andrews as Lt. Cdr. Dewey Connors
Tyrone Power as Lt. Ward Stewart
Dame May Whitty as Grandmother
Ben Carter as Oliver Cromwell Jones
Frederic Brunn as Q Boat Lieutenant (uncredited)
Frank Conroy as Capt. Bryson

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