34 user 10 critic

Torpedo Run (1958)

Approved | | Drama, War | 11 January 1959 (UK)
A submarine commander is forced to blow up a Japanese ship with prisoners.


Joseph Pevney


Richard Sale (screenplay), William Wister Haines (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Glenn Ford ... Lt. Cmdr. Barney Doyle
Ernest Borgnine ... Lt. Archer 'Archie' Sloan
Diane Brewster ... Jane Doyle
Dean Jones ... Lt. Jake 'Fuzz' Foley
L.Q. Jones ... 'Hash' Benson
Philip Ober ... Adm. Samuel Setton
Richard Carlyle Richard Carlyle ... Cmdr. Don Adams
Fredd Wayne ... Orville 'Goldy' Goldstein
Don Keefer ... Ens. Ron Milligan
Robert Hardy ... Lt. Redley
Paul Picerni ... Lt. Burt Fisher


The commander of an American submarine during World War II sets out to destroy the Japanese Aircraft carrier which launched the attack on Pearl Harbour. His wife and child have been captured by the Japanese and they are using them and other prisoners of war as human shields for the carrier. Written by Daniel Bruce <danielb@genasys.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The greatest submarine picture of them all !


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 January 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell Below See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Archer 'Archie' Sloan's name is a likely reference to the U.S.S. Archerfish, which in 1944 sank the Japanese super-carrier Shinano, the largest warship ever sunk by a submarine. See more »


The first ship they sunk is accomplished with one torpedo. American torpedoes, until well into the war, were so unreliable (50% or less) that it was typical to launch 3 or 4 torpedoes at each target to ensure that at least one would hit the target, but more importantly that one would explode upon hitting the target. Returning from patrol having fired 18 torpedoes and sinking 4 ships was not unusual. See more »


Lt. Jake 'Fuzz' Foley: But... if they close the nets behind us...
Orville 'Goldy' Goldstein: Ohhh! *That's* all that sound is, sir!
Lt. Jake 'Fuzz' Foley: All?
[cut to net tender drawing in the submarine net]
Lt. Jake 'Fuzz' Foley: But if the nets are closed...
Orville 'Goldy' Goldstein: Well, Tokyo's a big town. I'm sure we'll find a boarding house somewhere.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SOUTH PACIFIC 1942 See more »

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User Reviews

Two man movie in Pevney's undervalued submarine drama.
24 February 2010 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Pacific, 1942, and Submarine commander Lt. Cmdr. Barney Doyle (Glenn Ford) is pursuing the Japanese ship that led the attack on Pearl Harbor back to Tokyo, where to all intents and purposes, he plans to enact revenge. But there's a major problem in the form of a freighter that is being used as a screen in front of the ship. For this freighter houses American prisoners of war, among them Doyle's own wife and child.

A well put together psychological thriller by director Joseph Pevney that is formed from a novel by Richard Sale {who co-writes the screenplay with William Wister Haines}. Tho the usual problems that exist with WW2 film's from this era are evident here {racist undertones, jingoistic sloganeering & hierarchy back slapping}, Torpedo Run manages to break away from its inheritance to become a taut involving aquatic drama fit to be named alongside the best in the submarine sub-genre of war movies.

Glenn Ford's performance is well layered and credible. Few actors from his generation are as undervalued for playing personally conflicted characters as he is, and here as Doyle he is on top characterisation form. He is ably supported by Ernest Borgnine as Lt. Archer 'Archie' Sloan, Doyle's right hand man, friend and professional conscious. It's with the two actors that the plot rightly focuses on, but this sadly puts the supporting characters in the shade. Thus the one truly important thing lacking from the piece is a total group dynamic expose. But thanks to the strong lead performances, and Pevney's no tricks directing, the film survives its failing. There's also added weight thrown into the narrative with the use of flashbacks to show how Doyle's relationship with his wife evolved. This helps us to be privy to Doyle's torment as he must make a career and life altering decision in the midst of war. The action is of good quality, especially the eventual showdown between the rivals. And as one who personally likes to see the forgotten art of model work used effectively, this film also scores high on the exciting scale for like minded film fans.

Far from perfect for sure, but there's much to admire and be involved with to make it a solid recommend to fans of WW2 human dramas. 7/10

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