5.2/10
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47 user 30 critic

The Atomic Submarine (1959)

Not Rated | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 29 November 1959 (USA)
Ships mysteriously disappear on route across the Arctic Sea, and a specially-equipped submarine is sent to investigate.

Director:

Spencer Gordon Bennet (as Spencer G. Bennet)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Franz ... Lt. Cmdr. Richard 'Reef' Holloway
Dick Foran ... Cmdr. Dan Wendover
Brett Halsey ... Dr. Carl Neilson Jr.
Tom Conway ... Sir Ian Hunt
Paul Dubov ... Lt. David Milburn
Bob Steele ... CPO 'Grif' Griffin
Victor Varconi ... Dr. Clifford Kent
Joi Lansing ... Julie
Selmer Jackson ... Adm. Terhune
Jack Mulhall ... Justin Murdock
Jean Moorhead Jean Moorhead ... Helen Milburn
Richard Tyler Richard Tyler ... Frogman Carney
Kenneth Becker Kenneth Becker ... Frogman Powell (as Ken Becker)
Sid Melton ... Yeoman Chester Tuttle
Frank Watkins ... Watkins
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Storyline

In the far and distant future of 1968, many ships and planes are crossing the North pole to transport passengers and cargo. However lately more than eight ships and seven submarines have vanished mysteriously. The Tigershark is sent out to investigate their whereabouts and - if possible - remove the cause of their disappearance. But the life form Commander Vandover and his crew encounter may be too powerful even for their weapons of newest technology... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Our fleet of atomic submarines has disappeared!" See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Atomic Sub See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$135,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gorham Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the "hush-hush-super-secret-meeting' conducted in the Bureau of Arctic Defense War Room in the second five minutes of the film, Commander Wendover (Dick Foran) is introduced to Sir Ian Hunt (Tom Conway) and asks if he was "the Dr. Hunt, winner of the Nobel Prize for oceanography?" There is no Nobel Prize for Oceanography. The original five "Nobel Prizes" specified in Alfred Nobel's will were for physics, chemistry, peace, physiology/medicine, and literature. Fourteen other fields have significant prizes that are inaccurately referred to as "Nobel Prizes" but none of them are for oceanography. See more »

Goofs

There is no Nobel Prize in oceanography. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: It was foolish. It was insane. It was fantastic.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This was one of the Allied Artists releases for which a special version was prepared for U.S. television syndication. The film would start with an introductory scroll followed a scene from the movie and then the opening title/credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good for all the wrong reasons
14 November 2010 | by axeman-9See all my reviews

It's all here; the flying saucer, atomic submarines, overbearing narration, stock footage, terrible effects and cheap sets. This is B movie writ large. It has an interesting premise, no doubt about it, and must have been a real draw back in 1959. Unfortunately, the rest of the components of the movie doesn't come close to delivering on it.

The story is simple enough, the newest atom sub investigates terrible disasters befalling ships and subs in the arctic, only to discover it may well be an alien intelligence at work. We get lots of bombastic narration, a sure sign of a poor screenplay, and it's slapped over lots of stock footage of several submarines which in no way resemble the models or sets. The model work is uncommonly poor, probably due to the difficulty of simulating underwater and under ice vistas on a budget smaller than a kids allowance. It's charming and interesting to look at, but still poor and never conveys any real scale.

As for the acting and script, we have several faces familiar to 50's B movie fans, and they do what they can with a sub par script. The supposed conflict between the 'hero' and the son of his mentor is so forced that you wonder why no one just slaps him or sacks him on the spot. They actually look a little embarrassed delivering the lines. The sets are pretty sparse too, both in looks and number. You could count the locations on one hand, not including the fish tank used for the special effects, with the UFO being particularly minimalist. The scene with the young guy piloting the mini sub in particular stands out as there are no controls for him to work, so he plays with a graph pen while 4 guys in frogmen gear stand around watching him struggle to improvise.

All things considered it's no classic, but that won't stop genre fans watching it to the end. It's a bit slow and a bit rubbish, but it's heart is in the right place and you want to like it despite it's flaws. Go see it for free at the Internet archives and see for yourself.


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