Thursday, September 29, 2016

Crash Dive (1943)

Director: Archie Mayo

Writers: Jo Swerling, W.R. Burnett

Composer: David Buttolph

Starring: Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, James Gleason, Dame May Whitty, Harry Morgan, Ben Carter, Fred Aldrich

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Tyrone Power -- Leading a reckless crew on the war's most daring mission! Battling death in a depth-bombed submarine! Blasting Nazis on a bold Commando raid! Finding love in precious, stolen moments! Crashing his way to unforgettable glory in...

Plot: A submarine lieutenant and his commander fall in love with the same girl.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Nope.

Woof.  This muddied WWII actioner has a little going for it and a lot against it.  The acting is fine and it's perfectly good for the era.  It's a color WWII movie which was a rare thing back then.  It might've worked better in B&W.  If I were to watch it again (which I won't), I'd adjust the picture settings so it would be in B&W.  On the bad side, there is WAY too much time spent on the romance plot and not enough with the submarine action.  What action is there is OK but the picture takes a turn for the ridiculous in the last act when the boys in the underwater can go topside to blow up a munitions dump (or something) on land.  As this was filmed during the War, there's a lot of flag-waving and patriotism bandied about.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.  It's different with each person and film.  The only time I'm OK with it is when the movie is a good one.  If it's not then it's just one more thing that bugs me.  There is one more positive in this picture and that's how the sole black man, Oliver (Carter), is handled.  He's not treated as a second class citizen and his role is pivotal in at least one scene where it matters that his character exists.  Oliver isn't a strong, intelligent character who lifts his head high but rather a meek man with a good heart and intentions.  While that portrayal of his character wouldn't fly in today's society, it was a step in the right direction for 1943.

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