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Up Periscope

September 11, 2010

Up Periscope (1959)
Director: Gordon Douglas
Actors: James Garner, Edmond O’Brien, Andra Martin

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Synopsis: The war-time dramas and romances of a submarine navyman (James Garner) during WW2.

Review: This is a moderately entertaining Second World War submarine movie that is let down by its failure to adequately develop its potential as either a character-study, love-story, or straight-up thriller. The character development is too superficial with its forced arc of James Garner’s relaxed lieutenant clashing with Edmond O’Brien’s officious commander. The love-story starts off interestingly enough with Garner seemingly being jilted by Andra Martin until we learn of her conflict of interests (she is also secretly his naval recruiter), but there is no time for it to develop save for a token wave from Martin as Garner returns from his mission. As a thriller, the movie never builds sufficient tension, and the silent section where Garner infiltrates the Japanese camp is less an exercise in suspense than one in utter tedium. (December 2005)

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