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Down Periscope (1996)

Kelsey Grammer , Lauren Holly , David S. Ward  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (969 customer reviews)

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Down Periscope
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DVD 1-Disc Version $5.79  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly, Rob Schneider, Harry Dean Stanton, Bruce Dern
  • Directors: David S. Ward
  • Writers: Andrew Kurtzman, Eliot Wald, Hugh Wilson
  • Producers: Jack Cummins, Robert Lawrence, Stanley Wilson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (969 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00013RC70
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,595 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Down Periscope" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Kelsey Grammer sails from TV's "Frasier" to the big screen in this screwball comedy co-starring Lauren Holly and Rip Torn. Veteran skipper John Dodge (Grammer) will never be a textbook officer, but he's a brilliant seaman who's always wanted to command a nuclear submarine. Unfortunately, Admiral Graham (Bruce Dern) would rather sink the fleet than give Dodge his own boat. So Dodge is given the helm of a diesel-powered WW2 sub crewed by a collection of maladjusted, mistake-prone misfits. Then he's tagged "the enemy" in a crucial war game, and ordered to take on the U.S. Navy's best. Batten down the hatches for unstoppable hilarity that takes 200 years of naval tradition¿and throws it all overboard!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comedy classic, Kelsey Grammer is insanely funny April 27, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is without a doubt one of the funniest sea movies ever. Yet it got mediocre reviews when it came out. Kelsey Grammer plays a renegade sub captain who gets his first command,not on a nuclear sub, but on a horrible old mothballed diesel rustbucket, destined for scrap after some war games that his enemies hope will finally deep-six his less-than-illustrious naval career.

But Captain Dodge (Grammer) has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. He even gets the best from his mutinous crew and by the pirate scene rolls around(it's priceless) you might find that you are slumped on the couch, laughing your keester off. Because, that's what happens to me every time I hit that scene. I just fall off the couch, screaming with laughter. When I first saw this film, I liked this one so much, I rewound the (yeah, VHS) tape and played it all over again right then and there.

Yeah, it's another submarine film (I can't resist them!) and this one is...HIGHLY RECOMMENDED--and now it's available on DVD and download, so I can update from VHS at last!
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! December 8, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Have you ever gone to the theater and just picked a movie at random that you think sounds good? Well, that's what I did with this movie, and let me tell you....IT ROCKS!!! You walk into the theater with no expectations because, after all, you have no idea what to expect. You've never even heard of the film, so you take your chances and roll the dice. This was a fantastic film. No! It did not have huge success at the box office. No! It does not have superstar caliber actors. What it does have is great writing, great characters, and the kind of "off-the-wall" humor that makes you say, "I can't believe they just said that!". I especially like Harland Williams as "Sonar".
If you have never seen this movie please see it, even if you rent it first, because as far as I'm concerned it is a true classic! I will be buying it the day it is released. I have been waiting for this to come to DVD for about three or four years now. All I can say is.....IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! See this movie! You'll have a "whale" of a time!
FIVE STARS for it's humor and wacky characters (the kind that you feel you actually know, and will miss when the movie is over!) ENJOY it with a group of friends!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When is Down Periscope going to be released on DVD? October 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
The first time I saw Down Periscope wasn't at the theater, it was a video rental. As I watched the movie, I found myself wrapped up in the plot, the intellectual (as well as the not so intellectual) humor, and the way the cast seemed to meld together. Why did this movie not do well at the theaters? Was it not given the same level of advertising which Sargent Bilko received? I feel that Down Periscope was a better movie. But because Kelsey Grammer is not as big a name comedian as Steve Martin, Down Periscope was simply overlooked.
I would love to have this movie on DVD.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Impossible to Watch This Movie Only Once! September 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This histerical movie has the funniest cast I've ever seen aboard ship (boat). You can ignore the action of the main characters in many situations and just watch what's going on in the background and laugh out loud. The electrician/radio operator is really classic. Every one who's been in the service knows that guy. I'd forgotten how much I missed him. Suberbly directed, editing was right on the button.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun September 2, 2004
Considering that Down Periscope is a comedy, they get more things right than a lot of "serious" movies. Okay, this isn't a movie you'd want to watch if you wanted to know exactly how things were done on a diesel sub. Things are moved around to accommodate camera placement, and the crew is mostly too young. If the Navy ever did something like, you'd expect a lot of middle-aged reservists, guys old enough to have some actual experience with diesel boats. (And not just one potty old engineering officer, either.) The torpedoes are wrong, too. You can't fire a Mark-48 from a Balao's tubes.

But that's not the point. This is good, sophomoric fun, humor for humor's sake. It's not a movie that requires you to think that much. You might be better of if you didn't, and just sat back and enjoyed it. You might even learn something useful. As a Marine officer pointed out in a Naval Institute Proceedings article, Down Periscope may be a comedy, but Kelsey Grammer's Tom Dodge also represents a pretty good example of applied leadership skills.

Oh, and despite what some reviewers have suggested, the wide screen DVD isn't the "pan and scan" full screen version with the top and bottom of the screen cut off. It's just the opposite, in fact. The full screen version includes image area at the top and bottom of the screen that was never really intended to be shown. (Like the top of Dodge's golfing pants before the gag is revealed.) Most wide screen movies with heavy CGI effects are shot "flat" today, instead of with anamorphic lenses, and mask the unwanted image area in printing.
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79 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie...hate the DVD February 13, 2004
Finally got my DVD copy of Down favorite movie starring Kelsey Grammer. I opened it immediately and put it in my DVD player, saying to myself, NOW I will see the whole movie in WIDESCREEN!!
They did not put out the orignal print. This is the pan-and-scan version with the top and bottom of the screen chopped off. Its very apparent in several parts of the movie. I ran my VHS on one TV and the DVD on the home theater...its the same width of screen.
I was also not impressed with the 5.1 surround. Not nearly enough seperation and use of the back speakers, or subwoofer!! Buckman's fart should have come booming out of my subfoofer...Nada.
At least the colors and quality of print on the pan-and-scan side are better than my VHS copy.
Movie is great. DVD is not.
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