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Up Periscope (1959)

Alan Hale Jr. , Edmond O'brien , Gordon Douglas  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.97
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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Hale Jr., Edmond O'brien, James Garner, Frank Gifford
  • Directors: Gordon Douglas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JN9P
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,906 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Up Periscope" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Anyone with a fondness for the conventions of the submarine picture will be content with the modest pleasures of Up Periscope, a World War II melodrama starring James Garner in one of his early Maverick-era roles. Pulled away from a week-long romance, Garner tags along with the sub to a Japanese-held island, where he will SCUBA ashore and copy a secret radio code. On top of the reliable suspense of a man alone behind enemy lines, the film also offers captain Edmond O'Brien, whose previous mission has his crew suspecting him of cowardice. Will he cut and run before Garner returns to the submarine? Director Gordon Douglas made a batch of entertaining pictures over the years (a bunch of Sinatra titles, the giant-bug classic Them!, In Like Flint) and he coolly finds some effective ways to photograph men in the close quarters of a sub. The main draw is James Garner in his youthful prime; even if the movie doesn't exploit his comic talent, it shows how effortlessly he connects with an audience. The supporting cast consists of the kind of actors who inevitably seem to people a WWII ship's crew: solid character actors (Alan Hale Jr., who performed similar undersea duties in Destination Tokyo), oddballs and one-offs (Frank Gifford, Edd "Kooky" Byrnes), and future names (Warren Oates). --Robert Horton

Product Description

A navy lieutenant (James Garner "Maverick") during World War II is ordered aboard a submarine to get special photographs of a Japanese-controlled island.

DVD Features:
Theatrical Trailer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Submarine Film June 21, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
It seemed that ever since the release of 1957's THE ENEMY BELOW, World War II submarine movies enjoyed great popularity during the late 50s. This is one of the better ones directed by Gordon Douglas with stalwart James Garner and cautious Edmond O'Brien. The scenes around the Japanese held island are suspenseful and well filmed by Carl Guthrie. Richard Landau's screenplay is pretty faithful to the novel by Robb White. It also features Edd Byrnes, Alan Hale Jr. and one of my favorite actors Warren Oates.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FROM INSIDE THE FISH June 7, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars patterned after book. July 2, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I bought this video because it appeared to be based on the book UP PERISCOPE writen by Robb White. I bought the book in about 1961 in grade school. I loved the book and read it several times. The movie has the same characters, Kenn Braden, Skipper Stevensen, Pat Malone, Si, etc. It roughly followed the book, except there was a big difference in one outcome. To be honest, I liked the book more, but I really enjoyed the movie. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had not read that book and tried to follow the two plots. It was a good movie, but, like the one goat said to the other goat as they were eating the film from a movie "I liked the book better!" Robb White also wrote a book called SECRET SEA, which I enjoyed almost as much as UP PERISCOPE.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not A Bad War Film January 4, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This little-remembered submarine drama was one of Garner's first big movie-star roles. Made by Warner Bros., the fact that Garner was then starring in "Maverick" on tv is prominently mentioned on the original poster artwork for the film that is featured on the dvd cover and the trailer for the film (introduced by the then- young James Garner.)
The bulk of the film is the submarine voyage taking Garner, an underwater demolitions expert and trained commando, to an island in Japanese territory where he is to retrieve some Japanese codebook. (Garner happens to speak Japanese as well.) The suspense is not only whether Garner will get what he came for, but whether the submarine Commander, Edmond O'Brien, will wait for him. To be honest the plot is fairly implausible. First of all, this is Garner's first mission and the mission seems next to impossible, you would think that the Navy would find a more experienced commando for the job. Secondly, submarine Commander O'Brien gives Garner a ridiculouly short amount of time to complete the mission. The part of the film where Garner gets to the island and sets about retrieving the codebook is suspenseful, but goes on much too long.
Still this is a fairly well-done film with some good submarine action and nicely filmed in color. Some other members of the crew include Edward Byrnes, soon to be Warner Bros. teen idol as Kookie on "77 Sunset Strip," and New York Giant football star and future husband of Kathie Lee Gifford, Frank Gifford, as well as an unbilled Warren Oates. Two other actors associated with being at sea also appear as part of the crew: Alan Hale, Jr.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars UP PERISCOPE January 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST OF ITS KIND May 31, 2011
As submarine movies go, UP PERISCOPE is one of the best. I'd say in the top five. Of course, RUN SILENT RUN DEEP is the very best of all submarine films and is the gold standards against all WWII films are measured against. (At least in your reviewer's humble opinion) Perhaps A BRIDGE TOO FAR is another
James Garner stars in UP PERISCOPE and is fairly early in his film career. He shows up and demonstrates that the man can act. It is strangely quite winning to see Garner without his customary mugging at the camera. Most of us love Garner's comic side in his film and television careers; but it seems in retrospect that we are missing out on Garner's ability to deliver great acting in drama.

As the story goes, interesting mission. Certain parts and details in the plot (a real submariner served as advisor) give this film a verisimilitude above most WWII for the times.

My standard complaint against most WWII films is that many average GI Joes act as if they are having a day at the carnival while engaging the enemy. I realize that during the war and quite a while afterward both filmmakers and the government didn't want the public at home to see how grim the circumstances were that their husbands, brothers and sons had to face; so actual battle scenes were toned down quite a bit--often times to the level of a complete lie. The truth is the casualty rate on the front lines was profoundly high in the several divisions. Those flyers in bombers over enemy territory and seaman in the silent service suffered horrific losses. As far as sub movies go, submariners typically remark that if depth charges really came as close as they show in these films, it would be unlikely the submarine would survive the attack.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The scrip needed help.
The movie was a little slow on the quality of the scrip. But I really liked the actors.
Published 23 hours ago by Robert Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good film!
Published 5 days ago by PK
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great classic Submarine movies
One of the great classic Submarine movies. While they did take some serious departures from the book, it is still a great story and well done. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Charles D. Hoover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 19 days ago by mojo
4.0 out of 5 stars BLUB-BLUB, MATEY!
James Garner, TV's Maverick, scores in his first lead role as a Navy frogman with a do or die mission aboard a World War 2 submarine. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Ronald Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Always good. My son and I watched this together on ...
James Garner...Always good. My son and I watched this together on the edge of our seats. This was almost up there with "Ice Station Zebra" and "Von Ryan's... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Constance M. Bahman
5.0 out of 5 stars Drama on and below the high seas!!
Great WW II movie!! One of The older movies that they don't show on TV anymore. Love James Garners' characters in those days. Read more
Published 1 month ago by American Eagle
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great movie.
Published 1 month ago by Dianne Kirkpatrick
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
boring, couldn't finish it, threw it in the trash
Published 1 month ago by Pattie Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Good drama, good war movie that is just fun ...
Good drama, good war movie that is just fun to watch. James Garner never did do anything that was not exceptional. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jerry L. Nelson
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