One of the first submarine movies, 1958’s Run Silent, Run Deep still shines more than sixty years after its release. Burt Lancaster stars as Lt. Bledsoe, a man ready to take command of his own sub. At the last minute, he finds out that he’s been passed over in favor of Commander Richardson played by Clark Gable. Once at sea, Bledsoe and the crew begin to question the Commander’s judgement. Particularly after he passes an easy target.

As the film opened, we learned that Commander Richardson was the captain of a different sub that gets sunk by a Japanese Destroyer. As a result, he becomes determined to get revenge on the Japanese Destroyer with little concern for the cost. It’s selfish and serves as the center for an argument between he and the Lt.

Directed by Robert Wise (Odds Against Tomorrow) Run Silent, Run Deep is well paced and has enough action to keep viewers interested in the plot. Filmed in 1958, the special effects are excellent, adding to the overall excitement of the story. If the depth charges scenes in Run Silent, Run Deep were in color they would just as realistic as later films like Crimson Tide and U-571.

The pairing of Lancaster and Gable is an excellent one, with the men squaring off with all the machismo they can muster. Reportedly the two actors didn’t get along at all. The tension between them is just what the story called for. The ensemble is excellent (featuring Don Rickles and Jack Warden), but the stars of the show are the real draw here, commanding the viewers attention at every turn.

Presented in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio, Kino’s presentation offers a nice level of sharpness throughout. Fine detail is a standout, offering strong textures, be it facial features or costumes. Contrast is crisp, with inky blacks and crisp whites. Delineation is strong throughout. There’s no overt damage is detectable, but there’s the occasional flicker.

The 2.0 DTS-HD MA sound mix has a persistent hiss, but it’s not a distraction. Dialogue exchanges are clean, clear and concise. Sound effects are direct and the score does a fine job of supporting the action.

English subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

  • NEW!! Audio Commentary by Filmmaker/Historian Steve Mitchell and Combat Films: American Realism Author Steven Jay Rubin
  • Theatrical Trailer

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)
3.5 Reviewer

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