1950s The Frogmen (1951)

Published on October 1st, 2007 | by Chris

2

The Frogmen (1951)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On October 1, 2007
Last modified:October 8, 2012

Summary:

One of the great things about watching movies for this site is coming across those little known, little watched gems of film that are actually good. 1951's The Frogmen goes onto that list.

The Frogmen (1951)One of the great things about watching movies for this site is coming across those little known, little watched gems of film that are actually good.  1951's The Frogmen goes onto that list.

Where Operation Bikini fails miserably in its portrayal of the actions of the Navy's UDTs, or underwater demolition teams, The Frogmen succeeds with flying colors.

Lt. Cmdr. John Lawrence (Richard Widmark) steps in to take over a UD squad when their previous leader dies trying to save one of the team, and winds up having to live in the former's shadow.  It seems he's somewhat of a rookie at this command business, and approaches it with a different style than the man he's replacing.  The team makes sure to let him know this.

Where The Frogmen really stands out is the way we're brought along on the missions.  From the time they leave the ship, until they get back, we see just about every detail of how these things were done.  From a mechanical standpoint this film just rocked.  I will admit that some of the "mechanics" scenes can drag out a bit, like the drop-off and pickup sequences in the water, but thats how mechanics can get sometimes.  The rest of the action and chemistry by far makes up for it.

The cast is stellar as well, from the unknowns to the stars like Widmark, Andrews, Merrill, Hunter, Wagner, etc.  They all pull off their parts with expert craftsmanship.  The entire scene where the torpedo crashes through the hull into the sickbay is in particular a tense sequence.

Granted the story is your basic wartime fare, go blow up some enemy stuff, man!  But its nice (especially after some of the dreck I've seen of late!) to see something particularly well done.

In the end, Cmdr. Lawrence finally gains the respect and admiration of his squad, and its well deserved.

The Frogmen The Frogmen
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Description

Richard Widmark plays Lt. Commander John Lawrence, a sympathetic but unfairly disliked leader of a group of Navy underwater demolition experts in the fascinating World War II drama The Frogmen. Basically a story written around some authentic Navy footage of real frogmen in action, the film is full of daring maneuvers that (even when occasionally simulated) reveal much about the clandestine operations of frogmen as they engage in reconnaissance and ambushing missions, sometimes under cover of night...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: FOX Home Entertainment
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Richard Widmark
  • Dana Andrews
  • Gary Merrill
  • Jeffrey Hunter
  • Warren Stevens

Reviews

Customer reviews
Average Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise among the jewels of war flicks! Morituri., January 31, 2015
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I saw this collection and just needed it, that's the size of it. I'd never seen 'Morituri' before and was more than pleasantly surprised. Brando and Brenner were superb as was the character that played 'Kruser', Martin Benrath. Also notable were Hans Christian Blech and Janet Margolin as a Jewish/American/German/expatriate. The premise is believable, accurate for the time and full of intrigue. Some of the subject matter was touchy for sensors and probably why I never saw it on Saturday afternoon TV as a kid. Rape, nudity (in a picture), antisemitism, and the Nazi hate issues of the German crew. Wally Cox played a heroin addict and was quite convincing. That would have been another issue verboten on TV in the 50's and 60's.
All in all the drama, cinematography, plot and boat scenes were splendid. It was an all-around good movie and we'll sit down to it again.
Sink the Bismarck never disappoints. The historical twist of one single torpedo turns the German boat around... Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Film, May 7, 2017
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USAA (Jackson, MI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frogmen, The (1951) (DVD)
One of the very few films on the WWII Navy frogman, fore runners of the Navy Seals. Film was a big it when released back in the fifties.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely preserved case" - only problem is it's not a ..., January 26, 2015
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This review is from: The Frogmen (DVD)
Description of this DVD was "rarely used disc. Nicely preserved case" - only problem is it's not a genuine rarely used disc. This one has been pirated I'm afraid. All the inserts are photocopies of the original and you can even peel the label off the disc itself - now you can't do that with a genuine DVD. Amazingly it has the clip at the beginning that "piracy is stealing" and also the FBI message!! So I'm not sure how good the blank DVD is that it has been copied onto, perhaps it will last 10 years or so if I'm lucky. I watched the DVD and the picture is clear, reasonable sound track so no problems there. I've never bought a "pirated" disc before through Amazon, I guess there's a first for everything!
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The Frogmen (1951) Chris

Summary: One of the great things about watching movies for this site is coming across those little known, little watched gems of film that are actually good. 1951's The Frogmen goes onto that list.

3.5


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



2 Responses to The Frogmen (1951)

  1. paul pisano says:

    i thought this movie would be a winner because richard widmark is in it. widmark’s best war film is halls of montezuma with jack palance, robert wagner, and karl malden.

  2. ecocyclist says:

    I loved Halls of Montezuma but think this one is even better. The underwater sequences are fantastic and the music (when they go for the Japanese sub pod) is just lovely. The use of scuba equipment is of course an anomaly in this film, but it’s sobering to recall how little equipment the original UDT men actually had. Richard Widmark is fantastic as the martinet who has to learn to treat his crew as human beings though does win their respect, and by the end of the film you dare to hope that they might just gel as a team. A really excellent film.

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