Published on October 1st, 2007 | by Chris2
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.
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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 InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Original Release Date:
- Richard Widmark
- Dana Andrews
- Gary Merrill
- Jeffrey Hunter
- Warren Stevens
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.