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: N/A
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Richard Widmark
  • Dana Andrews
  • Gary Merrill
  • Jeffrey Hunter
  • Warren Stevens

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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


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


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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