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The Hellcats of the Navy

The Hellcats of the Navy(1957)

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The working title of this film was Hellcats of the Sea. Before the opening credits roll, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz directly addresses the audience, outlining the plan he approved to sever the supply link between Japan and the Asiatic mainland when he was Commander and Chief of the Pacific Fleet during World War II, the plan that depended on "The Hellcats of the Navy." The film closes with the following epilogue written by Nimitz: "It is to the everlasting honor and glory of our submarine personnel that they never failed us in our days of great peril." The opening credits contain the following written foreword and dedication: "We wish to express our appreciation to the Department of Defense and the United States Navy for the full cooperation extended to us in the production of this film. To the officers and the men who served aboard the Hellcat submarines during World War II this picture is dedicated."
       Although Hollywood Reporter news item place Frank Bella, Oliver McGowan, Richard Cutting, Frank Chase and James Dobson in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. According to a December 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item, the footage featuring Nimitz was shot on location in Berkeley, CA in late December-early Jan. A November 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item adds that the location filming was done in San Diego, CA. Although a June 1956 Los Angeles Times news item notes that Edmund North was initially to have written the script, his contribution to the final film has not been determined. As noted in a 4-6 August 2000 Hollywood Reporter news item, Raymond Marcus was a pseudonym for blacklisted screenwriter Bernard Gordon. Hellcats of the Navy was the first and only film in which future president Ronald Reagan appeared with his second wife, Nancy Davis, although the couple appeared together in several episodes of ^iGeneral Electric Theater , a television series that was hosted by Reagan, who also served as the commercial spokesman for General Electric.