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The granddaddy of submarine films like Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), Das Boot (1981), and the recent U-571 (2000), director Delmer Daves' first effort as director was Warner Bros. Studio's crackerjack nail-biter, Destination Tokyo (1943). In a real corker of a switch deal, Columbia loaned Cary Grant out to the WB in exchange for Humphrey Bogart, who was to play in Columbia's tank actioner Sahara, a role already rejected by Grant. Eventually, Grant stepped into Destination Tokyo in a role already turned down by Gary Cooper. It was Grant who approved Daves as the director of the film. He already knew of Daves' talent and success as a screenwriter, with credits on big studio films like The Petrified Forest (1936) and Love Affair (1939), so he figured that Daves would also make a good director.
Another motivating factor was Grant's willingness to lend a hand to Hollywood rookies. Remembering that Mae West helped him get his start, Grant figured that he should do the same for others. In a similar fashion, Destination Tokyo became a helpful tool for the United States Navy. It was so accurate in the technical details of a submarine and its crew that the Navy used the production as a training tool.
Other trivia of note: Destination Tokyo was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It was the film debut of Robert Hutton. John Garfield thought the film was one of his best efforts for Warner Bros. along with Air Force (1943) and Pride of the Marines (1945). Albert Maltz, who scripted this film, became one of the "Hollywood Ten" and was later blacklisted as an unfriendly witness during the communist witch-hunt of the late forties-early fifties.
Director: Delmer Daves
Producer: Jerry Wald
Screenplay: Delmer Daves, Steve Fisher (story), Albert Maltz
Cinematography: Bert Glennon
Editor: Vladimir Barjansky, Christian Nyby
Art Direction: Leo K. Kuter
Music: William Lava (uncredited), Franz Waxman
Cast: Cary Grant (Captain Cassidy), John Garfield (Wolf), Alan Hale (Cookie), John Ridgely (Reserve Officer Raymond), Dane Clark (Tin Can).
BW-135m. Close captioning.
by Scott McGee