- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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It's not a bad WW2 film, though it seems more concerned with establishing the existence of some deity and spouting some racist generalizations about the Japanese. But then, it IS a war film. (Still, the idea that the Japanese are not only unable to understand the Western males' love for their wives and daughters and the false assertion that there isn't even a word for "it" (father's love for wife/daughter?) in Japanese is a few steps beyond ludicrous.)The biggest flaw is not the false history of the Hornet being accompanied by the Enterprise and the task force being commanded by Halsey; no, the flaw is the idea that they have to gather weather data and observations from land except off Tokyo, where gathering such data is fine when done from the sub's conning tower. So, WHY put men ashore? And besides, the B-25s did not require days-old weather info in order to fly their mission.Still, compared to many other war films, this is one of the better efforts.
Garfield OK,But Irritates
Destination Tokyo is to subs what They Were Expendable was to PT Boats,only without a real life Navy man like Bob Montgomery at the lead.And I believe the appendicitis case was Robert Hutton,not John Ridgeley,he was the officer picked up in the Aleutians.Really appreciate the secondary star turn by William Prince as Pharmacist Mate "Pills".He was super,even when his character rightfully scared to perform surgery even though he's not a doctor,but worked from an anatomy book!Grant great here!
- kevin sellers
Decent war pic. One of the previous reviewers said it was the sub equivilant of Hawks' "Air Force," but I would have to disagree. "Air Force" is literally nonstop action from first frame to last. This more leisurely paced film (i.e. it's thirty minutes too long) doles out the action and suspense at roughly twenty five minute intervals and then gives you about twenty minutes or so of rather prosaic talk. Therefore, you start out with lots of chatter among the crew about how much they love their captain and if there's an afterlife and John Garfield's love life, then you've got the unexploded bomb sequence, followed by more jokey dialogue about John Garfield's love life, then there's the evasion of the sub net sequence, followed by Cary Grant's reminisces about his wife and kids, and then there's John Ridgeley's appendix operation sequence, followed by Dane Clark and Alan Hale's obligatory anti Nazi and anti Jap propaganda...and so it goes. For slowing down the film in this manner co scenarists Albert Maltz and Delmer Daves have to shoulder some of the blame. However, during the sporadic action sequences the writing is more terse and exciting so I guess Maltz and Daves deserve some credit as well. As far as Daves' direction goes, it's ok. Special effects are nothing to write home about but that's not really the director's department, now is it? The various action bits described above are generally well handled and watchable if not edge of your seat stuff, like Hawks' film, or the last third of "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo." So let's give it a B minus. P.S. I'd like to think that Maltz's getting blacklisted is karma for writing such lines as "I'd like to eat fried Jap," and "I'd like to boil Japs in oil." And to Jeff let me just say the Prius runs great!
Grew up with this
- Robert Ekstrand
Born in 1950 I grew up on television...one of the first. Among my favorite movies as a kid, all of us baby boomers were raised when all our parents had been involved in the war as participants or working on military items. A propaganda film? I suppose, but to me it was just a great wartime action film. Excellent cast and performances. I would like to know more about how it was made particularly scenes inside of the submarine. I saw this a number of times in the 1950's and 60's. I would like to see a color version... just to see it.
Just a comment on the inclusion of a book with a partial title "Racial Theory" that appears on the captain's desk. I was also surprised at first. When I realized that just above the supposed author's name "More" was the Japanese Imperial chrysanthemum it was obvious that the word above was "Japanese"So rather than a generic book about alleged racial superiority, it looks to be intended to be about a Japanese perspective at the time of the war. The framing of the shot that cuts off the word "Japanese" and includes the chrysanthemum might be too subtle now, but would be more likely to have been recognized 62 years ago. Given the cat-and-mouse type of submarine warfare, the captain having having a book that tries to relate to the psychology of the enemy doesn't seem out of place.
One of the best sub movies
Be prepared to watch this movie front to back without a break. Well written plot, smooth transitions. It's obviously a propaganda movie but when you watch it you really don't care. Be prepared for Alan Hale (the cook) to steal the show. He's the father of Alan Hale, Jr. of Gilligan's Island fame. Destination Tokyo is to the sub service what the movie Air Force was to the Army Air Corps. This movie works any day, every day.
Faith, family, and freedom
- Jeff Boston
Fine film emphasizing the cornerstones of our exceptional nation as founded, developed, and sustained. Totalitarian Japan really only had one of the three, unless you count jingoism and emperor worship as faith. This memorable movie has great scenes involving a barber (one with Hale, another with Grant), a Jimmy Stewart look-alike, and resolute lines like how our country must "wipe out a system that puts daggers into the hands of 5-year-old kids." One line that stands out is when a Mitsubishi factory is spotted and one of our submariners says "that's where the zeroes come from." Ironic and sad that the same company that built the planes that raided Pearl Harbor had Raider trucks a few generations later - and Americans bought them.
Still one of the best submarine movies
- James H.
Destination Tokyo gives such a true appreciation of WWII submarine operations, it was used as a motivational training film in the US Navy's Submarine School in the 1950's and 60's. It was only topped for accuracy by the later Runs Silent, Run Deep, made in 1958 with cooperation by the US Navy.While this movie was in production, the USS Wahoo was undergoing refit in the near-by Mare Island Naval Shipyard. This boat was famous in the submarine force and it's captain, Lt-Cdr. Dudley ("Mush") Morton was legendary for his aggressive tactics. He was asked to visit the production and provide advice, which he did, within the security limitations in place at the time.Following the refit, USS Wahoo made its next war patrol to the waters of the Japanese home islands depicted in the movie, and was lost with all hands.Although this movie does contain some dialog that seems 'hokey' to the ears of more sophisticated folks who do not live at a time when their nation engaged in a war for national survival with an implacable enemy, it still provides a great depiction of the efforts of the US 'Silent Service".
This is indeed a terrific film. One of the things that is puzzling though....we noticed a book in Cary Grants quarters just to the right of his family photos. The book had a title: "Racial Theory" but no book exists. The only book which has a similar title was written by Rosenberg, a Nazi propagandist. He was responsible for infusing the anti-Jew propaganda and promoting the purity of the "Aryan Race". He promoted genocide and hated Christianity because he didn't believe in the teachings of "original sin". This belief he believed didn't apply to the chosen race, the Aryans. He, as well as other prominent Nazis were promoting the return of paganism. In this way, they would be justified in believing in their superiority and the extermination of any inferior race or individual. That being said, it doesn't make sense that this book would be in the possession of a submarine captain unless he expected to be in the Atlantic instead of the Pacific but they were on the West coast when the film began, later rendezvousing with a Catalina aircraft in the Allusion Islands. At that time, the particular Japanese elitists in power believed they were superior; it's why they slaughtered the Chinese. Perhaps, the director was trying to illustrate the evil we were up against and continue to be. There are different groups now, committing crimes against others, killing them because they believe their group is better than the other.
- don kelly
one of the best war films made! this is one the classic movies ,they don't make movies like this. trivia: this is cary grants only war movie.
Destination Tokyo (1943)
- James Higgins
79/100. Tense World War II propaganda film, with an impressive cast. John Garfield stands out, of course Cary Grant is always good. Alan Hale and Dane Clark are great in supporting roles. The Tokyo Bay scene is particularly exciting. Outstanding cinematography, the score is excellent and the writing was nominated for an Academy Award. Impressive special effects. It is a little long at 135 minutes, but it seldom is slow. Very well done and I am sure it helped rouse the American citizens spirits at the time.
Tony Curtis raved about Cary Grant in this one.
Tony Curtis raved about Cary Grant's performance in this film. He was absolutely correct. The whole movie is dominated by Grant's perfect pacing and voice. It motivated Curtis to become a movie star. By one hour in, I was so totally transfixed I could barely breathe. Terrific film. Screenplay was nominated for an Oscar; it certainly was a great one.
Best Sub Movie ---
This has to be the best sub movie ever produced. The actual scenes of Mare Island Sub Base in San Francisco were incredible. If you love submarine movies this is where it all begins.
Great Sub Movie, maybe the best...
- david h
Though never in the service, I was more than facinated by this movie, as my dad was commander of a baleo class sub during the last two months of the war, patroling the Empire area. This movie contained great shots of the inside of a sub, showing the diving controls, the bubble gage, the 'christmas tree' light panel, the sound screen, the torpedo room, and a good loooooong look at a torpedo being loaded. Amazing how advanced we were back then, and even more surprising, was the showing of our equipment and tactics in a movie so early in the war. But I guess the Japenese didn't watch our war movies too much...Cary Grant was totally believable in this one, and not engaged in his usual manic weaving and bobbing around a dame. He was calm, likable, and brave..as were many of the sub skippers back then, who were indeed cream of the crop naval officers. Alan Hale played his usual 'comic' relief part, but not as irritating as in some of his other movies. Interestingly, I recognized three actors who would eventually wind up doing the "Caine Mutiny"...Grants exec, the sailor who was knifed, and one of the junior officers, who wound up playing the testifying naval psychiatrist during the famous trial scene. Corny as some of the dialogue was, it still sucked you in because of the great acting. Can't go wrong with Garfield! The action was just great, and the modus operendi which the silent service employed, quiet, quick, and always looking over your shoulder, came through nicely. I just watched it the other night...can't wait till it comes on again. Great flick...!!
Don't Take Grant for Granted
- Scott Coltrane
What an outstanding movie! I watched it last night and couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Cary Grant proved himself to be a solid actor, ably handling a fine dramatic role. No trace of the screwball comedy Grant, or the romantic ladies' man. Just a realistic sub commander in a taut and gripping drama. Made during WW2, it obviously had some propaganda elements woven into the script, but so what -- the so-called propaganda was right in hindsight. TCM should show this movie more often.
Great sub flick
- J.R. Carrel
This movie was very well made for it's time. If you like early WWII subs this flick has several shots of pre-modified Gato class boats. A lot of detail seems to have been included to educate war-time civilian Americans about life on a submarine. Some clear propaganda too. One flub shot shows sub cruising through the water with screws not turning at all. Overall I liked it.