Mystery Submarine


1h 18m 1950

Brief Synopsis

Posing as an ex-German medical officer, a U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer sets out to rescue a kidnapped scientist, and sink a Nazi submarine, hiding off the coast of South America.

Film Details

Also Known As
Phantom Submarine
Release Date
Dec 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
San Diego, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,021ft

Synopsis

German Madeline Brenner, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is brought before the United States Attorney for the District of New York under the charge of treason. Madeline tells him how she met Eric Von Molter, a renegade German submarine commander, along the beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Von Molter tells her that her husband, whom she thought was killed during World War II, is actually alive and well. She is then told that she must help with the abduction of German scientist, Dr. Adolph Guernitz, if she wishs to be reunited with her husband. After abducting Guernitz and torpedoing the yacht that the scientist had been traveling on, Von Molter then tells Madeline that her husband had indeed died five years earlier, as she had previously believed. Later, Dr. Brett Young testifies that he was assigned by U.S. Naval Intelligence to find the renegade German submarine and rescue Guernitz. Pretending to be an escaped German prisoner-of-war, Brett finds Von Molter's base along the eastern coastline of Mexico and is soon accepted into their group. As a physician, Brett is then given the task of caring for the seriously ill Guernitz. In the meantime, Von Molter declares his romantic interests in Madeline, while planning for the transfer of Guernitz to an unnamed foreign power. Later, Von Molter catches Brett attempting to use the submarine's radio, but does nothing, as he needs Brett to continue taking care of Guernitz. With Guernitz growing weaker, Von Molter decides to take to sea immediately for a planned rendezvous with the Panamanian tanker Citadel . Brett tries to leave a message for U.S. Naval Intelligence when Von Molter raids a port hospital, seeking medication for the ill scientist, but the German submarine commander discovers his note and places Brett under arrest. With Guernitz seemingly lost, the German submarine is spotted by a U.S. Navy search plane. After Madeline releases a flare, the submarine is soon set upon by three passing U.S. Navy destroyers. Von Molter, however, tricks the ships into thinking that the submarine has been sunk by setting off an oil slick, releasing floatables and diving deep. Brett secretly writes the exact location of the submarine's planned rendezvous with the Citadel on one of the released life preservers, and Von Molter is captured after boarding the Citadel . Von Molter informs his captors that the submarine will torpedo the tanker if he is not immediately released. A squadron of U.S. Navy planes arrives, however, and destroys the German submarine before it can fire on the tanker. Based on her cooperation and Brett's testimony, all charges against Madeline are then dropped.

Film Details

Also Known As
Phantom Submarine
Release Date
Dec 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
San Diego, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,021ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Phantom Submarine. The film begins with the following written statement: "In the making of this picture, the cooperation of the Department of Defense and the United States Navy is gratefully acknowledged." According to Hollywood Reporter, portions of this film were shot in San Diego, CA. Universal press materials state that the U.S.S. Steelhead, a decommissioned Navy submarine, played the role of the Nazi U-boat in Mystery Submarine. This was the first Universal film directed by Douglas Sirk, a German immigrant who became best known for his work at that studio on such melodramas as Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1956) and Imitation of Life (1959). Although Russell Schoengarth and Ralph Dawson are listed as the film's editors by Hollywood Reporter production charts, Virgil Vogel is credited in the position by contemporary reviews and the film's onscreen credits.