- Two-hander tales of potential power struggles and mutiny at sea have been around since at least Mutiny on the Bounty in 1935. That film starred Charles Laughton and Clark Gable. Here, Gable switches roles and plays the sort of Captain Bligh ruthless, hardnosed ship Captain.
- This is an aged, worn down Gable. He can still act, but he has visible tremors in many of the scenes. Whether this was alcoholism or the beginnings of Parkinson’s, I’ll leave to the biographers. Either way, sadly, Gable would pass away in 1960 just a few years later.
- This is from Burt Lancaster’s production company. They had success a few years earlier pairing Lancaster with an older, big star (this time Gary Cooper) in Vera Cruz (1954). This time they went for Gable.
- Run Silent Run Deep is a tight 93-minutes set off the coast of Japan during World War II. Very gritty- they send men who are killing the submarine up through the tubes to try to trick the Japanese.
- Extremely intense at times- they are chasing a war ship, taking fire from the air with waves splashing on Gable and Wise designing a busy audio mix.
- Jack Warden plays the one seaman on the sub loyal to Gable. Don Rickles is great in a small role as part of the crew.
- Mostly though, this is the Gable vs. Lancaster show (one or two nice heads-blocking-the-tight-cluttered-submarine-frame from Robert Wise– one above ). Gable bellows “I don’t care about your resentment.” He is monomaniacally focused on revenge (the film opens with his submarine getting destroyed by the Japanese). Gable drills the crew without mercy and they hate him for it. Lancaster is his second in command. They are in opposition but are good men, have a respect for each other—they have a complex relationship. This is Laughton vs. Gable, or Denzel vs. Hackman in 1995’s Crimson Tide.
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 1958
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