Crash Dive (1943)

Dana Andrews and Tyrone Power in Crash Dive (1943)

Conflict Beneath the Sea

Despite preferring being on the Patrol Torpedo boats Lt. Ward Stewart (Tyrone Power) finds himself posted to the role of executive officer aboard the submarine USS Corsair under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Dewey Connors (Dana Andrews). Before they are due to set off Stewart meets schoolteacher Jean Hewlett (Anne Baxter) and he turns on the charm as he whisks her off her feet over a weekend. But that leads to major complications as whilst Ward and Dewey become friends serving together they also find themselves involved with the same woman and when they are sent on a commando raid it gets even more complicated.

"Crash Dive" sounds like a great name for a WWII submarine movie and with Tyrone Power and Dana Andrews leading the cast you would be forgiven if you sat down to watch it expecting a serious war drama. But as you can see from that synopsis there is more of a touch of romantic complication to this movie which unfortunately whilst entertaining is not new either as there are many a war movie which uses the same set up of two men in love with the same woman ending up in a dangerous situation together.

Anne Baxter in Crash Dive (1943)

The thing is that whilst familiar "Crash Dive" still works and the humorous romantic scenes are good fun with Tyrone Power turning on the charm whilst Anne Baxter turns on the flustered around him. In truth the role of Ward Stewart seems more like a role with Cary Grant written all over it but Power does a good job. In fact every element in "Crash Dive" works with Anne Baxter being utterly charming from start to finish whilst Dana Andrews ends up in a more supporting role still works well with Power and Baxter.

The thing is that whilst all this works and "Crash Dive" puts a smile on your face it is a movie which has a bit of a spilt personality. The majority of the movie is light and skippy having fun with the romantic triangle and the ignorance of each other not initially knowing the connection but then about three quarters of the way through it switches tone as it tries to bring more drama into the mix.

What this all boils down to is that "Crash Dive" ends up many things; familiar, fun, light hearted but it also ends up flawed and suffering from a touch of the split personality.