Submarine Raider (1942) John Howard, Marguerite Chapman, Bruce Bennett, Warren Ashe, Eileen O'Hearn, Nino Pipitone, Philip Ahn - movie review on The Movie Scene

Submarine Raider (1942)   2/52/52/52/52/5


Marguerite Chapman in Submarine Raider (1942)

The Sea Serpent Strikes Back

As the Japanese aircraft carrier "Hiranamu" heads for Pearl Harbor it takes down an American yacht in its way leading to the lone survivor, Sue Curry, being rescued by the Sea Serpent, an American submarine commanded by Commander Chris Warren. Fearing what the Japanese are planning the Sea Serpent tries send a warning message to Pearl Harbor but the airwaves have been blocked. Following the devastation of Pearl Harbor Commander Warren decides to lure the Hiranamu in to a trap so that they can sink it but in doing so they must put themselves in the firing line.

Plain and simple "Submarine Raider" is a typical early 40s war movie where the good guys stick it to the bad guys and in doing so rallying the audience to not just cheer on the brave men who were fighting the war but fill them with a sense of needing to do their bit as well. As such "Submarine Raider" lacks flair and has a pretty cheap feel about it with effects which I doubt even convinced back then as well as a lack of interest in either character depth or authentic military procedure. But what you get instead is that sense of we will not be beaten and justice must be served even if we have to put ourselves in danger to do so.

Now the thing which goes in the favour of "Submarine Raider" is that at just 64 minutes director Lew Landers with the help of an uncredited Budd Boetticher keep things ticking over so that you are never far from some action and some drama. Unfortunately whilst it does keep it ticking over it isn't enough to distract from some of the dialogue which is painfully forced especially when you have dialogue which wants to sound insightful but only comes across as ham fisted.

What this all boils down to is that "Submarine Raider" isn't a very good movie but it does benefit from Lew Landers skill as a director as he keeps the movie ticking over and bringing the next moment of drama to distract from the often bad dialogue which fills the movie.


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