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Not Rated
103 minutes
Drama War

A key picture in the development of Columbia, this was the company's first film with sound, and the first which was legitimately sold as an "A" picture. The $150,000 (an enormous amount by the studio's standards) adventure had begun under the direction of Irvin Willat, who specialized in seagoing fare. However, Cohn was dissatisfied with the dailies, so he canned Willat and asked Capra to take over: a real risk, considering Capra had only done small comedies to this point. Arriving on the location, he was allegedly met with hostility from stars Jack Holt and Ralph Graves, especially when he insisted they not wear make-up. But Capra's deft touch quickly won them over, and the experience proved so fruitful that the trio re-teamed for two more actioners, FLIGHT and DIRIGIBLE. The plot combined romantic melodrama (both men love the same woman, played by Dorothy Revier) and deep-sea action (Holt must rescue a stranded sub before its crew suffocates). The final reel's music and sound effects (including the tap-tapping of Holt on the sub's outer hull) helped make the film a smash hit.

Jack Holt
Jack Dorgan
Ralph Graves
Bob Mason
Dorothy Revier
Bessie, Mrs. Jack Dorgan
Arthur Rankin
The Boy
Clarence Burton
Submarine Commander
Frank Capra
Screenplay by Dorothy Howell; Story by Norman Springer
Country USA
Language English