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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Deep Six (1958)

It's 1942 during WWII and a naval officer (Alan Ladd) is conflicted between carrying out his duty, which includes shooting at the enemy, while his non-violent Quaker upbringing preys on his conscience. Loosely based on the novel by Martin Dibner, the film's premise has potential and, in fact, was previously addressed two years earlier in FRIENDLY PERSUASION which took place during the Civil War. This film addresses the subject on a superficial level and is unnecessarily padded out. It should have run about 90 minutes but the film has two subplots that do nothing to move the movie forward: a seriously ill executive officer (Keenan Wynn) who takes an instant dislike to Ladd's character and too much time is wasted on a bunch of dumb girl crazy sailors headed by Joey Bishop, who we are supposed to (I think) find amusing. The film drops the book's more controversial issues like racial discrimination, homosexual rape and sadism by officers toward their crew. What we end up with is just another WWII movie. Directed by Rudolph Mate. With William Bendix, James Whitmore, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Dianne Foster, Perry Lopez, Ann Doran and Jeanette Nolan.  

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