Submarine Seahawk (1958) Poster

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Not Bad
Space_Mafune6 February 2003
When one Lieutenant Commander Paul Turner (John Bentley) unexpectedly gets assigned the lead of the Submarine Seahawk for an important undercover mission (to find out where missing Japanese warships are being hidden), the crew becomes more and more anxious as Turner again and again refuses to fire on enemy ships while taking them further and further into dangerous enemy territory.

This is decent enough entertainment for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon if one is in the mood for a submarine war adventure tale. A couple of familiar faces in the cast doesn't hurt any either nor does some of the early lighter scenes which help us to identify more with the crew.
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Ever so slightly above average war cheapie
JohnSeal2 June 2000
The story isn't much, but the miniature footage is pretty good for an AIP quickie and the stock footage is quite well integrated for once. It won't set your world alight but it's certainly better than some of the other AIP war films (Paratroop Command, Tank Batallion, etc.)
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Worth a look, only for the sake of the last half hour
NavyOrion16 May 2008
You've seen this movie before, done by everybody from Cary Grant ("Destination Tokyo") to Clark Gable ("Run Silent Run Deep") to Glenn Ford ("Torpedo Run"), and done better in pretty much every case.

This is a cast of nobody-you-ever-heard-of (for good reasons; I hope they didn't quit their day jobs) in a stock WWII plot about a sub on a secret mission. The acting is atrocious, the characters are incredibly clichéd (especially annoying: the short enlisted "comic relief" Jerry Lewis clone), and there are plot holes big enough to drive a submarine through.

If that were all it had, I'd give "Submarine Seahawk" maybe 2 stars, as an almost complete waste of film. However, this movie is saved from the scrap pile by better than average effects (some borrowed from other films), particularly in the climactic scene of the air assault on the Japanese flotilla. It's the explosions, fires, and splashes that usually give the model work in naval movies that shot-in-the-bathtub look. But especially considering how long ago this movie was made (and its obviously meager budget) those visuals were very nicely done. If for no other reason (and I sure can't think of any) this movie is worth watching for the impressive effects in that scene.

What's the best way to see "Submarine Seahawk"? Do as I did the first time I saw it, and miss the first hour or so. (I only wish I had missed that part again on my second viewing.) 9 stars for the attack scene, 2 for the rest of the movie.
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A Really Secret Mission
bkoganbing5 November 2007
Submarine Seahawk is one of those films that you or I could put together with some stock footage and a knowledge of all the clichés involved in making a submarine motion picture.

The U.S.S. Seahawk has a mission and it looks like a suicide one. Under new skipper John Bentley, they're to go into a secret Japanese base and report when the task force is being refitted. Then the Americans are to pull their own Pearl Harbor.

For reasons only the writers know, the purpose of the mission is kept secret from the crew. Why, God only knows, because where's everybody going to go and tell once they're at sea. So the crew is grumbling why they're going out of the way to avoid engaging the enemy.

John Bentley, Brett Halsey and the rest of the no name cast deserve some kind of medal for wading through this tripe and delivering some kind of decent performances. All the clichés involving submarine films are alive and thriving in Submarine Seahawk.

Will they come home from the mission? Watch the film if you dare and care.
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Best seen while in a coma
gary1792-122 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Oh, lord this is a bad movie. I was in the hospital awaiting gall bladder surgery when I first saw this piece of crud. The best thing I can say is that it made me look forward to the surgery.

A lousy storyline and awful dialogue. As an example, when the sub is ordered out to sea for a difficult mission one of the sub command officers says to an admiral, "I don't like it." The admiral responds, "Talk to the man who invented war." I almost choked on my red jello.

There is a whole load of very familiar stock footage in this thing. Normally, I've got no problem with that, but did they have to use everything they could get their hands on?

I will give them credit for economy, though. I think I counted a total of 9 sailors on this boat, including the captain. Every time the scene cut away from the bridge and showed the crew, it was the same five guys. Pretty funny.

If you happen to see this film is coming on, please miss it. Go to Europe if you have to, just miss it.
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Engaging Movie that adds some human drama to the mechanics of submarine warfare
crossrad22 November 2014
From humble beginnings this movie proved to be fairly engrossing, because you can't be sure which way it will go. It creates characters with some real human characteristics, both good and bad, and you will keep watching to find out just how they measure up to the rigours of submarine warfare. Sure it is low budget, but it still manages more realism and is more believable than many of today's Hollywood blockbusters.

No problem with the sound quality or general image quality, and the battle scenes and submarine manoeuvres are fairly impressive. Some of the opening scenes which try to inject a bit of levity will seem a bit forced and dated to today's eyes, but this film is unusual in that it gets better as it proceeds, with the best bits at the end.
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AIP should have stuck to their sci-fi horror movies
Leofwine_draca7 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
SUBMARINE SEAHAWK is a bog-standard WW2 story about the crew of an American submarine patrolling the waters in the western Pacific and getting involved in various scrapes and battles with their Japanese enemies. While the picture does attempt a little characterisation on those at the top, this is very much a sub-par movie compared to the true classics of the genre starring the likes of Richard Widmark who were able to fully realise the complexity of a man whose job it is is to care for his men while acting completely mercilessly towards the enemy. It doesn't help that the storyline has been done to death and much better in other instances.

This picture was put out by Nicholson and Arkoff at AIP, a studio more at home making B-movie sci-fi or horror pictures. The only thing it really has going for it are some excellent, expensive-looking battle sequences, some of which seem to be actual footage from the war. I'm sure stock footage was used extensively and it really helps, because the script is dullish and the cast even more so. John Bentley, a British actor so good in various crime thrillers of the 1950s, is hard to swallow as the American captain and feels outside of his comfort zone. You just want him to come home and make more British films.
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Wooden Walls
brislack10 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I was very surprised to see John Bentley in this movie. I remember him in the distant past as a particularly wooden actor in British 'B' films. Maybe that is why casting chose him for his part as a non-communicative, wooden, officer!

All the same, to me as a Brit, he actually sounded like an American and 'rose to the part!'. Maybe the best actor in the thing.

My title above is a saying that refers to the old Royal Navy warships of the past, which were often called wooden walls. Thought you all might like to know that!

As for the movie itself, well it has already been covered in the above posts. Not a good war film. Was this mission something that really happened in the Pacific War?
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Not A Good WWII Movie
jeremycrimsonfox23 November 2019
For an old movie, this movie did not interest me like the World War II movies starring John Wayne. The acting is iffy, there is not much action, and the dialogue is not funny and makes the story even more boring. There are better movies than this out there.
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A Submarine named DISASTER!
inspt71-126 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
*possible spoilers*

This is a terrible, cheap, no good submarine movie. I haven't seen all of it but I don't want to. Finding out that this movie's submarine shots and war scenes were from other war movies like "Destination Tokyo" and "Air Force." Why did they even bother to make this movie in the first place? If they spent more than 10 dollars to make this movie, i'd be amazed. The actors in this might be okay, but if they would have just made a better story and created their own battle scenes for heaven sake, this movie might have been better. If you're interested in seeing it's action scenes, Watch the movies I mentioned above. They are a heck of a lot better than this.
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worth it only for the laughter value
johneastlund28 May 2012
dumb dialogue, lousy acting, silly story, overly dramatic background music. It ends up being a satire or caricature of all the good submarine movies even though they were being serious when they made it.

It uses every cliché of a submarine movie, crew members going nuts, sneaking thru minefields, torpedoes that miss, the captain following orders in conflict with the crew, getting depth charged, having to make repairs while the enemy is around.

It's not a crew I would want to go to sea with, untrained, undisciplined. The main plot is implausible. I could see a movie of this quality coming out 20 years earlier when they cranked out propaganda movies for the war. The character development needs a little work. I'm not surprised the actors are unfamiliar to anybody.
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