7.3/10
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113 user 20 critic

In Harm's Way (1965)

Approved | | Drama, War | 6 April 1965 (USA)
A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Wendell Mayes (screenplay), James Bassett (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,961 ( 1,187)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Rock
Kirk Douglas ... Eddington
Patricia Neal ... Maggie
Tom Tryon ... Mac
Paula Prentiss ... Bev
Brandon De Wilde ... Jere
Jill Haworth ... Annalee
Dana Andrews ... Admiral Broderick
Stanley Holloway ... Clayton Canfil
Burgess Meredith ... Commander Egan Powell
Franchot Tone ... CINCPAC I
Patrick O'Neal ... Commander Neal Owynn
Carroll O'Connor ... Lt. Commander Burke
Slim Pickens ... C.P.O. Culpepper
James Mitchum ... Ensign Griggs
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Storyline

On patrol the morning of December 7th while commanding a cruiser Captain Torrey receives word of the attack on Pearl Harbor. His orders are to find the Japanese force and attack it. The picture tells the story of three families during the outbreak of World War II. Written by michaeloshey

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Stripped of everything - they lived and loved and fought as if there were no tomorrow... See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

6 April 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Erster Sieg See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Otto Preminger Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirk Douglas accepted the second lead because his career had declined since Spartacus (1960) with the failure of Lonely Are the Brave (1962) and a badly-received stage version of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". See more »

Goofs

They refer to the Naval Academy as "Campus" when in fact it is referred to as the "Yard". See more »

Quotes

Nurse Lieutenant Maggie Haynes: I made a special effort to not look like a nurse.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Videotape version is shorter than theatrical version televised on A&E. Battle footage at end of film shorter on video. See more »

Connections

Featured in Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Tobias, Lew Brown, and Sam H. Stept
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"All battles are fought by scared men who'd rather be someplace else."
19 June 2005 | by ejgreen77See all my reviews

In Harm's Way is a film that is historically important in the career of its star, John Wayne, for two reasons. First, it marked his last appearance in a Black and White film, and second, it was his last film before undergoing surgery for lung cancer. It also marks Wayne's first of three films with Kirk Douglas, and his only film with director Otto Preminger.

As for the film itself, it is a character-driven story with the World War II setting used as a backdrop. Like other Preminger pictures of the time (Exodus, Advise and Consent) it has a big-name cast and an "epic" feel. Watch for Henry Fonda in a small part as Admiral Nimitz (referred to as "CINCPAC II"). Wayne plays Rockwell Torrey, a naval officer blamed for the Pearl Harbor disaster, and demoted. But Nimitz (Fonda) knows that Torrey is a good commander, and when timorous politician-turned-Admiral Broderick (Dana Andrews) botches a key operation, Nimitz turns control over to Torrey, giving him a second chance.

On the personal side, Torrey tries to help his second-in-command, Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas), who, as they say, is going through some personal problems of his own. Torrey also tries to repair his relationship with his estranged son Jeremiah (Brandon De Wilde), and finds time to conduct a "twilight romance" with nurse Lieutenant Maggie Haynes (Patricia Neal).

Two scenes in particular make this film stand out. The first occurs when Wayne and Neal are alone together in his apartment, the night before she is about to be shipped out. I won't spoil it for anyone, but let me say that it is a classic example of how a scene can ooze with "sex" without actually "showing" a single thing. It's a perfect example of how this kind of scene can be handled tastefully and professionally. It's called class, folks, and it is apparently something that modern Hollywood cannot or will not understand. The second is a discussion on cowardice between Wayne and Burgess Meredith as the fleet is preparing to meet the Japanese in battle. Once again, I won't spoil it, but it a memorable and classic scene, the quote that I have used to head my review is delivered by Wayne during it.

While In Harm's Way may, at first, seem to be simply a film about the politics of Navy hierarchy, it is really a film about the personal lives and struggles of the men and women of World War II.


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