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CRASH DIVE(director: Archie Mayo; screenwriters: Jo Swerling/story by W.R. Burnett; cinematographer: Leon Shamroy; editors: Walter Thompson/Ray F. Curtiss; music: David Buttolph; cast: Dana Andrews (Lt. Commander Dewey Connors), Tyrone Power (Lieutenant Ward Stewart), Anne Baxter (Jean Hewlitt), James Gleason (McDonnell), Harry Morgan (Brownie), Minor Watson (Adm. Bob Stewart), Dame May Whitty (Grandmother); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Milton Sperling; Fox Video; 1943)
“Both the romance and the war scenes lacked any sense of reality, though everything was well-crafted.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Archie Mayo directs in a workmanlike manner a film more acclaimed for its Oscar-winning special effects than its war story romance. It is based on a story by W.R. Burnett and written by Jo Swerling. It’s a WW11 propaganda film, more or less, hiding behind special effects and a love story to soften its glorification of war (though in all fairness, it should be remembered that it was made during wartime). Both the romance and the war scenes lacked any sense of reality, though everything was well-crafted.

In his last screen appearance before a three-year stretch in the Marines Tyrone Power plays Lieutenant Ward Stewart, a dashing Navy man newly assigned to a more challenging role as an executive officer aboard a submarine by his admiral uncle (Minor Watson) after serving with distinction as a PT boat commander. While on leave Stewart meets in Washington D.C. pretty school teacher Jean Hewlitt (Anne Baxter) and falls for her, and after some misgivings about him she returns his love interest. But Stewart is unaware that Hewlitt is the girlfriend of his new commanding officer, Lt. Commander Dewey Connors (Dana Andrews).

The military men get along fine and complete their mission to locate and destroy Nazi U-boats, but things take on a different tone when the officers go on leave in New London and Connors learns that his subordinate has asked his sweetheart to marry him. The men must go on a dangerous mission after their leave to destroy a Nazi base and the tension mounts for both the war effort and love triangle.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”