In Harm's Way

In Harm's Way

Otto Preminger (1965)

160min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Producer/director Otto Preminger had a rough critical ride in the 1960s, not least for this marvellous Second World War epic, which begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The fine, hand-picked cast includes John Wayne and Kirk Douglas as naval officers suffering mixed fortunes during and after the attack. Both are tremendous, and they are well supported by Patricia Neal, Brandon de Wilde and Dana Andrews. The main flaw is that the special effects in the later sea battles look unconvincing (they were shot using models), but this may be less distracting for TV viewers today. Nevertheless, the film has great scale (and a great score by Jerry Goldsmith), and, unusually, the characters aren't dwarfed by the canvas. It's a long haul, but it's well worth your perseverance.

Summary

Two Navy officers are disgraced in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbour, one for a disastrous engagement with the enemy and the other for a drunken brawl after learning of his wife's death. They get another chance to prove their worth when they are placed in charge of a vital counter-offensive. Second World War drama, starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Henry Fonda.

Cast & Crew

Capt Rockwell Torrey John Wayne
Cdr Paul Eddington Kirk Douglas
Cincpac Admiral Henry Fonda
Cdr Egan Powell Burgess Meredith
Col Gregory George Kennedy
Clayton Canfil Stanley Holloway
Chief Petty Officer Culpepper Slim Pickens
Lt Maggie Haynes Patricia Neal
Lt William McConnel Tom Tryon
Admiral Broderick Dana Andrews
Director Otto Preminger
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Paramount Film Service LtdAvailable on: video and DVD
Drama