The Atomic Submarine (1959)

Article #1094 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-13-2004
Posting Date: 8-10-2004
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
Featuring Arthur Franz, Dick Foran, Brett Halsey

When several ships are destroyed near the North Pole, an atomic submarine is sent to the area to investigate. The culprit turns out to be a flying saucer.

Director Bennet is largely remembered as a director of serials, though he has several features under his credits. This is perhaps the best known of them. For me, this movie just doesn’t come to life until the last twenty minutes when some of the crew manages to sneak aboard the flying saucer. Before we reach that moment, we are largely subjected to war-movie style cliches, heavy-handed and unnecessary narration and a collection of the most poorly developed characters I’ve ever seen in a movie, and it’s only enlivened by the very occasional visually arresting moment and a bit of campiness. The big conflict on the sub is between Arthur Franz and Brett Halsey, but it’s written in such a painfully heavy-handed and clumsy manner that it feels artificial. Once aboard the flying saucer, things get a lot more interesting; we get some horrible (even gruesome) deaths and an alien which looks unique (if not necessarily convincing). Despite its flaws, this movie seems to be well-loved in certain circles, though I suspect this is primarily due to the strange-looking alien. As for me, I would recommend that you keep your finger near the fast-forward button of your remote for the first fifty minutes.


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