IN HARMS WAY
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY OTTO PREMINGER
MUSIC BY JERRY GOLDSMITH
AN OTTO PREMINGER FILM
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
Captain Rockwell Torrey and Commander Paul Eddington
are part of the Navy's effort to recuperate from, and retaliate for,
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Torrey is romantically involved with nurse Maggie Haynes,
and also tries to restore his relationship with his estranged son,
Jeremiah, a young Naval officer.
Summary written by Jim Beaver.
John Wayne .... Capt. Rockwell Torrey
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 .... CINCPAC1
Patrick O'Neal .... Commander Neal Owynn
Carroll O'Connor .... Lt. Commander Burke
Slim Pickens .... C.P.O Culpepper
James Mitchum .... Ensign Griggs
George Kennedy .... Colonel Gregory
Bruce Cabot .... Quartermaster Quoddy
Barbara Bouchet .... Liz Eddington
Tod Andrews .... Captain Tuthill
Larry Hagman .... Lt. J.G. Cline
Stewart Moss .... Ensign Balch
Richard LePore .... Lt. J.G. Tom Agar (as Richard Le Pore)
Chet Stratton .... Ship's doctor
Soo Yong .... Tearful woman
Dort Clark .... Boston
Phil Mattingly .... PT Boat skipper
Henry Fonda .... CINCPAC II
Yankee Chang .... Mortuary clerk (uncredited)
Christopher George .... Sailor (uncredited)
Jerry Goldsmith .... Piano player (uncredited)
Christian Haren .... (uncredited)
Don McCurry .... Extra (uncredited)
Hugh O'Brian .... U.S. Army Air Corps major (Liz Eddington's lover) (uncredited)
James Bassett novel Harm's Way
Paula Dell .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
John Indrisano .... stunts (uncredited)
Loren Janes .... stunts (uncredited)
Hal Needham .... stunts (uncredited)
Ronnie Rondell Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
The naval battle sequences were done with models that were so large in scale (for the sake of greater detail) that they could be operated from the inside.
Cameo: [Jerry Goldsmith] Early in the film, prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, the composer can be seen as the pianist signaling the orchestra to stop playing.
Until recently Adms. Kimmell and Nimitz were identified in the credits simply as CINCPAC1 and CINCPAC2. Neither of them is referred to by name in the movie and any reference to them is always as 'CINCPAC'.
During the filming, Kirk Douglas sponsored a Yom Kippur service for the Jewish naval personnel being used as extras in the film.
The Cruiser used for filming was the USS Saint Paul (CA-73).
Kirk Douglas wrote that John Wayne wanted him for the role of Commander (later Captain) Eddington. Douglas was surprised as they did not know each other and did not socialize, and their political opinions were very different. Nonetheless, the collaboration was a success and the two later co-starred in The War Wagon (1967) and Wayne had a cameo in Douglas' ode to Israel, Cast a Giant Shadow (1966).
Henry Fonda, who plays the second Commander-in-Chief-PacificFleet (CINCPAC II), was actually a naval veteran of World War II who served in the Pacific Theater. After making The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Fonda enlisted in the Navy to fight in World War II, saying, "I don't want to be in a fake war in a studio." He served in the Navy for three years, as a Quartermaster 3rd Class on the destroyer USS Satterlee, then, after receiving a commissioned as Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2) in Air Combat Intelligence. For his service, he won the Bronze Star, the fourth highest award for bravery or meritorious service in conflict with the enemy. Fonda later reprised the role of CINCPAC in the docudrama Battle of Midway (1976), where the character was identified as Adm. Chester Nimitz.
John Wayne was suffering from lung cancer and by the end of filming he was coughing up blood. Two months after filming ended his entire left lung and several ribs were removed.
In addition to John Wayne, Franchot Tone was also suffering from lung cancer during filming.
The escape of a destroyer from the Pearl Harbor attack with only junior officers aboard is based on the action of the USS Aylwin (DD-355).
The film's title comes from a quote by Revolutionary War captain John Paul Jones: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way."
The fictional ship in the movie is a composite of several WWII cruisers. 1. The USS Salt Lake City was known as the "Swayback Maru". The ship in the movie and in the novel the movie is based on was known as "Old Swayback". 2. The USS San Francisco was the flagship of a squadron of ships in the famous naval battle of November 12, 1942, in the Solomon Islands area. The fictional ship in the movie was also the flagship of a squadron of ships in an important naval battle. 3. The two ships mentioned above survived WWII. The fictional ship in the movie was sunk, so it could also be based on any US Navy cruiser that was sunk during the Solomon Islands campaign.
The islands identified by Torrey as Gavabutu, Levu Vana and Tokaroa are actually San Cristobal, Guadalcanal and Malaita. Pala Passage would become known as Ironbottom Sound because of the number of ships that would be sunk there in coming battles. Cape Titan probably refers to the Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain, about 650 miles from Guadalcanal. The battle for Guadalcanal began on 7 Aug., 1942 and would not end until February, 1943. Although they say that the majority of forces are with MacArthur in the Solomons, Guadalcanal, is in the eastern Solomons. The dividing line between MacArthur's area of responsibility and Nimitz's was the 159 degrees east.
According to John Huston's autobiography, this is the movie that nearly drove Tom Tryon out of the acting business. He had heard rumors of Otto Preminger's demanding nature, and was understandably nervous. Preminger saw this, and instead of trying to reassure the agitated Tryon, first chewed him out for his fears in front of other cast members, then walked behind him and screamed "RELAX!" in his ear. Tryon reportedly almost quit that day, but castmates talked him out of it.
The original Clemson-class destroyer DD-298 was the USS Percival (commissioned 1920, decommissioned 1930). Its first commander was Commander Raymond A. Spruance who lead the 5th Fleet in WWII.
* Anachronisms: Features a US Navy Albatross, not built until after the end of WW II.
* Crew or equipment visible: When Torrey says goodbye to his son, one of the 1952 GMC trucks belonging to the production company can be seen in the background.
* Anachronisms: M-151 "Jeep"-type vehicles used in many scenes were from the 1960s not 1940s. Note horizontal grill bars. The M151 MUTT was the successor to the Korean War M38 and M38A1 jeep Light Utility Vehicles and was produced from 1959 through 1982.
* Anachronisms: Powell drives a 1946 Ford convertible in 1941.
* Factual errors: CAPT. Eddington, while flying over the Japanese Battleship Yamato, states that "she's got twelve (12) big guns" while in the WWII combat footage shown, the Yamato and her nine (9) 18" guns can be seen clearly.
* Factual errors: They refer to the Naval Academy as "Campus" when in fact it is referred to as the "Yard".
* Continuity: Early in the movie while Liz Eddington and her lover are fleeing the Japanese attack in his Lincoln convertible, they crash into a truck and leave the road in flames and the Lincoln changes into a Ford.
* Continuity: At the meeting in the bomb shelter, Clayton Canfil changes position between shots.
* Continuity: When Captain Paul Eddington absconds with the long range bomber to scout out the Japanese, he scrambles into the plan leaving the entry door open, hanging down. There is no one to close the door, and Eddington leaves seconds later with the entry door closed.
* Revealing mistakes: When Torrey throws a note from the R4D (DC-3 Dakota) to the Para Marines and Canfil on the island, the streamer points into the wind, in the direction of travel of the aircraft, not away from it.
* Anachronisms: Mrs. MacConnell tells her husband, "Mac, you've got that brainwashed look again." The term "brainwashing" wasn't used until the POW scandals of the Korean War.
* Factual errors: In the beginning Captain Torey sends a radio message to Pearl requesting a tanker to refuel his battle group. Anyone in the Navy would call a ship that does refueling an "Oiler".
* Miscellaneous: When McConnel's destroyer is getting ready to get underway during the Pearl Harbor attack, the engineering officer says "cut in all burners, release jacking gear" - but this is erroneously stated on the subtitles as "checking gear".
* Anachronisms: The "Powell-Hyde" cable car prominently featured is the present day Powell Street style of car that was running on the route in the 1960s when the film was made, but not in the 1940s at the time of the story. At that time both the style of the cars and the routing was different. California Street RR Company style cars ran on Hyde via the O'Farrell and Jones Street route.
* Anachronisms: Nearly all female characters in the film wear popular and current 1965 clothing and hairstyles.
* Continuity: The Japanese submarine in the Pearl Harbor attack changes appearance radically between shots - different models - at 0:23:16 and 0:23:54.
* Boom mic visible: In the scene in the quonset hut when Admiral Torrey receives the phone call from Powell about Eddington's reconnaissance flight, the shadow of a mike boom can be seen on the wall to Torrey's left.
* Factual errors: The model of the Yamato has its 6-inch secondary guns in double-barreled turrets. The real Yamato's 6-inch guns were in triple-barreled turrets.
* Factual errors: During the surface battle, Torrey and his staff are all without life jackets or helmets. When at general quarters, battle stations, all topside personnel, those not in the enclosed compartments below the main deck, would be wearing life jackets. Almost all personnel would be wearing helmets.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Eddington takes the PBJ to scout the Japanese fleet, he sits in the right hand seat. The pilot of a fixed wing aircraft always sits in the left hand seat when the seats are side by side. This even applies to student pilots. The instructor will fly right seat.
* Revealing mistakes: Torrey's first task force is referred to as a "bat blind" group with no radar, yet as the destroyer commanded by Mac McConnell leaves Pearl Harbor you can plainly see a radar dish on her mast.
* Boom mic visible: (01:53:20) When Ensign Annalee Dorne (Jill Haworth) and Captain Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas) break away from the beach party she goes over a short rise in the beach, as he pursues her and calls out to her, "Hey Dorn!", you can see the shadow of a boom mic in the sand.
* Factual errors: The cruiser used in the beginning of the movie, U.S.S. St. Paul CA-73, did not enter service until 1945. It had twin 3" gun mounts in place of quad 40mm by the time the movie was filmed. Also the 3" has radar dishes clearly visible on each mount.
* Factual errors: The action takes place in the Solomon Islands, though they are renamed. The IJN Yamato, never ventured into the Solomon's due to fuel consumption issues. Also, it was not until 1944 that the IJN Yamato fired her guns in combat.
* Anachronisms: As the paratroop assault launches, an M-38A1 jeep can be seen moving on the runway. The M-38 (&A1) series was not produced until 1950.
* Continuity: In the opening scene at the Navy dance, a bra strap can be seen across Liz Eddington's back as her dress opens up but as she takes off her dress at the beach, she is wearing no bra.
* Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Torrey is leaving Maggie's house, he says "Thank you, Maggie" but his lips don't move.
* Factual errors: When Eddington is killed and his plane is shot down, Admiral Torrey and the other officers present on base listening to his transmissions can hear the sounds of the plane's destruction coming through the radio on the plane. While this would be electronically possible, it is highly unlikely because Eddington or some other force would have to be holding the button on the microphone down to be transmitting a signal.
* Factual errors: John Wayne's character makes a comment to Burgess Meredith's character about his marrying three Hollywood actresses. In reality, the man upon whom Meredith's character was based, Rear Admiral Gene Markey, USNR did not marry the third actress, Myrna Loy, until January, 1946 - four months after World War II had ended.
* Revealing mistakes: When the boatswain's mate orders, "On deck, attention to port," the water in the background can be seen moving as if the ship (which has just anchored) is underway.
* Factual errors: At the formalities bestowing Admiral Rank on Capt. Torrey, Admiral Nimitz said "After the formalities of the ceremonies peter out, join Egan and me." Admiral Torrey was briefed and then Adm Nimitz handed him is old 2 stars for the collar, and said, "If there was any luck in them, you're gonna need it." Torrey thanked him and then standing, still within his "zone" (to Adm. Nimitz) merely turned and left. In practice, this would never happen. Adm. Torrey would have taken one step rearward still facing Adm. Nimitz, came to attention, and then been "dismissed," which may have been an understood dismissed and not spoken, but no lower ranking officer ever leaves the presence of a higher rank without paying proper respect to the higher rank, i.e. Admiral Torrey to Admiral Nimitz with exchange of salutes.
* Anachronisms: When morgue attendant is asked by Eddington to see the man that she was bought in with he says that the air force picked it by three days ago at that time it was the known as the army corps.
* Continuity: In the scene where Eddington takes the reconnaissance plane, it is given to him with a machine gun clearly visible extending from the nose. In later shots of the plane in flight, it is gone.
* Continuity: When Eddington's plane is shot down, the left wing is blown off and the plane is on fire. In the next shot, the fire is clearly coming from Eddington's right.
* Boom mic visible: In the very opening scene at the dance, a boom mic shadow is clearly visible panning over the officers' hats.
* Boom mic visible: When Capt. Torrey walks Eddington from the brig to the duty launch, a boom mic shadow is very clearly seen on Kirk Douglas and the background behind him.
* Crew or equipment visible: When Torrey visits his son on the PT Boat, there is a "gun crew" in the background, but the gun nor any of the "men" ever move at all. This exact same "crew" is seen actually moving in the Torrey/Eddington scene after leaving the brig.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): After Eddington identifies the Yamato, Mac refers to it as an 80,000-ton vessel. At this point in the war, U.S. intelligence had only suspicions of the Yamato's existence; even when its presence in the Pacific was confirmed, it was believed to be a 40,000-ton ship and its actual full load was just shy of 73,000 tons.
* Revealing mistakes: As the Cassidy is attacking the sub in the beginning of the film, we are given what is supposed to be Eddington's viewpoint through binoculars on the cruiser. The "view" we see is, however, clearly taken from an aircraft.
* Continuity: When the 'Cassiday' is starting her run from Pearl Harbor during the attack, her stern depth charge racks are empty. Yet several minutes later when the captain and exec are astern trying to catch up, the stern depth charge racks are full.
* Factual errors: John Wayne's character was promoted to Rear Admiral lower half who should wear a single star, yet he is seen later wearing two stars.
* Revealing mistakes: SPOILER: In the hospital ship approaching Pearl Harbor, Rockwell Torrey is told that he had been asleep for almost three weeks. If this was the case, he would have been totally dependent upon intravenous feeding, yet there were no IV lines anywhere in sight.
Hell's Half Acre District, Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA
San Diego, California, USA
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In Harm's Way