In Harm's Way

This exciting WW II action film directed by Otto Preminger begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor, during which Capt. Rockwell Torrey (John Wayne) and his longtime pal Comdr. Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas) are at sea with a small force of destroyers. After being advised of the attack, Torrey is sent on a fool's mission to seek and destroy the long-gone Japanese...read more

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This exciting WW II action film directed by Otto Preminger begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor, during which Capt. Rockwell Torrey (John Wayne) and his longtime pal Comdr. Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas) are at sea with a small force of destroyers. After being advised of the attack, Torrey

is sent on a fool's mission to seek and destroy the long-gone Japanese fleet. In the process, Torrey's little battle group is attacked, and because he has disregarded regulations, he is brought before a court of inquiry. Meanwhile, Eddington learns that his wife (Barbara Bouchet) has been killed

during the attack. Torrey is demoted to a desk job; Eddington becomes embittered. As this 165-minute war epic progresses, a number of subplots are introduced: conflict between Torrey and his callous son, Jeremiah (Brandon De Wilde); Torrey's relationship with Lt. Maggie Haynes (Patricia Neal), a

WAVE officer; Eddington's interest in Jere's sweetheart, Annalee (Jill Haworth), and her eventual suicide; the romance of newlyweds Bev (Paula Prentiss) and Lt. (jg) William McConnel (Tom Tryon); and Torrey and Eddington's attempt to redeem themselves in battle.

Much of the plot plays like a TV soap opera, but Preminger's artistry is evident in every frame. The attack on Pearl Harbor (with as many shells exploding in the harbor as on the streets) is inventively and realistically photographed and invested with a sense of danger. Regrettably, the naval

battles are less convincing, as Preminger and crew used large models and shot these scenes in a lake in Mexico. Griggs received an Oscar nomination for his cinematography. Part of the picture was also shot aboard the US warships Braine, Capitaine, O'Bannon, Philip, Renshaw, Saint Paul, and

Walker.

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