The Greatest Submarine Movies Ever

This subject always raises a lot of discussion and controversy. I am sure there are a lot of divided opinions about what actually makes a great submarine movie but they normally revolve around some basic choices.

Is it an old movie from back in the day where John Wayne or Ronald Reagan played a critical role?

John Wayne          Hellcats_of_the_navy_poster

Or is it something a bit more current where a sleek Trident rushes through the water while Denzel and friends try to prevent a nuclear holocaust?

Crimson Tide

Some would even say that the classic submarine movie was one that brought such reality to its presentation that many old boat sailors probably had flashbacks. There are just not that many movies made with a more realistic feel than Das Boot.


But what if we could look into the future and see what the next generation of submarine movies would look like? This topic generated a lot of discussion at the “kid’s table” last night after consuming large quantities of turkey, potatoes, gravy,  and candied sweet potatoes. I am not sure if it was something in the turkey or the extra sugar in so many items eaten, but the discussion turned into a pretty interesting peek at the potential future.

First, remember that all of the classic submarine movies were normally based on technology and conditions as they would have existed for the screen writers.

The actors and directors mainly tried to stay true to submarine operations of their day so as to increase their believability and credibility. There are a few exceptions but on the whole, submarine life was projected in a manner which most closely reflected on the conditions of the time frame it was presented in.

That is why the submarine movie of the future would have to reflect the new realities of submarine life.

First of course is the complete elimination of the ever present cigarette and often present cigars. No longer would the captain light up after sending the devious and hated enemy to a watery grave. The large bellied cook could no longer stand over a pot of steaming stuff with an ash laden cigarette perilously close to flavoring the days breakfast. Even the grizzled old chief peering into the open crankcase of the diesel would have nothing to occupy his fingers as he worried about how to tell the captain that she was finally shot.

Next of course would be the uniform or lack of uniform during the height of an attack.

With the ventilation completed secured to mask any unnecessary noise during an approach or after a launch, gone would be the days of men stripped down to their skivvies covered in sweat. Why? Remember, this is the future where boys and girls serve side by side locked in a steel tube for months at a time. Can you imagine the chaos if they all stripped down to their skivvies? (On the other hand the internal battle might suddenly eliminate the desire to continue the external battle)

In order to sell the submarine movie of the future, creators would have to get more, well, creative.

Tastes and expectations have changed. In order to justify the major expense of making a movie about a subject kids have no direct connection with, plot lines would need some adaptation. As we discussed this idea at the table, my wonderful niece (a gifted engineer with a strong conservative leaning) came up with a spark of an idea which quickly grew to a bonfire at our small table.

What if we combined a submarine theme with one of the wildly popular franchises that are circulating the theaters these days.

Her idea could never have been possible in the past but with all the changes coming to the submarine force, they could now meet the criteria of being believable to the new generation. The dramatic tensions of the two genres are linked in so many ways. The unexpected. The danger. Surprises at every corner. And with the introduction of female on board, the old limitations of extreme drama could be finally released for all time.

Here’s the basic premise:

You are on a super stealthy submarine of the future with all of the latest technology. Gone are the old gauges, replaced by synthetic light emitting diode displays that seemingly float in the air. Sound powered phones are replaced by super-hyper speed wireless implants in each sailors head. Torpedoes are replaced by energy pulses that can destroy an entire aircraft carrier in one shot. The reactor is so advanced, it only takes up the room a card table would in your dining room. The submarine is fully integrated and capable of destroying anything in its path. In other words, the ultimate fighting machine.

Then one day, a new officer reports aboard.

Ensign Nicoleta Alexandruvich reports aboard as the new weapons officer. Within a month, sailors start acting strangely seeming to follow her every direction. Band-Aids on their necks seem to reflect a rash of shaving incidents until finally there are only a few men (and women) left who become concerned about the sudden rush on tomato juice in the mess decks and wardroom. Even pizza night becomes a mad dash for the band-aid wearing crewmembers (more sauce cookie, more sauce).

The captain, one very unattractive machinist mate female auxiliary person and the Chief cook are the only ones not entangled in the snare she has set. In a secret meeting, the cook reveals that his family background is similar to the ensign’s but in an opposite way. She is a vampire and he is a werewolf who only joined submarines so he could escape the ever dangerous moon. Their natural conflict would be the only thing that could save the sub and prevent it from joining a growing fleet of captive slaves.

The struggle for control of the submarine between the forces of good and evil becomes the driving factor behind this ultra modern and relevant classic of the future:

The Twilight Drama Series: Vampires of the Deep chapter 1.

We were all excited about this new concept and were about to flesh out a plot for Submarine Zombies on Eternal Patrol when the pumpkin and mincemeat pies were brought in. The lack of discussion after eating some rather large portions of the deserts seemed to put an end to our evening’s creativity. Might have been the whipped cream or the hard sauce I did have some rather strange dreams last night.

Fiction? Maybe. Perhaps the whole idea of crossover plots may be too strange for some to contemplate. Two seemingly unrelated subjects that would normally be combined make  for an odd storyline. On the other hand, at one point in the evening someone mentioned that there may be some vampires in Washington DC and especially in the halls of our leadership. After all, they are sucking the life out of our economy and children’s future.

Hope you are enjoying your day after. If any movie producers out there are interested in the rest of the plot for VOTD, you can contact me at my lean submariner site. I will be happy to help make your next hit box office special (and will only need about forty million or so for the concept)

Mister Mac

2 thoughts on “The Greatest Submarine Movies Ever

  1. Uncle B,
    Fantastic post! C and I were cracking up reading it this afternoon. We had a great time with you guys last night! Looking forward to reading the VOTD screenplay. 😉

    1. Thanks Heather. We love spending time with you guys whenever we get the chance. I will continue to work on the screenplay of course. Holywood is probably trying to reach me now.
      Uncle B

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