Frogman (1951) – is an action packed World War II drama. This film was nominated twice for an academy award. The story was written by Oscar Millard and the screenplay by John Tucker Battle, the director was Lloyd Bacon.
Lt. Cmdr. John Lawrence - Richard Widmark
Jake Flannigan – Dana Andrews
Lt Com Pete Vincent – Gary Merrill
The Frogmen is the story of group of frogmen, named for the fact that they are an underwater bomb team during World War II who take their jobs to heart. They are a loyal bunch who has just lost their beloved commanding officer. The replacement, Lieutenant Commander John Lawrence (Richard Widmark) is a tough no nonsense go by the book, military type who is not one of the boys and they don’t like him. The frogmen who deal with ambushes, reconnaissance missions and more feel they need someone on their side. Lawrence is too aloof for them, and they are too independent for him.
The guys baulk at his command, some more than others. Two members of the team one of the two being Jake Flannigan (Dana Andrews) want to get out of the unit altogether. He doesn’t think Lawrence has the guts to do the job and he doesn’t think Lawrence knows what he is doing.
At least Lieutenant Commander Pete Vincent (Gary Merrill) sees merit in Lawrence and helps him to work with these insubordinate frogmen.
In the end it is John Lawrence himself who wins their respect, he shows them he has the guts to do the job and work along side his men. He risks his own life for them.
I am normally not a war movie buff; I detest war movies to be honest. Yet this film captivated me, it was absolutely riveting. The acting was impeccable and drama was outstanding. I like how each character had a personality. What was certain was that these men, didn’t want any newcomer coming in and bossing them around. They knew how to do their jobs. I loved the struggle that Widmark had to go gain control over this group of men who clearly did not like him, trust him or want him around. It seemed that nothing he said or did would satisfy him. They treated him as the enemy and couldn’t see his compassion and dedication to his work. I was so happy and scared at the same time when he proved to the men that he would take on danger just as much as they did. He was no wimp in a white shirt. He was one of them. The movie shows us that military jobs may be different but whether or not your job puts your life on the line or you are in administration, military personnel are all in it together for the good of the cause and will do what they have to protect their country by whatever means available to them.
I give this movie a perfect rating.