by guest writer
Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) is probably one of the best classics of American war movies. The film is an in-depth study of submarine officers’ obsessions. The complexity is given by the psychology of the characters. Commander ‘Rich’ Richardson (Clark Gable) founds himself bound to an office job after the sinking of his ship and he is pulling strings in order to be an active officer again. Richardson’s torments are the reason of his absent minded attitude. Although Clark Gable performs highly, you can see clearly that those moments weren’t the best moments in his life. The movie belongs to Burt Lancaster as Lt. Jim Bledsoe an experienced assistant of the submarine’s captain. The action and tension is built with such craft that it keeps you on the edge for the whole 90 minutes.
The archival documentaristic images help in developing a real feeling of the battle field. The crisp B&W cinematography is in perfect harmony with the state of anxiety and tension that is sought by the director, and Franz Waxman’s music is almost as important as all the other elements, keeping the action at peak levels. Made 14 years after the end of WWII, Run Silent Run Deep delivers with a strong grip a well balanced message with little or none propaganda within, which is to be appreciated when it comes to American films.
photo: still from the film