Released in 1951, Operation Pacific is a World War Two submarine drama starring John Wayne, Patricia Neal and Ward Bond, directed by George Waggner.
American submarine Thunderfish is tasked with transporting a group of nuns and children, which includes a newborn baby whom they name “Butch”, to safety. On this journey the crew, including Commander Pop Perry (Bond) and Executive Officer Duke Gifford (Wayne) become quite attached to their young charges, particularly baby Butch.
Before they reach the safety of their destination, they sight a Japanese aircraft carrier and try to attack, but a problem with their torpedoes means they have a narrow escape from disaster.
I won’t go any further into the plot because actually, Operation Pacific is quite a complex film in some ways, dealing with a real military problem in misfiring torpedoes and the investigation into why, alongside human relationships and frailties, and I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone’s viewing experience.
Some war films depicting World War Two events, even loosely, can be either rather simplistic or overblown,
Nicely balanced between action and drama, Operation Pacific has both light-hearted and intense moments, and certainly left me feeling satisfied.