Cast of Up Periscope (1959 film) with image

Cast of Up Periscope: Up Periscope is a gripping war film released in 1959, directed by Gordon Douglas. Set against the backdrop of World War II, the film delves into the life of a U.S. Navy submarine crew tasked with a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. With a talented cast, a thrilling plot, and impressive production values, “Up Periscope” remains a noteworthy addition to the submarine warfare genre. In this comprehensive analysis, we’ll explore every aspect of this classic film, including its cast, plot, production, reception, and its enduring legacy.

Up Periscope Cast
Cast of Up Periscope
GenreSubmarine film drama
Running time1H 52M
CountryUnited States
Budget$2 million
Box office$1.5 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)
Directed byGordon Douglas
Screenplay byRichard H. Landau
Based onUp Periscope
1956 novel by Robb White
Produced byAubrey Schenck
Howard W. Koch
Edwin F. Zabel
StarringJames Garner
Edmond O’Brien
Andra Martin
Alan Hale Jr.
Narrated byEdmond O’Brien
CinematographyCarl E. Guthrie
Edited byJohn F. Schreyer
Music byRay Heindorf
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Cast of Up Periscope

Cast of Up Periscope

  • James Garner as Lt. (j.g.) Kenneth M. Braden: James Garner takes on the lead role as Lt. Ken Braden, a charismatic and resourceful Navy officer who embarks on a perilous mission to photograph a Japanese codebook. Garner’s portrayal brings depth and authenticity to his character, making him a relatable hero for the audience.
  • Edmond O’Brien as Commander Paul Stevenson: Edmond O’Brien delivers a standout performance as Chief Petty Officer Paul Landon, a seasoned and no-nonsense submarine veteran. His chemistry with Garner’s character adds emotional weight to the film.
  • Andra Martin as Sally Johnson: Andra Martin plays Sally Johnson, a nurse stationed on a nearby island who catches Braden’s eye. Her character adds a romantic subplot to the film, balancing the tension of the war with moments of tenderness.
  • Alan Hale Jr. as Ensign/Lt. (j.g.) Pat Malone (billed as Alan Hale): Alan Hale Jr. portrays Commander Paul Stevenson, Braden’s superior officer, and mentor. His steady leadership and guidance provide a crucial foundation for the film’s plot.
  • Carleton Carpenter as Lt. Phil Carney
  • Frank Gifford as Ensign Cy Mount
  • William Leslie as Lt. Doherty
  • Henry Kulky as Chief Petty Officer York
  • Edd Byrnes as Pharmacist Mate Ash (billed as Edward Byrnes)
  • Richard Bakalyan as Seaman Peck
  • Sean Garrison as Seaman Floyd
  • Warren Oates as Seaman Kovacs
  • Saundra Edwards as a bar girl (uncredited)


Set in the Pacific theater of World War II, the film follows the daring exploits of Lt. Ken Braden, a submarine officer. The story begins with Braden being assigned a highly classified mission: to infiltrate a heavily guarded Japanese island and photograph a top-secret codebook. This codebook holds critical information that could change the course of the war.

Braden and his team must navigate treacherous waters, evade enemy patrols, and infiltrate the island under the cover of night. Along the way, he encounters Sally Johnson, a nurse on the island, and a romance blossoms amidst the chaos of war.

The heart of the film lies in the tension-filled underwater sequences, where the crew of the submarine faces depth charges, enemy destroyers, and the ever-present threat of discovery. As the mission unfolds, Braden’s mettle is tested, and the fate of the mission hangs in the balance.

Without giving away too many spoilers, the film culminates in a thrilling climax that combines action, suspense, and emotional depth, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats until the very end.


Boasts impressive production values for its time. The film successfully recreates the claustrophobic and tense atmosphere inside a submarine, thanks to meticulous attention to detail. The use of actual submarines and naval advisors adds authenticity to the underwater sequences, making them all the more gripping.

Gordon Douglas’s direction shines in the film’s action sequences. The underwater battles are well-choreographed and shot with a keen sense of suspense, making the audience feel as if they are right there with the crew, submerged beneath the waves.

The film’s period-accurate costumes and sets also contribute to its overall authenticity. From the naval uniforms to the island landscapes, the production team spared no effort in recreating the WWII era.

The musical score by David Buttolph complements the film’s emotional highs and lows, adding depth to the characters and heightening the tension during pivotal moments.

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In conclusion, stands as a timeless example of how a well-crafted war film can entertain, educate, and leave a lasting impact on its audience. Whether you’re a fan of classic cinema or a war film enthusiast, “Cast of Up Periscope” is a must-watch that continues to hold up well over six decades after its initial release.

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