Operation Pacific (1951)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 1951.  .  Screenplay by George Waggner.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Shameless war propaganda that isn’t without its merits.  John Wayne is excellent as a submarine officer whose vessel is trying to perfect the launching of missiles that will not explode. Returning to Pearl Harbour (only a few years after the historical invasion) after an island rescue mission, Wayne is reunited with his ex-wife (Patricia Neal) who has taken up with but still has the hots for her first man. The conflicts of the professional and the personal are played out against the backdrop of the war in the south seas, and while the elements don’t all combine well thanks to a rocky screenplay and unsure direction, the performances are terrific and the view is just gorgeous. Wayne’s star power holds it all together, and Neal is wonderfully zesty as the woman who can’t resist a man who’s wrong for her.

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