In Harm's Way (1965) Script

Liz Eddington, pie-eyed.


Over there.

Happy, baby?



I'm putting a stop to this.

Paul Eddington can take care of his own wife.

He can't. He's at sea on gunnery practice.


Please play something else, would you?

Why'd they stop?


Come on. They've had their show.

I don't want to go.

I don't want to.

It's a stuffy navy joint.

We better see that she gets home.

I want one last dance.

We can't let...

She's with that officer.

What about her poor husband doing his duty?

Eddington knows about Liz.

If he puts up with it, that's his business.

I love you.


I just said I love you.


Never mind.

If you've cooled down now, I think we can go.

I'm not sure I want to go now.

You've got the duty in the morning. Early.


Lieutenant J.G. McConnel?

Yes, ma'am?

You've got to play captain of your ship at 6 a.m.


Hey! Come on in.

It's great!

Come on.

I'm awake, Leary.

Tell the exec to join me in my sea cabin for breakfast.



Well, then, bacon and eggs for me.

Aye, aye, sir.


Paul. Wake up.

In case it slipped your mind, it's gunnery stations at 0830.

Why don't you write me up?

I don't because your record already looks like a bunch of pig tracks.

One more scratch, and your career in this navy is ended.

That's the way it ought to be.

I'm obsolescing like this old straw-bottom cruiser of ours.

We both know what's eating you.

You can't wash it out with booze.

What would you know about it?

I tried it one time.

You? The Rock of Ages?

I don't believe it.

Paul, you're forcing me to throw my weight at you.

Fish or cut bait.

Get on your feet or take your troubles elsewhere.

I got a ship to run.

I'll put in for a transfer.

You had one transfer already, out of Naval Aviation.

You might not get another chance.

I don't give a damn.

Well, that isn't... what I wanted to hear you say.

I'm sorry, Rock.

OK... if you can hold a razor in that hand, you might shave before you come topside.

Aye, aye, Father Torrey.

You bum.

Hey, cut that out.

Take me home.

Come on. I need a bath.

Good morning, sir.

Boats, if the captain were boarding, you wouldn't be dressed that way, would you?

I suspect not, sir.

Let's crawl into uniform.

You make us look like pirates.

Aye, aye, Mister McConnel.

Ah. Double run of 8 to 12.

Your crib.

Anything interesting?

I got a run of three.

The carriers pulled out Friday.

For where?

Scuttlebutt says south.

Lahaina Rose maybe.

Sir, I just got that Hawaiian sea frontier dispatch decoded.

Give it to our captain Lieutenant J.G. McConnel.

More fun and games?


"Destroyer Ward on the in-shore patrol dropped depth charges on a submarine contact inside the defensive sea area."

Some poor Joe's got it in the ringer now.

Attacking one of our own subs.

Better commence evasive zigzag pattern, Commander.

Set extra lookouts.

Aye, aye, sir.

Morning, Captain.

Good morning, Commander Eddington, and how are you this fine day?

Ah, splendid. Thank you, sir.

What's the alert?

Picket destroyer Ward dropped depth charges on what they think is a sub about 15 miles from here.

And another poor whale lost its blubber.

We're just looking for subs or planes, too?

Anything, son.

There's a large formation of planes orbiting north of the island, sir.

They got the pilots up early for exercises.

Strange place to rendezvous.

Why aren't they at Diamond Head?

There's a formation off Diamond Head, too.

I don't like it, Paul.

Sound general quarters.

Make it no drill.

Yes, sir.

This is not a drill.

This is not a drill.

General quarters. General quarters.

All hands, man your battle stations.

On deck.

Attention to colors.

Carry on.

Bridge. Aye, aye.

Mister McConnel.


We're getting some funny signals, Mac.

It sounds like plane-to-plane chatter in Japanese.

My God, they're Japs.



My God, they're Japs!

Come on!

Come on.

Emergency sortie signal from the yard tower.

Engine room? Bridge.

Light off all four boilers.

Make all preparations for getting under way.

Report readiness status in five minutes.

Cut in all burners!

Disengage checking gear!

Open guarding valves!

Split the electric rolls!

General quarters. General quarters.

Man your battle stations.


Aye, sir?

Can you take us out?

You call it.

You got to wait for the captain.

Screw him.

Ring up turns for 20 knots.

20 knots through the harbor?

You heard the man, son.

Cut the line.

Take her away, Mac.

She's got enough to move now.

Right 10 degrees rudder.

Steady up on 1-2-0.

Aye, aye, sir.

It's Captain Harding and the exec.

How can we stop?

It'll take 20 minutes at this speed.

Does anybody here see anything back there?

If they does, Mister McConnel, I'll guarantee you they'll never see nothing again.

Let 'er rip, Mac.

Stop! Stop!


Advise me of any further messages.

How many ships are answering the emergency sortie signal?

Destroyer Cassiday is moving, sir.

The Harkness... the Ballard... the cruisers Greely and Jackson.

The battleships, man.

None, sir.

Out of nine battleships?

None, sir.

Lookout reports tin can breaking out, sir.

Paul... signal all ships coming out to form up with us.

Aye, aye, sir.

Well, that can't be all.

That's all Captain Torrey reports.

Three light cruisers and eight destroyers grouped with Captain Torrey's heavy cruiser.

None is equipped with radar.

12 bat-blind ships.

Well, gentlemen, your opinions.

We must position them to repel an invasion, sir.

You mean wait, Admiral Broderick.

We have no choice, sir.


Seek out and destroy if at all possible, sir.

What can 12 ships do against the task force the Japs have mounted?

That would be a futile gesture.

It could give us time to bring our carriers within range.

What if Torrey can't contact the Jap fleet?

Suppose they slip by him?

He has no radar, one scout plane.

The risk is too great, leaving our shores unprotected.

I repeat, sir, we must wait.

Thank you, Admiral Broderick.

Order Captain Torrey to assume command of his task group and to seek out and engage the enemy if possible.

All your personal problems resolved?

Well, let's say they're, uh... cut down to size.

Dispatch has come in from fleet operations, sir.



"Japanese believed retiring toward Jaluit for refueling.

Proceed to latitude 18 north, longitude 162 west.

Seek out and engage the enemy.




Have all ships report usable fuel.

Break radio silence.

Ask CINCPAC for a tanker rendezvous at first light tomorrow, after you figure our projected position.

Aye, aye, sir.

We'll play hell getting a tanker out of Pearl.

If we don't, we'll be sucking air instead of oil by midnight tomorrow.

Sir, the starboard lookout has a ship on the bow.

A tanker he thinks, sir.

She's riding high.

She's empty.

Yeah. She's going home, if a sub doesn't get her.

The rate we're burning fuel, we'll have to return home inside of 10 hours.

We could reduce speed.

And crawl at 10 knots?

We'd never find any Japs.

If we were to cease zigzagging... that'd be an invitation to enemy submarines.

There might be subs out there, and there might not be.

Whether there are or aren't subs out there, if we steer a straight course, we could add another six hours to our steaming time.

Resume our base course.

Straighten us out, Commander Burke.

Aye, aye, sir.

Rock, you just threw the book away.

How long will Torrey keep pushing?

There isn't enough fuel to hold the keel down.

If I know him, he'll run the rope out.

Where do you know him?

The academy. He instructed there for three years.

We called him "The Rock."

He's all navy and nothing but navy.

I don't think he ever left the campus... like it was a ship.

Sonar contact, sir, bearing 020.

Range 2,000 and closing.

Make turns for 20 knots.

Set condition able.

Close all watertight doors.

Condition able. Close watertight doors.

Keep those bearings and ranges coming.

Range 1,800, closing.

Cline, you on the recorder?

You know it, buddy.

Signal flagship we're about to attack sonar contact.

Cassiday reports submarine contact.

Have all ships resume zigzag.

Aye, aye, sir.

015 it is, sir.

Stand by to roll depth charges.

Stand by to roll depth charges.

Stern racks, roll 1.

Stern racks, roll 1.

Roll 2.

They're on it, sir.

Mac, they hit the cruiser.

Get a report from Damage Control.

She's going dead in the water.

Damage control doesn't answer.

Neither does the engine room.

Shall I go below?

Send a messenger with damage reports.

That arm's busted.

What's wrong, Griggs?

The door's jammed.

All together.

Get a message to Pearl.

Have taken two torpedoes.

Fill in our position.

Extent of damage unknown.

Will advise.

And break radio silence, sir?

Burke, don't you think the Japanese know by now where we are?

Aye, aye.

The door may blow.

Stand clear now. Come on.

Cut the blowers and open the safety valve.

Griggs, get those mattresses on the lower level.

Come on!

Stand by to fire another pattern.

Stand by to fire another pattern.

Roll 1.

Roll 2.

Roll 3.

Order the destroyers back to Pearl at best possible speed.


Cassiday got the sub.

Definite kill, sir.

Hold it.

Have all ships return to Pearl at 20 knots, except the Cassiday.

Have her stand by in case we have to abandon ship.

Aye, aye.


Compliments of Commander Eddington, sir.

Give me the word, Griggs.

Commander Eddington says this tub will float, sir.

At ease.

Thank you, sir.

Full report.

We've halted the fires forward where we took the first torpedo, and we've stopped the flow of water at hatch 26.

Commander Eddington said to tell the old man... sorry, sir, the captain... that he'd better start thinking about a tow.

May I also say Commander Eddington is hell on wheels?

What are the casualties?

At least 40 men were trapped up forward.

40 men, maybe more.

Destroyer cassiday coming alongside, sir.

Thank you.

Take care of the boy.

Nice work, Harding!

You did a 4-0 job on that sub!

Thank you, sir.

I'm not Commander Harding, sir.

Where is he?

Ashore, sir.

Well, who's in command?

I am, sir.

Lieutenant J.G. McConnel, sir.

Did I hear Lieutenant Junior Grade?

William McConnel, class of'38, sir.


Well, can you rig for towing?

Can do, sir.

Can you pass some portable pumps to us?

Can do, sir.

Carry on, mister.

Can do.

Old Rock of Ages, we got ourselves another war... a gut-busting, mother-loving navy war.

It does seem to shape up that way, Commander Eddington.

Captain Torrey?

The admiral will see you now.

Thank you.

Please sit down, Captain Torrey.

Thank you, sir.

I wasn't aware you'd been hurt.

A simple fracture, sir.

It won't interfere with my duties.

You have a remarkable record, Captain Torrey.

Thank you, sir.

Save your thanks.

It's my duty to relieve you of your command pending court of inquiry findings.

I don't understand, sir.

You weren't zigzagging when you took the torpedo hits.

I was stretching my fuel, sir.

If there wasn't enough fuel, why didn't you turn back?

My mission was to intercept and engage an enemy of greatly superior strength.

I could only take that one way... my group was expendable.

I doubt a court of inquiry will accept that.

You're about to be caught between a peacetime navy and a wartime navy.

Six months from now, they'll be making admirals out of captains who exhibit guts.

Now they're reacting to the Pearl Harbor disaster.

Punishment is the order.

Naturally you don't have to abide by what a court of inquiry decides.

You can ask for a general court martial, get some crack sea lawyers, and make a fight.

I wouldn't do that, sir.

Why not?

Second generation navy, Admiral.

I see.

I don't plan to ask for court martial either, and I've lost a fleet.

I expect we'll take what they give us and trust it'll be a useful job somewhere.

Yes, sir.

Good luck.

Good luck to you, sir.

If I haven't got him...


He's still alive.

There's a mistake.

Comb... compact... two rings... purse.

Maybe the police will know.

Sign here, please.

He was my only boy, and I love him so much.

Go in there and look.

This way for identification.

Maybe the police can help you.

I want you to help.

He was my only boy.

You don't know what it is, that's why.

What disposition?


What do you want to do?

Oh, I'll send someone.

Thank you.

Where's the man she was brought in with?

Army Air Force claimed the body.

You been here long?

No. Hawaii.

I like it better, too.

Where's my drink?

Made you a fresh one.



Sell nothing but beer. Martial law.

OK. Beer.

How come the air corps rates a drink?

They brought that bottle in.

What's the matter, Commander, running dry?

Let me sweeten that beer.

Share and share alike.

We're all in this war.

A little more? OK.

How's that?

Would you like to join us?

We just got two chicks, but like I said, share and share alike...

Send the police to the Blue Lagoon.


Sir, I just got word on Commander Eddington.

What about him?

He's in the Honolulu brig, sir.

He's in the brig?

That's the word, sir.

Will you see that my clothes are packed and sent over to the bachelors' officers' quarters?

Yes, sir.

May I help you with that?

Is that all, sir?

I travel light.

Well, Commander Burke...

Oh, sir.

Well, goodbye, sir.


You're being released in your captain's custody, sir.


This is yours, sir.

I'll walk you to the duty boat.

I've been relieved of command.

The bastards.

Sorry about your wife.

You got yourself into a pretty good fix...

A public brawl.

What the hell.

A new AA cruiser going out to join Halsey.

She's a tiger.

A fast ship going in harm's way.

A lousy situation, Commander Eddington.


Stay still.


If you'll come with me, Captain.

Shoot those over to Dr. Lyons, Mike.

Yes, ma'am.



This is a 3-months-old fracture.

The X rays will be along in a few minutes.

Thank you. Sit down, Captain.

Thank you.

Well, now... that's a nice sound to wake up to.

What is Vicki Marlowe's secret?

Well, it's not what it says in here.

Vicki Marlowe's secret is that she's making half a million bucks a year, and she still collects alimony from me in my present reduced circumstances.

Well, anyway...

I have the satisfaction of knowing that all of her pictures have been stinkers since I stopped writing them.

Rockwell, my boy, I tell you never, I repeat never, marry a movie actress.

You married three of them.

It's like eating peanuts.

Once I started, I couldn't stop.

Hey, look at you.

Two hands.


Shall we celebrate?

What do you have in mind?

There's some action out in Maunaloa.

No parties for me.

Anyway, when do you so-called special intelligence officers do whatever it is you're supposed to do?

Seems you sleep all day and charge to parties every night.

Us civilians need more rest and recreation than you old salts.

Not that you couldn't use a little.

It's time you crawled down from Mount Rushmore and took a look around.

You'd be surprised at the changes we've made in the last 100 years.

Man, I tell you, the women, they're smoking cigarettes, drinking whiskey, doing the shimmy-sham-shimmy.

Hot damn, man.

Very funny.

Come on, Rock, huh?

No. No, thanks.



Maybe you're right.

I got to do something besides sit at a desk and count the ink stains on the blotter.

Who is our host?

Whoever knows the host at these shindigs?

Some pineapple moneybags.

You sure you were invited?

Maybe not, but one sailor looks like another.

Give me your hat.

Egan Powell!

I want you to meet Captain Torrey.

This is Mrs., uh...



How do you do?

Follow me.

Hello, Cora.


Well, here we are.

Thank you very much.

Let's go over here.

It's very important to relax, my boy.

Very important.

Paul, how are you?

Hello, Egan. How are you?

Introduce me to your beautiful wife.

Debbie, this is Egan.

Mind if I cut in?

No. Not a bit.

Ah, well, isn't this lovely?

I like to get away once in a while.

Enjoying the party, Captain Torrey?

Yes, thank you. It's a fine party.

It's fine.

Think so?

It's great.



Thank you.

It's funny.

What's funny?

It's not exactly funny.

It's just that you're so different from your son.

My son?

Ensign Jere Torrey.

He claims his father's a captain.

I supposed you were it.

That's my son's name... Jeremiah. Jere.

He's been dating my roommate.

It worries me a little.

She's a green kid from Vermont.

He's a real smooth Harvard type.

I think she's about to fall in love with him.

That's what worries me.

Will it be all right?

I hope so.

That's not much comfort.

How's the arm?

I beg your pardon?

Your arm.

Oh. It's, uh... fine.

Captain, I'm nurse Lieutenant Haynes.

I took the X rays today.

Oh, I'm sorry. I...

Thank you for not recognizing me.

I made a special effort to not look like a nurse.

Don't take me too seriously.

I'm sure Ensign Torrey is everything he should be.

Well, I'm flying under false colors, Miss Haynes.

I don't know my son.

I've been divorced for many years.

He's been raised by his mother and her family.

I didn't even know he was in the navy.

Much as I'd like to, I won't ask any more questions about that.

I hate to leave this quiet, restful place, but I have to get back to the hospital.

Can I grab a cab and drop you?

Let me drop you.

I borrowed a car from my landlord's gardener.

Thank you, Miss Haynes.

I'm called Maggie, if you'd like to be less formal sometime.

Thank you for that, too.

Well, don't wait too long.

I'm on temporary assignment.

My unit's due to be shipped out soon.



Ensign Torrey?

No, sir.

I was told at your staff duty office Ensign Torrey had the watch aboard this craft.

Yes, sir.


I'll get him, sir.

Thank you.

Topside, quick. Brass.

Did you hear me?

He wants you.

I'm going.

We're going to get it.

I shouldn't have been standing your watch.

Take it easy.

I'm Ensign Torrey, sir.

You wanted to see me, sir?

I'm your father, Jere.

Yes, sir.

Well, you... look like your mother.

Yes, sir.

Is she well?

Very well, sir.

Well, uh... sit down.

Thank you, sir.

Do you often stand your watch in your cabin?

Ensign Farris was kind enough to relieve me for a few minutes, sir.


Motor torpedo boat duty...

How do you like it?

I don't like it, sir.

Why did you choose it?

It's voluntary duty, isn't it?

I volunteered on advice, sir.

This unit's assigned to Admiral Broderick.

I was advised that once I was in Broderick's command, a transfer could be arranged to the admiral's staff.

Might I ask who gave you the advice?

Commander Neal Owynn, sir, the admiral's public relations officer.

I'll be his assistant.

I expect you've heard of Neal Owynn.


Well, he's quite a well-known congressman, sir.

He resigned from office to join the service.

Your mother's family can pull strings to get what they want.

You disapprove, sir?

Well, you trained on these boats.

You'd be a damned sight more useful here than in public relations.

I majored in journalism, sir.

Since I must do my bit in this trumped-up war, I prefer doing what I'm best suited for.

Did I hear "trumped-up war"?

It is Mr. Roosevelt's war, isn't it, sir?

You not only look like a Cunliffe, you talk like one of them.

I remember they said the first one was Mr. Wilson's war.

Well, what's your duty, sir?

Routing convoys.

Myself, I expect to be in the forward areas, if not actually in combat.

Admiral Broderick's been assigned to handle a very important offensive called Skyhook.

I wouldn't know about that.

I wouldn't expect you would, sir.

Commander Neal Owynn gave me the information.

You leaving, sir?

Yes, before I pick you up and throw you to the fish.

I was 4 years old when you left my mother.

I don't even remember you.

For 18 years, you haven't bothered to remember me.

Why did you bother to come here tonight?

Well, let's just say that I did come and let it go at that.

Good night... Ensign.


Egan. Where have you been hiding the last 10 days?

Or should I ask?

You shouldn't, but there were 3 inches of snow in Washington.

Washington? Got the war all worked out?

You buy me lunch, I'll give you the day and date of victory.

I am your man.

Run these courses off on the big chart for me.

Our job is to see that information given to the press corps is good for the war effort and the navy.

And good for Broderick.

What's good for Broderick is good for the war and navy.

With a little left over for Neal Owynn?

How's your campaign coming with the little nurse?

I'm seeing her tonight.

Why don't you come along?

Her roommate's not bad.



What do you know about Operation Skyhook?

Where did you get that?

Well, is it important?

There's not more than 20 people between here and the White House that's supposed to know that name.

There's 21 now, or maybe 22 or 3.

I got it indirectly through an ex-congressman named Owynn.

That's Broderick's drum beater.

He needs a zipper in his face.

That's top secret stuff.

I can't tell you about it.


You say you got it indirectly from Owynn?

See that young ensign there lighting a cigarette?

That's Owynn he's sitting with.

Well, that's where I got it.

From that ensign?

He's my son.

Well... I'd like to meet him, Rock.

No, you wouldn't.

Oh, he had his chances to ask me.

10 days worth of chances.

That's enough.

He didn't call me, so I called him.

How did you have the nerve?

Past a certain age, men are apt to avoid making sudden moves where women are concerned.

Women have to do the moving, or everybody stands still until it's too late.

It gets late fast in these times.

I like this man. I want him to know.

Suppose he and Jere bump into each other?

Jere's funny about his father.

Let them bump. It might be interesting.

This must be Jere.

I'll go.

Hello, Ensign.

Yes, ma'am, Lieutenant.

Be a minute or two.

She'll be down.

Thank you, ma'am.

Lieutenant, ma'am?

I'd like to invite you to come with us.

It'll be dinner with Commander Neal Owynn, ma'am.

Thanks, Ensign, but I'm waiting for a friend.

You're more than welcome to bring her... or him along, ma'am.

Well, if my friend arrives in time, we'll see.

Well, I'm here to see a nurse.

What are you here for?

To see a nurse.

Looks like we have something in common after all.

I'm just a chip off the old block, sir.


Miss Haynes.

Captain Torrey, Ensign Annalee Dorne.

Miss Dorne.

You've met my friend?

Sir, I've invited Miss Haynes and friend to dine with us at Commander Owynn's quarters.

I hope you'll accept, sir.

That's very gracious of you, but we have other plans, right, Lieutenant?

Yes, sir.

Well, in that case... in that case, good afternoon, sir.

Miss Dorne.

You run a taut ship.

He's not a bad-looking kid, is he?

No, he isn't.

Oh! I brought you something.

What is it?



Thank you.

Shall we eat at the Chinaman's?

We're going to eat here, if you don't mind.

Oh, I wouldn't want to...

Please, don't disappoint me.

I haven't cooked for a man in a long time.

Pour us a drink.

If I can get this oven hot enough, we're going to have biscuits.

You want water in yours?

Yes, but don't drown the whiskey.

I'm not a lady, Rock.

I started life as an army brat.

I never tried to change.

Here's how.

Did you say army?

My father was a one-star general.

Daddy... he was an angel and a devil, and I was nuts about him.

So nuts, in fact, I married his aide.

Would you try to open this can, please?

You say you married his aide?

He wasn't much of a man.

This cutter's broken.

Not very smart or very brave.

Maybe I just expected him to be Daddy, and he wasn't.

That's quite a knife you carry.

It's a can opener, screwdriver, punch, straight blade, even a skinning blade.

Oh, that is useful.

What do you skin?

Lieutenant nurses who pull my leg.

Where was I?

Just married.

Yes. I left him... right here in Honolulu, shacked up with a wahine from Kauai.

That was eight years ago.

He quit the service and married her later.

I drifted until I had to latch onto something or go down the drain.

I went to nursing school and joined the navy.

Tell me more about you.

Navy. My father was a chief petty officer.

I went to the academy.

That the best you can do?

Unless you want my service record.

There's your son.



Hello, Jere.

Well, just the two of you?

Miss Haynes couldn't join us.

I'm sure that's my loss.

Commander Owynn, I'd like you to meet Ensign Dorne.

What a beautiful place.

My friend who owns it didn't leave much of a liquor supply when he decided to sit the war out on the mainland.

I can give you a choice of Pernod... and gin... and there is a little brandy.

Brandy for me.

Miss Dorne?

I don't know.

Gin, I guess, but not much.

Gin, but not much.

My unit got our orders today.

We're being assigned to COMSOPAC sub, Area Three.

Whatever that is.

Commander of third sub area, Southwest Pacific.

Sounds very impressive.

Have you been alerted?

Nope. Just assigned.

Third area's Admiral Broderick's command.

Jere's admiral?

The same.

Can't get away from the Torreys, can I?

We can sit down.



We're alone.

Well, where's Commander Owynn?

It's OK.

Dinner is ready.

Aren't we waiting for Commander Owynn?

He was called away to headquarters, madam.

It's just the two of us.

Ever hear the name Cunliffe?

One of those expensive New England names, right?

Well, she was a Cunliffe... Jere's mother.

I met her at a navy ball, 1917.

She was beautiful.

I don't know why she married me.

I was just an ensign.

I bet you were some ensign.

I fell over my feet most of the time.

But when I came back from the war, I had a son, and the Cunliffes had great plans for me.

I was to resign my navy commission, do something useful... the stock market.

They sat around with teacups on their laps, ticker tape coming out of their ears, and I said no.

It was quite a scene.

Then Athalie... that was her name, Athalie... said, "Rockwell, I will not become a camp follower.

Whenever you are not busy boating with the navy, feel free to come visit us."

And that's the way it was. I visited.

I was assigned to duty in the Philippines, and that ended it.

You left out one small detail.

You were terribly in love with her.

You're a good cook, Maggie.

You look lovely in the candlelight.

You haven't had much to say.

I guess I haven't.

Like to dance?

I don't think so.

Come sit over here.

Please don't do that.

What's the matter?

We better go home.

I don't like this, not any of it.

Since when?

Since your commander conveniently disappeared.

I didn't know you missed him so much.

I'm jealous.

You know what I mean.

I feel cheap.

Relax. He won't return for a long time.

I'm sorry, but I want to go!

What do you take me for?

There's nothing cheaper than a teaser!

That's what you've been doing!

I have not!

I thought we...

I thought you...


Let me go!

I've spent my life learning things about men and ships, how to use them in action.

I just don't fit behind a desk.

I'm not cut out for it.

I feel dry-docked.

Oh, well.



Who else have you said this to recently?

Or ever?

That'll be Annalee and your son.

Oh, then I better...

Thanks, fellas.

You're welcome, Ensign.

I think that had to happen.

Good night, Rock.

Good night, Maggie.

Anytime, Rock.

Anytime at all.

Thank you, Maggie.

Sir, Commander Powell is waiting for you.


Have we got the shipping orders?

Greetings, Captain.

Why are you so happy?


Want to close that door?

I have a very private job for you...

No one but you.

Three convoys to be routed to this island... Toulebonne.


That's where Eddington is stationed.

It's also Broderick's new base.

Skyhook again, huh?

Here's the shipping list.

That's a lot of tonnage.

It's hard to come by.

CINCPAC wants it to arrive on time and intact.

The first convoy is loaded.

Personnel boards Thursday morning.

When they shove off is up to you.

I think I see it.



All right.

The Jap supply lines must be spread pretty thin south of Cape Titan.

So Broderick could hit Lalatea, Muk or Gavabutu.

From any of those islands, he could launch a strike against Levu Vana.

Why Levu Vana?

Because it has a central plain large enough for B-17 airstrips.

Get a flock of B-17s in there, and we can control that area for 1,000 miles in any direction.

Good night.


Hello, sailor.

A pleasant surprise.

You're not easy to talk to on the phone, so I decided to ambush you.

Come in.

This is nice, Rock.

Sit down.

Can I offer you a drink?

No. Nothing, thanks.

My unit's ordered to report to Ford Island at 6 a.m.

We weren't told more than that, but it can only mean one thing.

You'll be at sea by noon.

You knew I was going?

I knew there was a convoy pulling out.

Wouldn't like to give me a hint about our destination?

You know I can't do that.

You'll be told after you sail.

Is it a long way?

A long way.

Then we won't meet again in the foreseeable future, right?


Do you think we better let it go at that?


Commander Powell.

Just a moment.

For you, Powell.

Commander Powell speaking.

Egan? Rock. Can you bunk out tonight?

I can manage, Rock.



Yes, Rock?

Come on, row!

Hey, girls, look!

Permission to board, sir!

State your business!

Commander Eddington, Toulebonne naval base!

I'd like to see nurse Lieutenant Maggie Haynes!

Permission granted.

Ahoy there!

Is this the admiral's harem?

Lieutenant Maggie Haynes!

Lieutenant Maggie Haynes!

I'm here, Lieutenant.

Compliments of Captain Rockwell Torrey.

I'm Paul Eddington, Maggie.

I'll call you Maggie because that's what the Rock said in his letter.

"Make sure Maggie Haynes is welcome in Toulebonne."

So welcome, Maggie Haynes.

Thanks. It's beautiful.

Oh, there's a bottle of cognac under the bananas.

I know how dry naval transports can get.

Excuse me.

Soyez la bien venu.

This is Annalee Dorne.



You've been here a long time, haven't you?

Since January.

We're getting this old French naval base ready to service our ships.

You have a barracks ready for 50 nurses?

We've been sailing for three weeks.

Didn't you get the word?


This convoy sails again tonight.

West 300 miles to an island named Gavabutu.

They'll need nurses there.

An offensive?

I guess so.

Are you also going to Gavabutu?

Navy can't do without me here.

This whole island might sink.

You don't like what you're doing, huh?

It's like working in a filling station watching the cars go by.

Well, goodbye, Maggie Haynes.

Oh, when you write to the Rock, tell him I was sober.

He won't believe it, but tell him anyway.

Goodbye, Commander.

Control, Station 26.

I have him.

PBY approaching from southwest.

Roger, 26. Patrol plane off course.


Spotter 26.


Formation to northeast of your station.

Should be F4Fs.

Check, control.

Three F4Fs proceeding northeast... to southwest.

Roger, 26.

You read those planes pretty quickly.

At first, I couldn't tell PBYs from seagulls.

How are you, Captain?

There's no way to make this easy, Mrs. McConnel.

I came to tell you your husband is missing in action.

You won't get the official telegram for a day or two.

I read it in the report this morning.

Ask control to relieve you.

I'll take you home.

I'm all right.

Where did it happen?

His destroyer was working alone in the Gavabutu area.

It reported two aerial torpedo hits, then communications were cut off.

An aerial search the following day failed to produce anything.

No survivors at all?

None reported.

Station 26. Are you there, 26?


We have a bogey on the screen to the south of you.

Can you make it out?

AT6... about 9,000 feet.

Are you there, 26?

AT6, control.

Those damned training planes wander around like bats.

OK, 26. Over and out.


Captain, was Mac wasted?


What do you mean?

I want to read you part of a letter from Mac.

"We are getting hell from Jap planes that are based right on Gavabutu.

"I don't know much about amphibious operations, but if Admiral Broderick knows anything, I'll eat my hat.

This has been a three-star mess from the beginning."

I'm surprised Mac would put that in a letter.

He wouldn't have unless he were discouraged and angry.

Beverly, I don't think you'd better show that letter to anyone.

I don't intend to.

Is it true?

If it is, if things are that bad, I'm sure there will be changes.

Aren't they that bad, Captain?

Yes, I... believe they are.

Station 26.

26, control.

Station 26, check plane to the northeast.

Check, control.

Small training plane moving northeast to southwest.

I have a message from CINCPAC's office.

You're to appear at number 10 Makalapa for dinner.


Early, sir. 1800.

You'll just have time to change.

OK, Simpson. Take me home.

Gentlemen, we'll get to the business of the evening.

I could have saved some time and liquor by transacting this business in my office, but it needs a ceremony.

Powell, you got that dispatch?

"From Chief of Naval Personnel to Captain Rockwell Torrey, CINCPAC fleet.

You are hereby advised that the president has approved your temporary advancement to rear admiral, lower half, the date of rank, 1 August, 1942.

Comply with first manual in regards to promotion, oath of office," and so forth.

This more or less came about because that civilian type next to you wormed his way into my intelligence staff suggesting the navy was wrong in its judgment of you last December.

Well, we all know the navy is never wrong, but in this case, it was a little weak on being right.

Congratulations, Admiral Torrey.

Thank you, sir.

Powell, you can get on with the honors.

Thank you, sir.

Gentlemen, to Admiral Rockwell Torrey.

May success follow your flag.

Here, here!

I do thank you.

And I'm grateful.

Admiral, with your permission, sir.

To our country, our navy, and all the best things they stand for.

Here, here!

Now, Admiral Torrey, when the congratulations peter out, you'll please join me in my study.

Aye, aye, sir.

We gave him the molasses.

Now let's feed him the sulfur.

Admiral... know what that is?

Yes, by the shape of those islands.

This is Gavabutu, Levu Vana, Toka Rota... and that's Pala Passage.

It's Skyhook.

Powell says you guessed the strategy months ago.

Wild guess.

Wild, but accurate.

What's your opinion of it?

In theory, good.

In fact?

The delay has cost you the element of surprise.

How far has Broderick advanced on Gavabutu?

He's bottled up behind these mountains.

He hasn't advanced an inch in weeks.

He better break the bottle and take that island, or you can forget Skyhook.

He's got to attack Levu Vana before the Japs are ready.

You named your poison.

You're going to mop up Gavabutu and mount the invasion of Levu Vana.

How about Admiral Broderick, sir?

Some smart man once said that on the most exalted throne in the world, we're seated on nothing but our own arse.

Well, where Broderick's concerned, I'm on mine.

I can't fire him.

It means a bad effect on our allies and aid and comfort the enemy.

I can only put you in tactical command of the operation.

Lincoln once found himself in the same predicament with General McClellan.

McClellan was a great little organizer, but he couldn't decide when to fight.

And indecision is a virus that can run through an army and destroy its will to win or even to survive.

Lincoln recruited a hardheaded Yankee named Grant.

Grant didn't care about organization.

Neither was he afflicted with the virus.

He pointed his battalions in the right direction and shoved off.

You're going to be my Grant.

However you handle Broderick is your own business.

Just get the job done.

How far can I go in handling Broderick?

You can't kill him.

May I name my own chief of staff?

You thinking of someone?

Eddington, my exec on the Swayback.

Also, take Powell here.

He's familiar with the Broderick problem.

Reserve officers give me hay fever.

Thank you, sir.

Torrey, these were my stars before I picked up this heavy hardware.

I think they brought me luck.

Wear them on your collar.

If there's any luck in them, you're going to need it.

Thank you, sir.



Qu'est-ce que tu veux? Non derange pas.

Don't you know better than to disturb a man at work?

You have an order to get back to headquarters, sir.

For what?

Don't know, sir.

Tu restes ici encore, commandant?

No. I go, baby.

Yes, I'll come back.

Don't you worry about that.

I'm not going to take it.

Not for one minute am I going to take it.

I've sweated marbles over this ill-advised, premature operation.

I can't work miracles, not with the material they've given me.

I'm going to lay it on the line with CINCPAC.

Don't do anything hasty, Admiral.


Torrey will be on Gavabutu in three days.

You want me to... be a doormat with "welcome" written across my backside?

Of course, you know best about these things, but, uh, now, if Torrey flops, you can always point a finger at CINCPAC for putting him in there.

What if he gets some action out of the Gavabutu personnel?

Well, you're still the area commander.

You'll get the lion's share of the credit.

I won't even know what he's doing until he's done it.

I'll be here on Toulebonne with my face hanging out, and every news correspondent will know it.

The answer to that's simple enough.

You need sort of a representative in Torrey's camp who can very quietly keep you informed about what's happening.

Yes, that might help.

Sir, Commander Eddington has arrived.

You're Eddington?

Yes, sir.

Officer of piers and warehouses?

That's right.

I sent for you two hours ago.

What kept you?

I was in native quarters recruiting labor for piers and warehouses.

That doesn't mean you have to look like a native.

I didn't expect to be called into the presence of the admiral.

Didn't you see the directive that all personnel be clean shaven, Commander Eddington?

I must have missed it, sir.

Is that why the admiral wanted to see me?

Eddington, by order of CINCPAC you're being transferred to Gavabutu, with the rank of captain.

You're sure you have the right Eddington, sir?

You're being assigned to Admiral Rockwell Torrey as his chief of staff.

That's all.

Admiral Torrey, sir?

Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!

Well, if that's a sample of Torrey's staff...

You suggested that I needed a personal representative on Gavabutu, Owynn.

OK, you're it.

You'll be my liaison officer, we'll call it.

I don't have any combat training.

I wouldn't be very good...

Don't crawfish. It was your idea.

Forward area duty is just the thing for you.

Think what a combat ribbon would mean to you.

Ought to be worth a half million votes when you run for office.

Let me be the first to welcome you to this land of milk and honey.

Colonel Gregory, paramarines.


Pleasure, sir.

Egan Powell, Intelligence. My aide Mr. Armstrong.

Colonel, your men in shape for a parachute drop?

They may be rusty, sir, but they're eager as hell.


At ease.

Tuthill, sir. Operations.

Jefferson, sir. Logistics.

Lance, sir. Communications.

Carry on, men.

Gottlieb, sir. Weather.

Mr. Gottlieb.

I'm Clayton Canfil, Admiral Torrey.

I run the coast-watching system.

Canfil owned a plantation before the war, sir.

You're an Australian, Mr. Canfil?

I am.

We're happy to have you with us.

Well, Lieutenant, how are you?

Very well, thank you, sir.

Commander Neal Owynn, sir.

What is your function, Commander?

Personal liaison for Admiral Broderick, sir.

The admiral felt that the closest possible rapport should be kept between Toulebonne and the forward areas.

He wants to offer all the support he can.

While you're with my staff, you will do all your communicating with Toulebonne through me.

I repeat, through me.


No, sir.

Egan, break out that chart we've been working on.

There'll be a slight delay.

This way, please.

We'll call this Operation Apple Pie.

Not because it's going to be easy, but... because we're going to slice this island into three big pieces.

Where in this area, Colonel Gregory, could you parachute your raiders without getting tangled up in the jungle?

Right here, Admiral.

There's a meadow 1/4 mile square.

A low-level jump, but possible.

You'll land, dig in and wait.

The Japs will swarm in, sir.

That's the idea, Paul.

They'll have to weaken their outer defenses.

Mr. Canfil, you must know this mountain area pretty well.

Yes, sir, I do.

Could we put a battalion across those peaks at night?

Yes, if they didn't have to lug cannons.

There's a narrow pass there at about 6,000 feet, but I'd have to lead them through.

You got yourself a job.

Paul, we'll mount a landing force and hit this beach just above Voyon Bay.

We'll send a third group on an end run through the foothills.

Three slices, all converging on Colonel Gregory's position.

When we make contact, we'll drive full force for the Jap airstrip and cut the supply line from Voyon Bay.

Then it's just a matter of mopping up isolated Jap positions, and Gavabutu is secured.

Mr. Gottlieb? Weather.

Shaky. The rains start soon.


In a week, maybe.

Then Colonel Gregory will jump on Sunday.

Calculate your timetable accordingly, Paul.

Aye, aye, sir.

All right, I want all facts and figures by 0700 tomorrow morning.

Right, sir.


There's just one thing, sir.

Admiral Broderick has only allowed us 10 planes.

Just a minute.

Commander Owynn, Lieutenant Torrey, that's all.

OK, Greg.

I can only put up two-thirds of my paramarines without five more transports.

Aren't there any more R4Ds in Toulebonne?

They're kept in reserve, sir.

Reserve? For what?

It's the way Broderick organizes things.

What happens when one conks out?

Toulebonne sends us a spare until we fix it.

Five just conked out, Colonel.

Let's relay the sad news to Broderick.

Mr. Canfil, I'm afraid you've fallen in with thieves.

I think so, too, I'm happy to say.

Thanks for getting me out of purgatory, Rock.

Forget it.

Now, uh... where's the hospital?

I'll take you to her.

Uh, Miss Dorne.

Captain Eddington.

Where can we find Miss Haynes?

She's in there, Admiral.

Thank you, Miss Dorne.


Couple of corpsmen here. Bring a stretcher.

Get out of my light.

Take him to hut three.

If you'd waited till morning, I might have managed to look like something.

You look fine, Maggie. Just fine.

How do admirals feel about nurses?

The same way captains did.

Will there be time for us out here?

We'll make time, Maggie.

Mr. Canfil just sent a message.

His battalion's starting down the far side of the mountain.

Pass the word to the amphibious group.

Start moving in for a landing.

Colonel, you got room in your plane for me?

Why, sure, sir, if you want to take the risk.



Well, no Admiral Torrey?

Admiral Torrey's with the paramarines, sir.

That's very colorful of Admiral Torrey.

Gentlemen, there's a good story for your newspapers.

Let's go to headquarters and see if our operation is doing what we intended.

Stand up!

Hook up!

Check your equipment!

Stand in the door!

Good luck, Colonel.

Thank you, sir.

Let's go, men!

Contact our fighter protection, Lieutenant.

I want two planes to cover us.

The rest can go home.

What do you plan to do, sir?

Let's say a sightseeing trip.

You got a pencil?

Thank you.

We've named this operation "Apple Pie," because it is intended to cut the island into three slices...

One across the mountains, one from a beachhead here, and the other through these foothills, all converging on a position we have already secured with our paramarines.

Admiral Broderick, have these correspondents been instructed in security?

They'll be instructed, Captain Eddington.

You may return to your duties.

Aye, aye, sir.

I'm sure you boys know the rules.

You're not to file any stories until Commander Owynn gives the word.

Now, back to Operation Apple Pie.

Carry on.

Lieutenant, do you have any idea how Broderick knows these details?

I'm afraid not, sir.

Do you know about Owynn putting special dispatches on the courier plane to Toulebonne?

I wouldn't, sir.

I don't know the situation between you and your father, but I'll tell you this.

Bums like your friend Owynn are with us always, but sailors like your old man only happen once in a while.

I'm afraid I cannot accept your evaluation of Commander Owynn.


I'm afraid I cannot accept you as Rock Torrey's son.

I think somebody got in there ahead of him.

Now, wait a minute, Eddington!

Captain Eddington.


Hit it!

It's all right, Captain.

On your feet!


You can head for the barn!

OK, sir!

Change of orders from the old man himself, by God.

Now, Captain, we'll romp this circus straight on.

Last man to Voyon Bay is a bloody 'roo!

Sorry, chums! Kangaroo to you.

Don't move in on road Z-2. It's land-mined.

Admiral, we can't stay on top of this.

Admiral Broderick wants you to meet with our war correspondents.

I can't tell them anything. Where is Broderick?

He's with them, sir.

I'll join him after checking in with my staff.

Roger, Baker D. Keep pushing. Out.

We've had some luck.

Canfil should join Gregory shortly.

Joined already.

He's cutting across to meet the amphibs.

Let me see those dispatches.


Well, carry on, gentlemen.

Well, Admiral, we were getting anxious about you.

Very courageous, an operational commander going out on the firing line, but a little risky leaving command center at zero hour.

It served its purpose, Admiral.

I'm sure it did.

Shall we summarize the situation now?

Might be better if I told you privately.

The press isn't against us. Give them a break.

Well, if you insist.

Fire away, boys.

Admiral Torrey, is the operation going according to schedule?

Not exactly.

I think we can be more specific than that.

After all, gentlemen, an offensive doesn't exactly travel like an express train.

Fact is, it's going to be a long, hard job kicking the enemy off Gavabutu.

I see no reason why we shouldn't admit it, Rock.

We can project schedules, but they're hard to keep. Right, Admiral?

Right, sir. Except in this case we're not behind schedule. We're ahead.

Right now, troops should be taking the Jap airstrip and our amphibs closing on Voyon Bay.

But the enemy opposition...

There is no opposition.

Seems the Jap Garrison moved out last night.

The island is ours?


What was their reason for pulling out?

OK, gentlemen. I think that about covers it.

That it does.

Admiral! Well, wait a minute!

Admiral, I would appreciate you checking these dispatches and advising me on how we should mop this up.

Yes, certainly.

Gentlemen, you can use the staff room to write your stories.

I'll personally see to it that your stories get out, if Commander Owynn doesn't mind.

That bloody old man of yours crossed us.

Yes, didn't he?


Oh, remind me, Jere.

We must have a conference with the admiral before he returns to Toulebonne.

Admiral Broderick's leaving already?

Yes. He feels everything is shipshape here.

Gottlieb. Tuthill.


Goodbye, Commander. Enjoy it.

What do you suppose he meant by that?

Aren't you going with Broderick?


I think you are.

Now, wait a...

You better be on that plane with Broderick, unless you want to be buried on Gavabutu.

You can't do this.

I am doing it.

We've got a job here, and nobody is going to screw it up.

Understand? Hmm?

Take this punk with you.

I'll have him court-martialed.

Striking a fellow officer, and you saw it.

I didn't see anything.

What do you mean you didn't see anything?

As far as I'm concerned, a coconut fell and hit you in the mouth.

Better find some excuse to get us on that plane.

You want to be transferred back to PT boats?

One word from me to Broderick, and you're gone.

Say the word.

Well, here we are, gentlemen.

The marines are soaking their feet in Voyon Bay, Admiral.

The airstrip?

Our planes are landing on it.

This operation's picked cleaner than a chicken's neck.

We're already trying to pick another.

This one's tougher. You're just in time to help.

Right here.

Levu Vana.

We're not getting satisfactory information on the Jap build-up.

Air photos don't show much.

We were wondering if your coast watchers could help.

Why not have a submarine take me there?

I know that island well.

Give me a week to creep up on our little yellow brothers.

I'll blueprint their positions.

We wouldn't want to lose you.

I don't plan to get lost.

Watch for my signal every night between midnight and 3:00.

OK. Good luck.

Got a special reason for delivering the mail?

Sort of.

OK. Don't let that reason keep you long.


Hello, marine.

You having any difficulty breathing?




Hello, Jere. We heard you'd been transferred back to the boats.

Does that call for congratulations or commiserations?

Congratulations, ma'am.

Oh, good. Looking for the mail room?

In a roundabout way.

I'll show you where.

Thank you.

Nice seeing you, ma'am.

Same here, Jere.

Come on, get over here.

Come on.


Sir, no telling when we'll ship together again, and me and the boys took a vote.

We voted you the best officer to be marooned with.

Thanks, boats.

We really mean it, sir.

All kidding aside.

Goodbye, Culpepper.

Bye, sir.

Goodbye, Al.

Mac! Mac!


They didn't say you were hurt.

It wasn't worth telling you.

How'd you get here?

They flew me from Pearl.

I've waited 10 days for that slow boat of yours to come in.

God, you feel good to me.

I never gave you up, Mac, not for one minute.

Here. Here's a present for you.

It's from Bureau of Personnel.

Lieutenant Commander McConnel.

That's wonderful.

Wait a minute.

Does this mean you've already been given an assignment?

Flag Secretary, Third Area.

Oh, Mac, not back in that Gavabutu hellhole.

With Rock Torrey this time, not Broderick.

Torrey asked for me, Bev.

But not right away. That wouldn't be fair.

No, not right away.

We've got 30 days survivor's leave.

Any ideas what to do?

Plenty of ideas.

You're still seeing Captain Eddington after making up with Jere?

There's a whole bunch going to the picnic.

But you'll be with Eddington, huh?


You're not wearing Jere's ring.

It's too big. I might lose it.

I see.

I'm going to tell Captain Eddington I'm engaged to Jere.


Oh, Maggie. I just want to have some fun.

Well, don't play games with Eddington.

I don't understand why you don't like him.

He's Torrey's best friend.


He's got something bottled up behind all that dashing charm.


I don't know, but you'd better remember The Smiling Young Lady From Niger.


"The smiling young lady from Niger.

She rode on the back of a tiger.

And after the ride, she wound up inside with her smile on the face of the tiger."

Oh, Maggie.

I can take care of myself.

Hey, Annie, you ready?

Just a sec.

Who's chaperoning this junket?

I am.

Oh, brother.

I'll bring them back alive.

Come on, Annie. They're waiting.

Bye, Maggie.

Have a good time.

Hey, Dorne.


Shouldn't we go back?

I wouldn't want any trouble with your chaperone.

With Sabrina?

Oh, that's funny.

You're not afraid, huh, being here alone with me?

Scared to death.

Oh, the water looks delicious.

Yeah. Tide's out.

I'd love to go in for a dip.

Go ahead.

What would you think of me?

I'm an officer and a gentleman. I wouldn't think.

Turn your back until I get in?

This is Tokyo Rose.

We dedicate the next record to all those poor marines and sailors on Gavabutu.

You're going to be sacrificed because Admiral Torrey doesn't have enough ships or planes to protect you.

But Admiral Torrey doesn't care whether you live...

Can't they jam that broadcast?

They don't want to.

The boys like the music.

She doesn't scare anybody, although she comes close to being right sometimes.

Like now?

I said pretty close.

We can make out with what we have.

We're a backdoor operation.

The front door's with General MacArthur.

That's where the Jap Navy's occupied, not with us.

At least, that's the theory we're going on.

No sugar.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Have you seen Jere?


Oh, I thought maybe you had.

His boat's been running the mail.


He and Annalee are on again.

He's asked her to marry him after the war.

A Cunliffe marry a commoner?

His name isn't Cunliffe, it's Torrey.


It is, Rock.

What are you getting at, Maggie?


He's changed.

He isn't just a smart college kid any longer.

Something's happened to him out here.


I can't start acting like a father now.

I threw that opportunity away 18 years ago when I gave Jere up to his mother.

I wouldn't know how to talk to him.


Will you bring my clothes down?

Just put them down and turn your back.

Not this time, baby.

Paul, please.

You have to come get them.

OK, but you're going to be surprised.

See? I might as well be in a Mother Hubbard.

Dorne, you're beautiful.

My clothes, please.

Paul, I'm not going to let you kiss me.

I'm engaged.

There's this boy, and...

Give me my clothes, please.



Let me go!

Let me go!


Let me go!



Ohh! Let me go!


Take her away.

Aye, aye, sir.

Take in your lines. Get under way.

Quarterdeck to signal bridge.

Admiral's party approaching.

Good old Swayback.

She looks like a real lady.

She is a real lady.

A nice sentimental gesture, CINCPAC sending you and Paul your old cruiser.

An old battleship might have been more comforting.

I'm glad to see her anyway.

You don't understand the love between ships and sailors.

What happened to your face?

Bucking for a Purple Heart?

Just a friendly wound.

All on deck, intention to board.

Boatswain's mate, man the side.

Congratulations, Burke, on your new command.

Welcome home, Admiral.

They've done a good job on her.

She's in fine shape.

Good to see you.

Congratulations, Captain.

Tuthill, my operations officer.

Shall we adjourn to the wardroom, Admiral?

Attention, gentlemen.

At ease.

Sit down, gentlemen.

We will dispense with all formalities.

This will be my flagship in the coming operation.

Thank you, sir.

I'll turn you over to Captain Eddington.

He'll lay out the plan of operation.

Well, what it boils down to is this... the Japs have Levu Vana.

We want it. They know it.

We're going to take it.

They'll do their worst to keep us from taking it.

We can't expect any outside help.

We're it.

Mr. Canfil.

Excuse us, gentlemen.

I hope you don't mind my interrupting.

We've been worried about you.

I had some bother getting back to the sub.

The nips were thick on that island.

Well, here it is, Admiral.

You're not going to like it.

They're knocking together quite a welcome for you over on Levu Vana.

They're stringing barbed wire on all the Lakola beaches, and they're pouring concrete for pillboxes.

The airstrip's almost done.

They're building revetments for 200 planes.

Tanks bivouacked here and troops.

They're bringing in hundreds every night.

I'd estimate 5,000 landed while I was there.

5,000? At that rate, we won't stand a chance inside three weeks.

That might not be the worst.

I was near a nip camp.

From what I could catch, there's a gathering of ships to the west at the nips' Cape Titan base.

That could mean a task force.

It could.

You could see Titan.

Our planes could get there but not back.

Maybe Halsey's carriers could do a reconnaissance job for us.

Not very soon.

They're hitting the Solomons for MacArthur.

Then we'll use a sub for offshore observation.

It will take 10 days to get there.

If the Japs are letting in a fleet at Titan, we've got to know now.

They could hit us before we kick off.

Can't you get long-range planes?

Captain, you've just anchored on poverty row.

Everything's being pumped into MacArthur's area.

We get the leftovers, not long-range recon planes.

We've got to get one, somehow, somewhere.

Well, we can try.

Get a message to Pearl.

Make it imperative that we get one long-range plane.

And get it now.

Wet it with tears. Bleed on it, Egan.

Darling, is that you?

Hi, honey.

Hey... where have you been?

Mmm. You feel good.

I said, where have you been?

I dropped over to Treasure Island.

For what?

To visit with the navy.

I bet that was fun.

Hey, this looks nice.


Mm-hmm. Put it on, and we'll go to the top of the mark.



Is anything wrong?

No, why?

You've got that kind of brainwashed look.

You've got bad news, Mac.

Tell me now.

If you wait to tell me about it over dinner, I'll cry in my soup.

Yes. I have orders.

For when?

They say proceed immediately.

Why? We haven't even used up half of your leave yet.

They don't tell you why.

Something is going to happen on Gavabutu soon.

Oh, hell.

I'm going to cry anyway.


I might not get you back this time.

Aw, honey.

Mac... leave me with a baby this time.

Please, Mac.

Good night, Maggie.

Good night, girls.

See you tomorrow.

Pat, get a doctor quick.

What is it?

A doctor. Hurry.


CINCPAC sends its regrets.

They can't even spare one lousy long-range plane.

What now, commence Skyhook anyway?

We've got to know what the Japs are planning on Titan.

Let's send a one-way plane.

It'll radio the information back.

What about the pilot?

He can ditch.

A sub can pick him up.

Torrey here.



I'll be right over, Maggie.

Egan, get me a jeep with a driver.

What's wrong, Rock?

That little nurse, friend of Maggie's... committed suicide.

She was engaged to my son.

When have you scheduled that staff conference?


We'll decide what to do then.

He raped her, Rock.

Then when she was afraid she was pregnant, she went to him, and he didn't believe her.

Here, read this.

You said she left Jere's ring with the envelope.

Shall I... tell Jere about it?

No. I'll take him the ring.

I won't see you again for a while, Maggie.


It's starting, isn't it?

Very soon.

Captain Eddington, sir.

Trot me out a PBJ.



Yes, sir.

Dig me out a flying suit, huh?

Aye, aye, sir.

Ah, thanks.

What are you looking at, sailor?

Get back to your radio set.

Thanks. Carry on.


How shall I log this flight?

Joy ride for the chief of staff.

The ejector mechanism is jammed.

Attention on the deck.

Carry on.

Good morning, sir.

Sir, this is our skipper Lieutenant Mason.

Hello, sir.

Mind if I borrow my son a moment?

Of course not, sir.

I want you to get a hold of yourself.

That young nurse...

Ensign Dorne...


She's dead.

Overdose of sleeping pills.

But why?


Whatever the reason, she was thinking of you.

She left this ring for you.

I'm very sorry about that girl, Jere.

Thank you for coming all the way over here.

That's the least I can do for my... one of my officers.

You know, this may not... be the right time, but... somehow it seems that between...

Well, there ought to be some, uh...

I know what you mean.

I wouldn't know how to say it myself, but I know what you mean.

Goodbye, Jere.


The isalobaric gradient is changing rapidly.

And here the increasing pressure is described by this isobaric curve which is forcing this low trough to the east.

Commander, what the hell does all that mean?

Our crummy weather's blowing out, and we're due for maybe five days of sunshine.


Where's Eddington?

He hasn't come in yet.

Please go find him.

Is something the matter?

Just go find him.

Hello, Mac.

When did you get in?

About an hour ago.

Welcome aboard.

Glad to see you again.

Thank you. Where are we?

Rover, this is John Paul.

Do you read me? Come in, Rover.

Rover, this is John Paul. Acknowledge. Over.

You just gave him a plane without checking with Operations?

Sir, Captain Eddington is chief of staff.

Sir, he is Operations.

Have you been in contact?

We've been trying for hours.

It's for you, Admiral.

Torrey speaking.

All right, Egan. I'll be right over.


Rover, this is John Paul.

This is John Paul.

Are you on this frequency?

Rover, this is John Paul.

Come in. Over.

OK, John Paul, this is Rover.

Do you read me? Over.

I'm answering you, John Paul.

Do you read me? Over.

Rover, this is John Paul.

Keep sending. I'm trying to pick you up.

Acknowledge. Over.

I think we've got him.

He must be far away. Transmission's very weak.

Rover, this is John Paul.

Do you hear me? Over.

What's your last bearing?

3-3-0, sir.

Plot that, will you, Mac?

Rover, this is John Paul. We've lost you.

Keep sending. Over.

John Paul, this is Rover.

Do you have me now?


Do you have me now?

I can't keep him in.

Must be getting farther away.

He must be just southwest of Cape Titan.

Rover, this is John Paul.

I can't hold you.

Change to secondary frequency.

I'll try picking you up.

Rover to John Paul.

Have you got me now?


This is John Paul. Roger.

We are reading you. Over.

I'm flying at 10,000 feet, coming up at Cape Titan from the southwest.

Do you read me? Over.

Rover, this is John Paul.

We've got you clear. Over.

Haven't seen anything, John Paul, except a couple of sampans and some gooney birds.

Will be over Cape Titan in 40 minutes and...

Hold it, John Paul, hold it.

I've got something down here.

I'm dropping down through the cloud cover to take a closer look.

John Paul, this is Rover.

It's a fleet.

Do you hear me?

Warships moving to the south away from Cape Titan.

I count 16... no, 17 ships.

Do you hear me? I repeat. 17 ships.



Now, this is John Paul.

Roger. 17, 17 ships. Over.

I have some company up here.

Zeros from Titan, I guess.

I'm going down to take a closer look at these ships.

Looks like a screen of 12 destroyers.

Repeat. 12 destroyers... four cruisers.

Can't tell if they're heavy.

Those zeros want to play now.


Hello, Rover.

This is John Paul.

Get back into those clouds.

Get back and stay there.

That PBJ is no match for zeros.

Stay undercover.

Thanks, Rock, but we've got to take a closer look at this big boy.

This is the biggest boy I've ever seen.

Looks like a floating island.

It's four city blocks long, and it's got 12 big guns.

They look like 18-inchers.

What was the name of that oversized tub the Japs built?

The Yamato?

This could be it.

The Yamato. 80,000 tons.

Do you hear me?

We read you, Rover.

If this baby comes your way, look out.

Excuse me.

I'm going to be a trifle busy.


Rover, come in, Rover.


The Yamato, four cruisers, and 12 tin cans.

That's a lot of firepower.

We can't be sure it's aimed at us.

They could be escorting the Yamato to another base.

Truk or Pelaki-shima.

But they're not.

That task force is aimed for Levu Vana.

That's right, Egan.

It ties up with their maximum effort to defend that island.

If they finish that airfield and put heavy bombers on it, they'll control the whole area.

Gavabutu will become untenable.

Eventually we'll have to move out of Toulebonne.

Skyhook in reverse.

That task force is headed this way.

Mac, Gottlieb gave us five days of good weather?

Yes, sir.

What do you estimate the steaming time from Titan to Levu Vana?

They can't come on very fast.

They've got to work their way through the Windard Straits.

Four days.

With a little push, we can launch our amphib assault in 48 hours.

When we're covering the landing, who takes care of this Jap fleet?

Our ships will just have to do double duty.

Establish the beachhead and put back to sea and meet the new threat.

Do we have a chance to stop it?

We can try.

Tuthill, you'll take over as chief of staff.

Sir, how shall I list Captain Eddington's flight?

I have to account for the plane.

List it as an authorized mission.

Do you want to make a recommendation for Captain Eddington?

He deserves a Medal of Honor.

Maybe, but Paul wasn't hunting medals.

No, no recommendation.

Anything new on the Jap fleet, Tut?

No, nothing. A blank.

Maybe they're not headed this way.

Well, let's keep reconnaissance busy anyway.

They're not going around the outer islands.

They're headed for the Pala Passage.

It looks like they'll run it at night.

With that size fleet?

Those waters are uncharted shoals.

The Japanese Navy has a habit of doing the impossible.

How wide's the narrowest part of the straits?

20 miles. 10 miles show a deep channel.

I want those 10 miles mined.

Mines won't stop her.

She carries a 16-inch armor plate.

But we might nail some of the escort vessels.

Send the PT boats with the mine layer.

They're maneuverable in the shoal waters.

They'll get their licks in while the Japs are tangled in the mines.


In the morning...

what's it like...

surface battle?

Like any other battle, I guess.

Maybe a little noisier.

I'm so scared... my bones are clicking like dice on a Reno crap table.

I should be back in Hollywood sitting in front of a typewriter making all this up for a movie, not living it.

All battles are fought by scared men who'd rather be someplace else.

Does that include admirals?


Admiral, another 30 minutes and they tangle with the mine field.


Loosen up, Jere.

Skipper, if I let you down, will you please shoot me?


Doing real good out in the mine field.

Here we go.


Take over the helm.


Stand by to torpedo!

Throw 1!

Throw 2!

We got them!

We got them again!



Roger. Give it to me.

First reports, Admiral.

Two destroyers hit by mines.

One destroyer torpedoed by boats.



One mogami-class cruiser hit and dead in the water, sir.

That's cutting them down to size.

Casualty report?

Do you have anything on casualties?

Not yet, sir.

Casualty report on the PT boats, Rock.

Signal the destroyers.

Lay smoke screen and attack.

This is plot.

Go, babies, go!

Stand by to commence firing.

All guns, three rounds rapid fire salvo. Now!



The Yamato came through.

Signal all ships to make flank speed.

Steer evasive course as planned.

Admiral, you're wanted in plot.

They're getting out of range!

Signal a 50-degree turn to starboard.

Signal a 50-degree turn to port.

All guns to fire at the turn.




The captain's dead.

All dead.

What do I do, sir?

Stand by!

I'm taking over the bridge.

I'll pass course and speed. Mac!





She's breaking up, sir!

The ship is breaking up, sir!

Abandon ship!

Abandon ship!



Maggie! Maggie! He spoke.

He said nurse.



Can you hear me, Rock?



You're on a hospital ship bound for Pearl Harbor.

We arrive there in the morning.

But what...

You better let me do the talking.

You've been asleep a long time, almost three weeks.

You were badly wounded... shell fragments... but you're going to be all right.

What's that tent for?

That's the worst of it, Rock.

You've lost your left leg.


Egan was killed.


All of them, except Mac McConnel.

He saved you... got you onto a life raft before the ship sank.

He's here. You can see him tomorrow.

I've got to know. I...



Your hands?

Burned, sir. But they'll be OK.

Thanks for looking after me, Mac.

Actually, the crew looked after both of us until a tin can picked us up.

Gregory, beachhead, wiped out?

No, sir.

The Japs are boxed up on the island.

The Yamato didn't come on.

It hightailed it back through the passage.

Why? We were licked, weren't we?

Good morning, sir.

Stand easy.

You're a hard man to kill, aren't you, Admiral?

It seems so, sir.

But I got my command shot to hell without any trouble.

You feel you've betrayed them by staying alive?

Something like that.

Seven ships sacrificed.

Make a fancy court-martial.

He's still doped up?

A little, sir.

Let me straighten you out, Admiral.

The battle in Pala Passage was a decisive victory.

Skyhook's on its way.

The Japs can't stop it.

You're flying to the States.

They'll stick a peg leg on you and ship you back.

You'll stump your way to Tokyo with the rest of us, only from the deck of a ship as task force commander.

Is that clear?

Yes, sir.

Go back to sleep.

Aye, aye, sir.

You've got your orders.

Go to sleep.


I'll be here, Rock.