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Budget. $1,516,000. Box office. $4,544,000. Destination Tokyo is a 1943 black and white American submarine war film. The film was directed by Delmer Daves in his directorial debut, and the screenplay was written by Daves and Albert Maltz, based on an original story by former submariner Steve Fisher.
Destination Tokyo: Directed by Delmer Daves. With Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale, John Ridgely. In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.
- Delmer Daves
- Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale
- Historical Background
- Plot Summary
- Historical Accuracy
Following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Americans were eager for revenge, but the Japanese had overrun all of the American bases within bombing range of Japan. However, a naval officer conceived of the idea of launching B-25 bombers from an aircraft carrier, which would enable the bombers to fly to Japan and then land at airfields in the region of China that was still controlled by the Chinese government. Sixteen bombers were too few to cause serious damage, the real purpose of the mission was to show that Japan was not invincible. Called the Doolittle Raid after its commander, Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, the bombers had to launch earlier than expected when a Japanese patrol boat discovered the carrier group on April 19, 1942. Forced to takeoff further from Japan than originally planned, the bombers successfully completed their mission but did not have enough fuel to reach the airfields. Instead, the aircrew either parachuted from the planes...
The submarine USS Copperfin, commanded by Captain Cassidy (Cary Grant), sails from San Francisco with secret orders to be opened at sea. The submarine’s mission is to pick up Lieutenant Raymond (John Ridgely), a meteorologist, near the Aleutians and then sail to Tokyo Bay. While meeting Raymond, the crew shoot down two Japanese planes, but lose a crewman. Although the entrance into Tokyo Bay is protected by nets, the sub waits until the nets open for a returning warship, and then follows it inside. Once they are in the bay, Cassidy explains that their mission is to provide information on the weather and the shipping in the bay for the Doolittle Raid. Raymond and two members of the crew are landed near Tokyo to take weather readings, and return to the sub the following night. When the planes bomb Tokyo, the sub is able to escape in the confusion.
If the plot of the movie sounds far-fetched, that is because it is. Two U.S. submarines, the Thresher and the Trout, were ordered from their base at Midway to cruise in the area that would be covered by the carrier group transporting the bombers. Surviving two encounters with Japanese warships, the two submarines were able to report to headquarters at Pearl Harbor that there were no enemy ships blocking the path of the carrier group. Presumably, someone at Warner Brothers studio heard rumors of the two submarines’ involvement in the Doolittle Raid and concocted a more exciting story. To be fair, it is quite imaginative. While the mission is entirely fictional, the attention to detail is impressive, since the script is based on a story by a former submariner, Steve Fisher. At one point, the sub descends rapidly to avoid a potential air attack, and the movie portrays the crew’s feeling of helplessness that occurs when the sub is too deep to use the periscope. Sonar was not the most pr...
Director Delmer Daves’ debut, the story moves quickly and creates a tense atmosphere. There are several stand-out scenes, including the one where the sub follows a cruiser into Tokyo Bay, and the director alternates between the increasingly tense crew, dependent on the sonar to know what is happening, and exterior visuals to show the audience what is happening. In fact, the underwater photography is excellent, and was presumably done with models, since the navy’s ships were busy fighting the war. Every submarine movie needs a depth charge scene, and Destination Tokyo delivers with a climax where the crew suffers three hours of brutal hammering by depth charges, until they finally sink the destroyer. Although unnecessary romantic subplots are thankfully absent, several scenes examine the difficulty of being separated from their families, especially a painful scene where the crew listens to a record from a dead seaman’s wife. The film ends with real footage of the bombers taking off f...
Movie Info Captain Cassidy (Cary Grant) is in charge of a submarine on a mission so secret even he doesn't know what it is until his ship departs San Francisco and he opens his sealed orders.
This film represents one of four movies made by Hollywood during the 1940s which were about or related to the US military's Dolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan during World War II. The four movies (the first three considered "fictionalized") are this one, The Purple Heart ; Bombardier and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo , the latter being the most accurate and least fictionalized of the four.
Destination Tokyo tells of a single mission undertaken by a sub. Its destination is Tokyo. Under sealed orders opened 24 hours after it has sped from San Francisco Harbor, the sub first has a...
Destination Tokyo (1943) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more.
This film represents one of four movies made by Hollywood during the 1940s which were about or related to the US military's Dolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan during World War II. Daves was brought into the project a short time later.