Operation Pacific (1951)

Film and Plot Synopsis

As World War II rages across the Pacific, Lt. Cmdr. Duke E. Gifford finds himself in the thick of it evacuating children from enemy-held islands, and overseeing the development of torpedoes at Pearl Harbor. Using his submarine Thunderfish, the commander is looking for a chance to aim his “tin fish” torpedoes at the enemy.

‘Operation Pacific’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Operation Pacific (1951)Operation Pacific follows the naval adventures of Lt. Cmdr. Duke Gifford, a career naval officer in the middle of World War II fighting the Japanese navy. Duke has dedicated his life to the sea, and has even given up on his marriage to the much younger, Mary Stuart. Mary lost her husband to his mistress; a submarine called the Thunderfish.

The Thunderfish is having some trouble. In addition to being constantly hunted by the Japanese navy, the Thunderfish’s swimmers are not hitting their targets and blowing them up when they should.

After Duke’s commander (and best friend), Pop, is killed, Duke is assigned shore side to solve his little problem. While he is stationed in Hawaii, he renews his interest in Mary Stuart, who is leading on… I mean dating… Pop’s younger brother Bob, a Navy pilot. Bob doesn’t like Duke, mainly because Duke seems to do everything better than Bob. However, the hatred grows after Pop’s death due to the fact that Bob believes that Duke is responsible for his brother’s demise.

Eventually Duke and the Thunderfish work out their little problems before heading out to sea. There they sink some more Japanese navy ships, and save some shot down airmen, namely Bob. Now Bob thinks Duke is a swell guy. The Thunderfish heads back to Pearl Harbor for a hero’s welcome. Duke reunites, possibly permanently with Mary, and everyone lives happily ever after. Except for Pop. He’s still dead.

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Warner Bros. released Operation Pacific on January 27, 1951. George Waggner directed film starring John Wayne, Patricia Neal, and Ward Bond.

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