Cmdr. Rich Richardson (Clark Gable) has been sitting behind a desk for the past year. He's been doing so because the last sub he was captain of was sunk. Navy has a thing about their subs and they don't want them sunk. Rich is going to have another chance at being a skipper of a submarine. The war is not going well in the Pacific and experienced skippers are needed. One problem, Rich wants the boat that took down his former boat.
On the new boat his second in command is Lt. Jim Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster). A fine young executive who probably should have his own boat. Rich is wanting that one ship and he will do anything to get it. He knows it is running in the Bongo Straits and is wanting to go hunting.
His crew is not liking the new skipper. They aren't warming up to him and Rich knows it. It's war, what are you going to do. There is some scuttle butt that it was his fault for his sub going down. The crew just hasn't given him a chance.
They arrive at the straits and sure enough his nemesis is there and he wants her. Rich takes his boat in as close as he can but when he fires he hits the surrounding ships. The sub is forced to dive when planes and Japanese start to come after her. When they get to a depth that they realize they are safe, they also know they can't stay down there forever. Rich has some crewmen who are dead and in an attempt to get away he uses their bodies to make the Japanese think they are sunk. The trick works but it's the crew that Rich has to be afraid of. They want to mutiny and head back to pearl harbor.
Rich has been hurt and with some of the crew like Ens. Cartwright (Brad Dexter) talking of taking over finally Lt. Bledsoe has the Captain escorted to his quarters.
There are those on the ship that back the captain like yeoman 1st class Mueller (Jack Warden). In a moment of full awareness it comes to Lt. Bledsoe why the ship did so poorly against the Japs. He goes to the Captain and the two realize that the mission can be accomplished. You have to watch the movie to learn what happens.
Director Robert Wise does an excellent job with this WWII movie of submarine service. It has been called one of the best war movies ever made and Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster are at their very best. So sit back and enjoy one of the greats.