For at least half the lifetime of the U.S.S. William H. Bates, reels of celluloid film burned with thousands of consecutive still images and an optical audio track were a fact of life on the boat.
A cranky projector in the back of the Crew's Mess or Wardroom Pantry, a certified projector operator, and a MS chief generating about 300 cubic feet of popcorn an evening were part of what added to the festive, cruise ship atmosphere of a 60 day SpecOp. Who could forget wrestling with O-gang over the latest 'hot' film, or fighting over who would get the only functional 'skinny-scope' lens for those movies filmed in the magic of wide screen Cinemascope!
Of course, hauling hundreds of boxes, each containing three 18 inch reels of 16mm film and weighing about 25 pounds, made a movie loadout about as much fun as a stores load. And there was always the gamble that the 'good' parts, those that showed scantily clad or bare female skin, a great shootout, or a good chase scene, would have been removed by nefarious film splicers on the last boat to have the film!
By the time I left in 1985, the media was changing - magnetic recording was advancing, and a VHS video player had finally been incorporated into the Crew's Activity Space, so we could watch a grainy, distorted, image on an old 19 inch television set mounted in the wall of the Crew's Mess. By the time the boat was decommissioned, flat panel displays and DVD players were the name of the game, so the whole equation was changed. I'm sure movie nights weren't the same as they had been back in the dark ages.
But one thing was certain, it wasn't the medium, it was the message, and a good film always filled the Crew's Mess, even if we were in wide disagreement about what a 'good' film was.
In the spirit of movie marathons, and passing those endless hours underway, we have collected movies in which submarines feature prominently. This list represents the known 'submarine' films, even though the submarine may only feature in a cameo role.
Clicking on the image will take you to Amazon.com where you can purchase the film. Amazon pays a small percentage back to the website for every film purchased through our Movie Locker. So if you are looking to add films to your collection, start here, and help support the ssn-680.org website. We'll thank you for it!
To post a film review, or to add a film to the list, please contact the Site Administrator.