After the death of a popular commander, the stern and inflexible Richard Widmark steps in to take charge of a group of a Navy underwater demolition team. His command gets off to a rocky start, as he is seen as heartless and unwilling to take risks himself. But he eventually proves himself to his men (and old hand Dana Andrews), just in time for a particularly dangerous mission.
The disliked new commander is hardly an original concept in war films, and Twelve O’Clock High th…s is not. The plot and characters are too familiar, and there is too much time spent on the not-terribly-exciting (if you’re not into this) technical minutiae of the Navy. This is nothing more than a standard programmer, but for all that, it still holds one’s attention.
The original mono and a new stereo remix are available. The usual problem with the latter (indiscriminate surround sound) is present, but isn’t too severe, and the effect of the constant sound of the ocean is quite good. The dialogue volume, however, fluctuates quite noticeably, and is often much lower than it should be.
The image is sharp, and the grain is minor. The print is okay, but far from stunning, what with speckling and other signs of age (this does help blend in the stock footage, however). Essentially, though unobjectionable, this doesn’t look a heck of a lot better than a good VHS transfer.
You have your teaser and two theatrical trailers. That’s it. The menu is basic.
Pretty ordinary stuff as WWII flicks go, though still entertaining.
Special Features List