THE SILENT TREATMENT: Frank Capra's "Submarine"

While Frank Capra (It Happened One Night, It’s A Wonderful Life) was one of the early sound era’s first great innovators, never forget that he was first schooled in purely visual storytelling. When watching his earliest works, you can see the endless directions this talented young man was capable of traveling in; he clearly had the “touch,” with his flair for comedy (in directing Harry Langdon’s greatest hits), melodrama (as seen in the incredibly dark and powerful The Way Of The Strong), and adventure blockbusters like this red-blooded tale. Navy man Jack Reagon (Jack Holt) falls for and marries dance-hall girl Bessie (Dorothy Revier), an indecisive lass who can’t adjust to matrimony. Natch, a love affair starts between Bessie and Reagon’s longtime Navy pal Bob Mason (Ralph Graves), who later becomes trapped underwater in a sunken submarine — and it’s up to Jack to put aside his anger to save his friend’s life. So successful was Submarine that Capra re-teamed with Holt and Graves for two more romantic-triangle rescue dramas: his early talkies Flight (1929) and Dirigible (1931).
Dir. Frank Capra, 1928, 35mm, 93 min.

Watch an excerpt from “Submarine”!
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