Hell and High Water

Synopsis: A privately-financed scientist and his colleagues hire an ex-Navy officer to conduct an Alaskan submarine expedition in order to prevent a Red Chinese anti-American plot that may lead to World War III. Mixes deviously plotted schoolboy fiction with submarine spectacle and cold war heroics.
Director(s): Samuel Fuller
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
103 min

In the summer of 1953...

it was announced that an atomic bomb | of foreign origin...

had been exploded somewhere | outside of the United States.

Shortly thereafter, it was indicated | that this atomic reaction...

according | to scientific reports...

had originated in a remote area | in North Pacific waters...

somewhere between the northern tip | of theJapanese islands...

and the arctic circle.

This is the story | of that explosion.


Professor Montel. | I'm McCleary of the Herald Tribune.

Oh, yes. | How do you do?

I understand that you're going to Vienna | to address the, uh...

Central European Federation | of Advanced Scientists.

That is correct.

I will read a paper on the emission of neutrons | and collision of nuclei.

Thank you, | Professor.

- Will any of the American Atomic Energy Commission be present? | - I doubt it.

Will you excuse me, | gentlemen?


Uh, Professor. Excuse me. | There's one or two points I'd like to get clarified.

You will have to excuse me, gentlemen. | The plane is waiting.

Who's the girl?

This is the BBC with the latest news bulletin.

Professor Montel, famous nuclear physicist | and atomic scientist...

has vanished while en route to attend | a conference in Vienna.

Professor Montel's disappearance | is a complete mystery to the police.

Authoritative sources reveal today | that the former Nobel Prize winner...

is the fifth noted scientist believed to have | vanished behind the iron curtain.

Professor Montel was last seen | at the International Airport in Vienna.

Speculation as to the whereabouts...

of Professor Montel continues.

Ten days have elapsed | since the distinguished scientist vanished...

and so far police have been unable to offer | any explanation.

Authorities are now convinced...

that Professor Montel | was not kidnapped...

and that his disappearance | was part of a prearranged plan.

Airport officials in Vienna | reveal that the scientist...

carried a diplomatic passport.

The search for Professor Montel | continues into the fourth week.

It is interesting to note that while | the story has been given front-page space...

in newspapers in the United States | and all other parts of the free world...

Pravda, the official mouthpiece | of the Soviet Union...

has, as yet, failed | to take note on it.

- Corporal Lee Stockwell? | - Right.

- Mr. R.J. MacDougall? | - That's right.

- Mr. Franklin Meredith. | - That's correct.


I'm afraid you're mistaken. | My name's MacDougall.

You're a dead ringer for an officer | I used to know in the submarine service.


Mr. MacDougall?


My name is Eddy.

Your instructions.

There is a taxi waiting for you. | The driver knows the address.

Taxi number 63.

Number 63.


This is it.

- You better wait for me. | - No, I go now.

Wait a minute. What if I need you again? | Where can I find you?

- What's your name? | - Eddy.

Mr. MacDougall?

- Yeah. | - Come in, please, and follow me.

Watch your step, please.

- Now don't tell me your name is Eddy too. | - "Eddy" is the password.

I'm Hokada Fujimori, | CommanderJones.

I'm very pleased | to meet you.

Thanks. For a minute there, I thought this was | something out of Inner Sanctum.

Ah, you've lost | a little weight.

I'm on a diet.

I'll bet Captain Taylor put a little fat on, huh?

- Where is he? | - I'm sorry to tell you, your friend is dead.

- Dead? | - His plane crashed returning from an arctic expedition.

No one survived.

He never did like to fly.

Why did he want me to come here? | What was the 5,000 for?

It's an advance payment for a job | Captain Taylor was certain you would do for us.

- Advance? | - Yes.

- When do I start? | - Without questions?

Why talk? IfTaylor | lined me up for the job, it must be kosher.

Some people might not | exactly call it kosher. In here, please.

Gentlemen, | CommanderJones.

- Mr. McAuliff. | - How do you do, sir?

- Colonel Schuman. | - How are you?

- Mr. Aylesworth. | - How do you do?

And Professor Montel.

- Montel, the scientist? | - Yes.

Everybody and his brother | is gunning for you, Professor.

They say you skipped | behind the iron curtain.

As you can see, | only a wooden door.

- Glad you're here. | - Thank you, sir.

Well, it's quite a layout | you got here.

What kind of business | are you gentlemen in?

The business | of investigation.

The scientific | investigation...

of these uninhabited North Pacific islands | that lie in neutral waters...

- between the free world and the iron curtain. | - Uh-huh.

Our deductions make us believe | that one of these islands-

we don't know which one, | Mr. Jones-

has been prepared | as an arsenal for atomic weapons.

Your friend | Captain Taylor volunteered...

to undertake a photographic mission | to find out.

- Volunteered? | - Yes.

- For free? | - For free.

Is that when he had | the accident?

It was no accident. | His plane was shot down.

This photograph | we have just printed...

came from the camera | of his salvaged plane.

Thirty years in the navy, | and he gets killed for a picture.

For free.

Each man has his own | reason for living, Mr. Jones...

and his own price | for dying.

This was | Captain Taylor's price.

There's nothing there, Professor. | It's a washout.

I wouldn't be too certain. | Extend these lines.

They could be atomic vault | constructions.

And over here could also be part | of a concrete runway.

Look. Look, before | we go any further...

exactly what country | do you men represent?

We represent | many countries...

as private individuals.

We are scientists, | former statesmen, businessmen-

all volunteers | acting independently...

for a common cause | against a common enemy.

As private | individuals...

we can conduct this investigation | on a scientific basis...

without violating | any neutral waters.

And if what we suspect | is verified...

we can then make | our findings public.

And what good | will that do?

Don't you think the truth | is worth knowing?

Don't you believe that | factual proof will establish, once and for all...

both the identity and the intention | of the aggressor?

Who knows? | But where do I fit in to the picture?

We want you to command a ship | for an inspection tour of these islands.

- What kind of a ship? | - A submarine.

We know that four times | during World War II...

you commanded a submarine | reconnaissance patrol...

in this very area.

As I recall, you were | extremely successful in these waters...

when you fought | my country.

This time the enemy is different, Mr. Jones, | but the waters are the same.

You received already | $5,000.

20,000 in United States | currency...

will be deposited to your account | in any bank you elect...

to chauffeur Professor Montel | to this island.

And another 25,000 bonus | when you bring him back safely...

with all the information | he seeks.

What about the sub? | Did it volunteer too?

One does not pick up a first-class submarine | in the junkyard, Mr. Jones.

We have salvaged | a Japanese submarine.

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Jesse Lasky Jr.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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