Down Periscope

New this week Factual error: When Graham is on the Orlando he is a flag officer. Although he has command of the task force in the exercise he can not take over command of the ship he is on. In Navy Regulations the Captain or Commanding Officer of the vessel has sole discretion over operation of such vessel and can not be overruled by a flag officer. Even if he is removed from command the first officer would maintain the authority until the ship returned to port.

New this week Character mistake: When Pascal gives his mutiny speech he refers to comsubpac, the Submarine Command for the Pacific fleet. He should have said comsublant. It seems to be a common theme of mistakes seeing as the museum sub they used for the Stingray is kept at a pier in San Francisco. Most of the scenes at dock are filmed there and at sea in nearby waters. Its possible that the original script was based on a west coast 'war game' and later got changed after a number of scenes were already filmed. (01:01:00)

Factual error: When the submarine rises in the waters of Norfolk and you see Norfolk in the background, there is one blatant problem. There are NO mountains in Norfolk. Most of Norfolk, Virginia, is below sea level.

Visible crew/equipment: When Captain Dodge is sitting down to talk to Lake, you see the boom mic follow him down. (00:56:10)

Continuity mistake: During the final chase scene, Captain Dodge says that it's overcast, and they surface. The first shot of the Stingray shows a hazy day. When the Orlando surfaces afterwards, it's clearly that one piece of stock footage of a Los Angeles-class submarine surfacing - not only is it sunny, but the ship shoots up from an emergency fast rise. After that, the shots of the Stingray in pursuit, and that of the torpedoes hitting the target ship, show it to be sunny rather than overcast. [It's not just stock footage of any old submarine surfacing. It is in fact the shot of the submarine in Tom Clancy's The Hunt For Red October surfacing - exactly the same footage. Some kind of in-joke, perhaps?]

Visible crew/equipment: When Dodge Say's "Good ole Graham" you can see the mic on top of the screen. (00:14:50)

Factual error: In the final chase, Orlando surfaces to chase Stingray. WWII subs are considerably faster on the surface, but modern Los Angeles class subs are designed to spend 99% of the time underwater. Orlando must travel slower on the surface as her aft rudders are out of the water, decreasing her stability. On the surface, the greater the speed, the more difficult she is to steer. Her speed and handling on the surface would be greatly reduced. There's no way she would have surfaced to chase Stingray, as it would actually make it more difficult to catch her.

Grumpy Scot

Continuity mistake: When they are attempting to get "between the screws" of the tanker, the underwater footage shows twin screws, but the surface footage only shows wake from 1 single mid-ship propeller.

Factual error: On the type of submarine Dodge commands, you must climb up one level to the conning tower to use the periscope. The periscope is not accessible inside the control room.

Continuity mistake: At 1:20:35, when Dodge gives the order to "ready torpedo tubes one and two", both tubes are already showing "ready to fire" in the panel above Dodge's shoulder. (01:20:35)

Continuity mistake: As Dodge wishes Pascal luck, he's leaning with both hands spread on the railing around the periscope tower. A second later Dodge is standing at attention, looking straight out over port side.

Movie Nut

Continuity mistake: Capt. Dodge (Kelsey Grammer) is on the deck of the sub and is sending a crewman up a ladder to attach a lamp onto the periscope. To attach it, he uses duct tape. However, when they show him climbing, the duct tape is still in Dodge's hand. Then, a second later, it is magically in the crewman's hand.

Factual error: In the opening credits, when you see a submarine (presumably the Orlando) passing underneath a bridge, the sub is going south, away from the base, seeing as the base pictured is the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT. The sub is supposedly returning from being under the ice cap, according to Dodge in another scene, therefore, it's going the wrong way.

Audio problem: When Dodge and Jackson go outside to put the spotlight on the periscope, Jackson climbs up. He sings the Army theme, be all you can be. You hear Dodge say that's the army not the navy, but if you look at him when he says this, he doesn't even open his mouth.

Visible crew/equipment: When Stapanak is running to the engine room, the camera equipment at the bottom of the screen is visible. (01:11:45)

Continuity mistake: When Dodge is in his room talking to Lt. Lake, he throws the towel on his bunk which can be seen in the mirror. A few seconds later back on Dodge the towel is now gone from the bunk. (01:14:35)

Continuity mistake: Exterior shots of the Orlando switch back and forth between the older model 688 with the sail planes (fins) on the side of the tower to the new one with the planes on the bow.

Grumpy Scot

Visible crew/equipment: When Howard is starting the engine, he's stepping over the dolly track for the camera rig. (00:23:05)

Continuity mistake: When Grammer is welcoming his new crew on board, between the time the first crewman has walked up the gangplank and Grammer is talking to the second and receiving his papers and telling him to get on board, you can see that a third has already boarded and the number of envelopes held by Lt. Pascal (Exec. Officer) has jumped from one to three.

Continuity mistake: When Grammer is being taken by launch out to see his sub for the first time, you see between shots that he's going two different directions at different times of day. As they cut back and forth, one set of footage is a live shot, the other is against a screen. The end of the scene is a shot taken either in early morning or late afternoon whereas the preceding were more at midday.

Pascal: Jesus, Buckman! This stuff has been on the Stingray since Korea! This can expired in 1966!
Buckman: What's the matter, sir? It still tastes like cream corn.
Pascal: Except it's deviled ham.

More quotes from Down Periscope

Trivia: In the scene when Lauren Holly, gives Kelsey Grammer, a kiss, her hitting her elbow was not in the original script. She really did hit her "funny bone" before walking off camera. The director had decided to keep it in the movie so they had to film an alternate shot of Grammer, laughing when it happened.

Rollin Garcia Jr
More trivia for Down Periscope

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