Destination Tokyo: (1943)–Cary Grant in WWII Submarine

One of Cary Grant’s most commercially popular movies, Destination Tokyo, was a fitting tribute to the submarine force through an exciting account of submarine warfare.

Warner Bros. borrowed Cary Grant from Columbia Pictures in a swap with Humphrey Bogart, headed to Columbia to make Sahara. Grant had turned down the role that Bogart eventually played, and Gary Cooper had turned down the role of the Copperfin captain that Grant had played.

Grant plays the captain of The Copperfin, whose varied crew includes John Garfield, Alan Hale, Robert Hutton, Dane Clark, Warner Anderson and Tom Tully among others.

The sub sails from San Francisco under secret orders to pick up a meteorologist in the Aleutians, proceed to Tokyo Bay and put him ashore so that he can provide weather information for Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo.

It’s a tough task: The sub is attacked by a dive bomber en route and then has to navigate through mine fields before landing its passenger.

There are tense underwater moments and explosive action in an attack by the sub on a Japanese aircraft carrier.

The Copperfin is then chased and depth-bombed by enemy destroyers before she makes her getaway.

Destination Tokyo was a successful morale-booster, due to its powerful combination of drama and action.

Of Similar Interest:

Destination Tokyo has inspired other submarine films, such as Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), Das Boot (1981), and U-571 (2000)


Oscar Nominations: 1

Original Story: Steve Fisher

Oscar Context:

The winner was William Saroyan for The Human Comedy


Released: December 31, 1943


Produced by Jerry Wald.

Directed by Delmer Daves.

Screenplay by Daves and Albert Maltz, based on an original story by Marine member Steve Fisher.


Cary Grant as Captain Cassidy
John Garfield as “Wolf”
Alan Hale, Sr. as “Cookie” Wainwright
John Ridgely as meteorologist Lt. Raymond
Dane Clark as “Tin Can”
Warner Anderson as Executive Officer
William Prince as “Pills”
Robert Hutton as Tommy Adams
Tom Tully as Mike
Faye Emerson as Mrs. Cassidy
Peter Whitney as Dakota
Eleanor Parker as Mike’s wife on record (voice only)
Warren Douglas as Diving officer
John Forsythe as “Sparks” Reynolds
John Alvin as Sonar Operator
Bill Kennedy as Gunnery Officer
Ralph McColm as Ensign
William Challee as Quartermaster
Whit Bissell as Yoyo
Mark Stevens as Admirals’s aide
Jack Mower as Admiral’s aide
John Whitney as Communication Officer
George Lloyd as Chief of boat
Maurice Murphy as Toscanini


Directed by Delmer Daves
Produced by Jerry Wald, Jack L. Warner
Screenplay by Delmer Daves, Albert Maltz, story by Steve Fisher
Music by Franz Waxman, William Lava
Cinematography: Bert Glennon
Edited by Christian Nyby, Vladimir Barjansky
Production company: Warner Bros.
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date: December 31, 1943 (US)
Running time: 135 minutes
Budget $1,516,000
Box office $4,544,000