Down Periscope (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Vulgar, slapstick comedy abounds in this feature film debut for television sitcom star Kelsey Grammer. Almost everyone else thinks of Lieutenant Commander Tom Dodge is a class "A" goof who messes up every task he is assigned, but Adm. Dean Winslow thinks otherwise and decides to give Dodge one last chance by assigning him to helm an outmoded, diesel powered, rusty in a series of wargames. Dodge's sub is to be the enemy and must somehow outsmart their high tech opponents. Though ostensibly only … More

Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Hugh Wilson, Andrew Kurtzman, Eliot Wald
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 3, 2004
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


as Thomas Dodge

as Admiral Graham

as Marty Pascal

as Nitro

as Admiral Winslow

as Captain Knox

as Jackson

as Orlando Ensign

as Orlando XO

as Orlando Sonarman

as Stingray Radioman

as Helmsman

as Young Sailor

as Trawler Captain

as Fisherman

as Orlando Radioman

as Fisherman

as Supportive Admiral

as Admiral No. 2

as Orlando Young Sailor

as Admiral No. 3

as Secretary

as Orlando Young Sailor

as Sailor No. 2

as Conn Tower Officer

as Torpedo Man

as Singing Waitress

as Singing Sailor

as Singing Sailor

as Singing Sailor

as Singing Sailor

as Singing Sailor

as Singing Sailor

as Singing Sailor

as Singing Sailor
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Critic Reviews for Down Periscope

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (9)

It's good-natured, innocuous frivolity that should raise a few smiles and generate good but not great spring box office.

Full Review… | November 21, 2008
Top Critic

he construction is so ramshackle (or the mood so PC) that the film-makers put a woman (Holly) on board, then can't find a thing to do with her.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The tone of the acting, which is set by Mr. Grammer's blandly laid-back performance, is all wrong for a genre that demands over-the-top hamming.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

There are occasional laughs, but, as with most movies that think they're funnier than they actually are, most of the jokes fall flat.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

More laid-back here than he is on television, Grammer seems to barely break a sweat.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A soggy sub sandwich layered with cheesy action, stale jokes and gung-ho baloney.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Down Periscope

Down Periscope for me, at least is a harmless comedy. Down Periscope is one of those films that you either love or hate. People seem to hate it because it's "boring", "predictable" and that the jokes fall flat on their faces. I don't believe that. Sure there is definite room for improvement, but Down Periscope has many funny parts to it. Which I won't reveal, because I don't want to spoil the film for you. Kelsey Grammer plays Commander Tom Dodge who has just been assigned a commission to command a diesel powered sub. He also has been assigned with a crew of misfits. With that, Dodge is ordered to participate in a war game against the U.S Nuclear Navy. The premise of the film is simple, but it's lots of fun if you're in the right state of mind to watch this type of film. The film does provide a few good laugh out loud moments as you watch the ineptitude of the crew unfold. Though not perfect, Down Periscope is a good little comedy ton watch with friends over a few beers. Also this one of the few films where Rob Schneider is actually very funny, his performance in this film makes the film better than you might think. Kelsey Grammer gives a good comical performance as well. Down Periscope may not win any prizes, but it's a harmless fun comedy that has plenty of laughs. Give it a chance, it's better than what most people have claimed it to be. If you're in the mood for a silly comedy, the Down Periscope is the comedy for you.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

A rusty sub. A rebel commander. A renegade crew. When destiny called, they should have hung up. Inthebakset

Wahida K

Super Reviewer


This screwball comedy movie is practically Police Academy at sea. The humor is a little sleazy at times but the language wasn't too bad. Kelsey Grammar plays a likable role in the Navy comedy. Most of his crew are somewhat stupid characters but I did like the sonar man with the great hearing. Lauren Holy was okay as the sexy female interest but Rob Schneider was just plain annoying and tended to overact. He's either very funny or very stupid in his films. Bruce Dern, as always, was an effective "bad guy".

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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