Down Periscope

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Down Periscope is a 1996 comedy movie starring Kelsey Grammer as the captain of a rust-bucket submarine (called the USS Stingray) who is fighting for his career. Rob Schneider provides comic support as the uptight executive officer, and Lauren Holly as the Navy's first female submarine crewmember.

Directed by David S. Ward. Written by Hugh Wilson, Andrew Kurtzman, and Eliot Wald.
A rusty sub. A rebel commander. A renegade crew. When destiny called, they should have hung up.

Lieutenant Commander Tom Dodge[edit]

  • [After the Stingray's overhaul] Well done, guys. She may not be the youngest girl at the ball... but she'll turn a head or two. If she drives as well as she looks, we may even survive!

Rear Admiral Yancy Graham[edit]

  • [Objecting at a meeting of flag officers regarding Dodge's command] There is physical evidence that, as an ensign, he did become so physically intoxicated that he not only allowed himself to be tattooed, but tattooed on his genitalia. Now, call me a prude if you want, but I don't think it's good policy for the Navy to hand over a billion-dollar piece of equipment to a man who has "Welcome Aboard" tattooed on his penis!


VADM Dean Winslow: Those are photos of Petropovlosk, Vladivostok. That's where the Russians have got their diesel sub fleet. They're docked there. But each week, there are fewer. Cause they're sellin' 'em off like hotcakes, to countries like Iran, Iraq and Libya to name a few.
LCDR Tom Dodge: With all due respect, sir, one American nuclear attack sub could defeat several diesels.
Winslow: In a conventional battle, certainly, that's true. But one if you had one renegade diesel captain, decided to hit us- bam- suddenly, without cause or warning, like a terrorist intent on getting a nuclear warhead into one of our harbors. You think we could catch and kill a bogey like that in time?
Dodge: Absolutely, sir.
Winslow: Well, the Department of Defense and most of the admiralty, they would agree with you. But me, personally? I'd like to know for sure. And that's why you're gonna clean the Stingray up and take her out, off the Atlantic coast, for a series of war games. One rebel diesel, against the U.S. nuclear Navy. Come on. [Shows Dodge a map] First, you're going to attempt to invade Charleston harbor. And if you're good enough to evade further pursuit, you'll attempt to sink shipping right here at the naval base in Norfolk. Simulated, of course. What do you think, Mr. Dodge?
Dodge: I think I'm gonna get my ass kicked, sir.
Winslow: Aw, don't gimme that! Damn it to hell, don't go by the book! Think like a pirate! I want a man with a tattoo on his dick! Have I got the right man?
Dodge: By a strange coincidence, you do, sir. However, the task I have been handed here is close to impossible. If I pull it off- that is, get both ports- I would like command of my own nuclear sub.
Winslow: Setting terms, now?
Dodge: No, sir. But without command, once this exercise is over, I'm headed for a desk job, which means I'm out of the Navy.
Winslow: I can't make you any guarantees, Dodge. But this is what I'll do. I'll give you two live torpedoes, set a dummy in Norfolk harbor. If I see that baby go up, then we'll talk about your boat.
Dodge: Thank you, sir.

Dodge: Marty, I'm a little worried about your health. Not exactly a people person, are you? I'm afraid you're headed straight for an ulcer if you can't ease up a little bit.
Pascal: I'm-I'm not happy with this boat, sir. Requesting permission for a transfer.
Dodge: What?
Pascal: Commander, this-this boat... it's a rustbucket! It's a shitbox! And this crew is the most incompetent bunch of retards and assholes in naval history! I mean, I know why you're here, but- I don't know why I was even considered for such an assignment-
Dodge: 'Scuse me, 'scuse me. Why am I here?
Pascal: You know, your thing!
Dodge: What "thing"?
Pascal: The weenie tattoo.
Dodge: [Laughs] Wow. Look, Pascal, I hate to disappoint you, but I may have had some other things going for me.
Pascal: Yeah, yeah, yeah- I believe you, sir. Now, about my transfer. This post could seriously jeopardize my chances for advancement. I mean, I am this close to command, sir-
Dodge: Forget it. You think you're the only one embarrassed to be here, you think this is the command I dreamed about? Well we're all in this mess together, mister. And you and your career are in the hands of those very assholes! Including this one. That answer your question?

[The Stingray is lying silent on the bottom while the Orlando floats above them. An Orlando crewman drops loose change while buying at the sub commissary and Sonar Lovacelli hears it.]
S2C Sonar Lovacelli: Sir. It's the Orlando. Somebody just dropped 45 cents.
Cmdr. Dodge: You're sure?
Sonar: Oh, yeah. A quarter and two dimes.

[Pascoe inspects the galley]
Lt Martin Pascoe: Jesus, Buckman! This stuff's been on the Stingray since Korea! This can expired in 1966!
Seaman Buckman: What's the matter, sir? It still tastes like cream of corn.
Pascoe: Except- it's deviled ham!
Buckman: Now that would be a problem.

[The Orlando finds the Stingray again after it breaks off from a tanker it used to slip past the Navy blockade at Norfolk]
Rear Admiral Yancy Graham: He's already ahead of us! [goes to the periscope station] The admiral has the conn!
Commander Carl Knox: With all due respect sir, this is my boat.
Graham: Oh, not right now it's not, with all due respect. [to helm] All ahead full, course, two-five-zero.

[During the Stingray's homecoming]
Rear-Admiral Yancy Graham: Sir, this entire exercise is invalid. Dodge left the containment area -
Vice-Admiral Dean Winslow: - after you narrowed him down without proper authorization.
Graham: He ignored a direct order!
Winslow: Stow it, Yancy. He had higher orders...and you can forget about that third star. [Smiles and walks away]


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