Film Scouts Reviews

"Down Periscope"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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Feb. 29, 1996

I took my expert on naval affairs to see the new Kelsey Grammar comedy, "Down
Periscope", just to make sure that they had all the uniform ribbons right, the lingo
correct and see if he thought a movie about a maverick commanding officer and a
bunch of misfits would be funny. "The ribbons are OK, lingo good, and yeah, it's
funny, but I served with lots of guys like that." was the response. Makes you

Grammar, who has made a name for himself on the TV show "Fraiser" as an off-kilter comic, is just the guy to have "Welcome Aboard" tattooed on his penis. As
the commander in charge of a Korean-War-era sub he lands Rob Schneider as
an executive officer, Lauren Holly as dive officer and an assortment of nuts as
crew. Admiral Rip Torn sends them off on a war game to prove that a lone diesel
sub could enter Charleston and Norfolk harbors. It is a pretty decent plot that
gives everyone a chance to be silly. Ken Hudson Campbell, who was Animal in
TV's "Herman's Head" shines as the cigar chomping cook. And I barely
recognized Jonathan Penner who has a recurring role on TV's "The Nanny" and a
starring role in the soon to be released "The Last Supper".

"But that is the Pampanito, a WWII sub that is now a museum in San Francisco.
And that is not Norfolk; it's California. The periscope is from "Hunt for the Red
October" but the consoles look like "Crimson Tide's"." my anti-submarine warfare
expert and husband says. And he is right. "And Jim's tattoo was 'Your Name' on
his left cheek. He won a lot of bar bets with that. How many Navy guys can say
they have your name tattooed on their fanny?" Not too many I hope.

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