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Devil's Playground (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 24 January 1937 (USA)
Submarine officers Dorgan and Mason battle on land for the affections of dance-hall girl Carmen. She marries Dorgan but makes a play for Mason when her husband is on duty.


Erle C. Kenton


Jerome Chodorov (screenplay), Liam O'Flaherty (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Credited cast:
Richard Dix ... Jack Dorgan
Dolores del Rio ... Carmen (as Dolores Del Rio)
Chester Morris ... Robert Mason
George McKay George McKay ... Red Anderson
John Gallaudet ... Jones
Pierre Watkin ... Submarine Commander
Ward Bond ... Sidecar Wilson
Don Rowan ... Reilly
Francis McDonald ... Romano
Stanley Andrews ... Salvage Boat Commander
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lionel Hampton ... Jazz Band Drummer


Submarine officers Dorgan and Mason battle on land for the affections of dance-hall girl Carmen. She marries Dorgan but makes a play for Mason when her husband is on duty.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrills of the Deep!


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Submarine See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chester Morris's character receivers orders to the submarine service out of the blue as he beginning what he thinks is shore leave. The submarine service is for volunteers only. No one gets surprise orders to report for assignment to submarines. See more »


Jack Dorgan: Something I forgot to tell you about.
[hands him a piece of paper]
Robert Mason: [Reads the paper] Transferred to shore duty for two years... Doing what?
Jack Dorgan: In charge of the new diving school.
Robert Mason: Did you apply for this?
Jack Dorgan: No, but it's what I want, all right.
Robert Mason: Yeah? What's the idea?
Jack Dorgan: Well, there's some things I've always wanted to do. This makes it perfect, Bob. The first thing I want to do is get myself a home.
Robert Mason: [taken aback] A home? Say, the only home you'll ever know ashore is the inside of a barroom.
Jack Dorgan: You ain't kiddin',...
See more »


Remake of Fifty Fathoms Deep (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

When Buddies Fall Out
31 January 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Bluff Richard Dix is the best diver in the Navy's submarine service. Womanizing Chester Morris is his best buddy. Dix is assigned to teaching recruits how to dive, and while he's in San Diego he quickly acquires a house, and a wife: taxi-dancer Dolores Del Rio. Before they can celebrate their marriage, Dix is called back to active duty. Del Rio goes back to taxi-dancing, where she meets Morris. Then Dix comes home.

The movie is neatly divided into three parts: Dix settling into his home and being played for a sucker by Del Rio; Morris and Del Rio; and the final third, in which the submarine Morris goes to the bottom, and the only man who can save the crew is the angry Dix. It's an attempt to combine the two-buddies-and-a-golddigger plot with the submarine rescue story which Columbia had been doing at least since Frank Capra directed SUBMARINE nine years earlier. While the three leads are, as you might expect, terrific, the seam connecting the two types of story shows. Del Rio was a terrific actress, but the role as written is completely unsympathetic, and director Erle Kenton was not the man to bring out the subtleties that might have made this more than a programmer.

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