Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Deep (1977)

Retro Active Critique #17

"The Deep" is yet another 1970's film that gets too little attention (if any) in retrospect, similar to "The Last of Sheila"

At the helm of this film, Peter Yates crafted some relatively advanced underwater filming for its time period. Much of the action takes place underwater and there are compelling moments throughout those extended scenes.

The greatest notoriety "The Deep" has maintained is its having images of Jacqueline Bisset in a wet t-shirt. Which is somewhat unfortunate, as the film does have its other merits. However, it should be noted that seeing Bisset and her co-star Nick Nolte appear together is worthwhile. They have natural chemistry and make a believable couple, as they discover a historic shipwreck while diving in Bermuda, only to be mixed up in a dangerous drug war.

The story is by Peter Benchley - the same Peter Benchley who wrote "Jaws". Apart from the action that takes place underwater, there is plenty above ground, as well. Extended fight scenes, for example... a choice one, in particular, between the two henchmen. The supporting cast consists of Robert Shaw (also of "Jaws" fame) and Louis Gossett, Jr. as the crooked and fierce Bermudan, Cloche.

I'm certain there have been a number of remakes (of sorts) for this over the years... but just watch "The Deep" for a classic action flick feel. And despite the slow pace in some scenes, it's worth viewing the entire thing to experience how the film rewards you by closing with an unexpected and completely unnecessary, cheesy, freeze-framed/disco-music-playing ending! 70's style.

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