The Deep (1977)

THE DEEP (1977)
Article 2146 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-30-2007
Posting Date: 6-28-2007
Directed by Peter Yates
Featuring Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, Nick Nolte

Vacationers discover a hidden treasure underneath a downed military boat in the waters around Bermuda. They check with a local expert to find the source of the treasure, but run afoul of drug traffickers who are after a large supply of morphine hidden on the military ship.

This movie reunites Peter Benchley and Robert Shaw from JAWS , but if you dwell on that, the movie will only seem that much more disappointing. It’s not a bad movie; it’s just a rather ordinary thriller, too slow-moving at times and confusing at others, especially during the underwater sequences. I do like some of the attention to detail; in particular, the concept that in order for the treasure to really be worth something it must be historically traceable provides an interesting motivation for the continual return to the ship. The fantastic content here is pretty incidental; the drug traffickers’ use of voodoo as a means of frightening people really doesn’t lead anywhere, and the big moray eel in the ship is not my idea of a monster, even if it is the biggest one Nick Nolte has ever seen. At any rate, the classification of this movie as a horror film is highly inaccurate. When you get right down to it, I suspect the primary appeal of this movie is not the thrills, but Jacqueline Bisset’s costumes, especially the white t-shirt that she wears while skin diving in the opening scenes, which was probably just the movie’s way of getting as close to nudity as it could for a PG rated film.


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