The Underwater City (1962) Poster

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Pleasant, Inoffensive Sci-Fi
twanurit17 April 2001
This was one of the last science-fiction adventure relics from the 1950s to early 1960s before the JFK assassination changed the mood of this genre to something less innocent and more grim. Lovely Julie Adams portrays a psychologist who tests engineer William Lundigan to ascertain that he can lead a construction effort to build the world's first underwater metropolis. After completion, the couple plus several others, move down to the city, until it is discovered that it was built on a fault line, creating climactic chaos. An interesting idea, shot in color, is hampered by the fact that it was filmed entirely indoors, on sound stages. The underwater scenes were created by filming through double-paned, water-filled aquarium glasses. Also a laundry alert: Adams wears the same orange outfit 3 times! Karen Norris gives a good performance as a nutritionist, spouting several intriguing ideas of why one should live underwater, while the others (although Lundigan is sausage-stuffed into his diving gear) are competent.
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Modestly entertaining!
JohnHowardReid14 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Producer: Alex Gordon. A Neptune Production. Released through Columbia Pictures Corp.

Copyright 1 February 1962 by Columbia Pictures Corp. New York opening at neighborhood theatres as a support to The Interns: 8 August 1962. U.K. release: 15 July 1962. 7,000 feet.

SYNOPSIS: Tells of he construction and demise of an experimental underwater city.

COMMENT: Although released in black-and-white in the U.S.A., this film was shown in color in England and Australia. True, the miniature special effects probably look more convincing in monochrome, but this is otherwise a movie that desperately needs color. The script is silly, the dialogue verbose, the plot wildly implausible, the direction flatly pedestrian.

On the other hand, the players manage to spark up a bit of interest, and the destructive climax is mildly diverting.

Even such tested economy devices as a solemnly delivered off-camera commentary over sluggish takes and stock footage add to the fun. It's also good to see veteran players like Reid and Roberts wrestling so earnestly with all the usual pseudo-scientific/humanitarian verbiage that the script hands them. And although the color is over-garish, the girls are attractively costumed.

In short, despite its many shortcomings, the movie has a modest appeal.
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