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The Deep (1977)

In Bermuda, two amateur treasure-hunting divers have a run-in with local criminals when they inadvertently discover the secret cargo of a World War II shipwreck.

Director:

Peter Yates

Writers:

Peter Benchley (novel), Peter Benchley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jacqueline Bisset ... Gail Berke
Nick Nolte ... David Sanders
Dick Anthony Williams ... Slake
Robert Shaw ... Romer Treece
Earl Maynard Earl Maynard ... Ronald
Bob Minor ... Wiley
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Henri Cloche (as Louis Gossett)
Eli Wallach ... Adam Coffin
Teddy Tucker Teddy Tucker ... The Harbor Master
Robert Tessier ... Kevin
Lee McClain Lee McClain ... Johnson
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Storyline

A pair of young vacationers are involved in a dangerous conflict with treasure hunters when they discover a way into a deadly wreck in Bermuda waters. Featuring extended underwater sequences and a look into the affairs of treasure hunting. Based on the novel by Peter "Jaws" Benchley.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Is anything worth the terror of The Deep? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 June 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Deep See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,835,540, 19 June 1977

Gross USA:

$47,346,365

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,346,365
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition) (TV)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo | Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nick Nolte and Louis Gossett Jr. appeared in Blue Chips (1994) (1994). See more »

Goofs

Severing a deep sea diver's airline whilst he is on the sea bed does not automatically flood the entire suit with sea water - a valve in the helmet prevents that and had long been invented by the 1970's. See more »

Quotes

Romer Treece: Is this one your legendary ampoules?
Adam Coffin: This is the real thing, alright. The old girl's finally lost her virginity.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Bermuda See more »

Alternate Versions

The version aired in the original ABC network telecast contained 53 minutes of extra footage that were not shown in the theatrical production. This version was broadcast over two nights in early 1980. The additional material includes:
  • When the film starts, it begins with a two and a half minutes prologue of the munition ship going down in the storm, whilst a young Adam Coffin is on board. There is also a title card, claiming the film has been "edited for television." In the morning after, a young Romer Treece finds Coffin barely alive, covered by a piece of debris.
  • The opening scene includes an extra shot of Gail being pulled by an unseen eel.
  • In addition to the extra shot, this version omits many of the "money shots" of Jacqueline Bisset's t-shirt.
  • There is added ADR of David asking Gail if she's really alright, once the two are back on the boat.
  • In the same scene, the shot wherein the two examine the medallion is from a new angle.
  • When the two get back to the island, Gail goes and takes a quick rinse of the salt water, though her line referencing it, heard in the theatrical cut, is deleted. This scene goes on to show more footage of David and Slake discussing the events of the morning. The scene ends with David and Gail going to the elevator.
  • A new scene after David and Gail are in the library, where the two go to see the librarian (spoken of in the theatrical version), where the librarian reveals that Treece has been on every Bermuda wreck, that Treece is a very secretive person, and warns the two that people on St. David's Island are not very friendly.
  • Longer scene of David and Gail's journey to St. David's Island. This includes padded footage of the two on motor-scooters, and David asking Gail if they have the right directions.
  • When David and Gail arrive at Treece's lighthouse, they search the area, find artifacts from the sea, and ponder whether Treece is even at home, only to be startled by Kevin, threatening the two with a rifle before letting them see Treece.
  • After the first visit with Treece, there is an extra shot of him in his library.
  • The Haitian motor chase is much longer, providing a more gritty feel, before the kidnapping. This scene includes different angles, and close ups of David and Gail's feet as they helplessly pedal.
  • An extra shot of the Haitian car taking David and Gail to Cloche's hideout.
  • The scene where Cloche searches David and Gail has been highly edited, save for a few new moments at the end when Cloche forces David and Gail back into their blindfolds, and warns them not to go to the authorities, telling them instead to forget the whole thing ever happened.
  • Extra establishing shots of the scene that introduces Coffin.
  • In the scene on the water, when Treece and David argue the morphine, the end has included a shot of Gail storming out of the cabin.
  • The argument between David and Gail in their cabin is longer; They are writing postcards, and start to discuss how stupid 'games' on T.V. are. This leads to the argument that we start the scene with in the theatrical cut.
  • Whilst diving at night, David and Treece discuss Adam, and why he's not to be trusted, including his 'story' and history, and why Treece doesn't let Adam dive with them. Later, the scene extends even more, showing us Treece's knowledge of the sea, and we learn a little bit about his own history.
  • A small scene has been added with Gail at the hotel restaurant, alone, whilst David and Treece are diving.
  • A plethora of extra footage of David and Treece diving has been added, including underwater scenes, and scenes inside the shipwreck.
  • After Treece and David get done diving, Cloche's men, in a speedboat, taunt the two, by circling them. The line heard in the ship "The biggest moray eel I ever saw" is heard in full form here as well.
  • Extra footage has been added with the struggle of David and Treece against Cloche's men; David's elevator fight is longer, and a small segment where Treece attacks a man with a sprinkler and hose is added.
  • Later that night, at Treece's lighthouse, we see David put Gail to bed, but she gets up. This scene also features a longer conversation between David and Treece, where David apologizes to Treece for blaming him in an earlier scene, and admits his own selfishness. The conversation between Treece and Gail has equally been extended, with Gail asking Treece about his wife, Treece becoming gruff on the subject, and Gail apologizing.
  • The next scene with David and Gail in the bedroom has been dramatically extended, with Gail and David having a full conversation about their trip, Gail confessing that she likes Treece, and finally, the two admitting their love for each other, and the scene ends with a new, longer take of the two kissing.
  • The next scene at the sporting even features a longer conversation between Treece and Cloche; it's revealed that Cloche's men killed Treece's wife over a mis-communicated ship sinking.
  • Before the three go down to hunt the treasure, there is extra conversation of David asking Gail if she's okay, Gail explaining why she wants to wear a tank, and Treece laughing with her.
  • More underwater footage has been added to the next scene.
  • In the theatrical cut, Gail sends the ampules up alone. This time, she takes them up herself, and whilst she's letting Kevin refill her oxygen tank, there is a small conversation about Treece; he was always like a 'King' of St. David's Island, always having an eye on things (this explains an earlier line: 'I'm all the government you need, boy!) and rumors of Treece being linked as a partner to Cloche.
  • When Treece is planting the ampules in the lighthouse, extra dialogue of David asking Treece about his past his added.
  • The second conversation between Cloche and Coffin is much longer, with Cloche tricking Coffin into trusting him and telling him about Treece's secrecy.
  • Extended dinner scene between Gail, David, and Treece, where new information of the treasure is revealed.
  • When Coffin arrives at St. David's, there is an extended greeting; Treece tells Coffin he has rum waiting for him, and David suggests a whole other 3 lock box that may exist. Later, in the scene, an extra conversation revealing how exhausted David and Gail are, takes place.
  • Upon leaving to blow up the Goliath, David and Treece exchange heated words, and Treece's character development comes full circle, revealing he was never in cahoots with Cloche.
  • Before the final dive, Treece teaches Gail how to use Kevin's rifle, for protection. Then, Gail takes care of the diving equipment.
See more »


Soundtracks

Calypso Disco
Written by Beckett (uncredited)
Sung by Beckett
Courtesy Casablanca Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It's More Than the Title...
5 January 2006 | by TruPretenderSee all my reviews

Films like 'The Deep' are few, sporadic, and are usually not accepted by many audience members, but are usually the films that end up meaning the most in the end. I found that this film had a charm that I could not put my finger on, upon viewing it for the first time. The book, written by well known Peter Benchley (of 'Jaws' fame) was released on the heels of 'Jaws' success, so the film was released a year later, in '77, and was easily brandished as being a 'money film' but I assure you it is much more.

Loosely taken from the book, the film captures the essence of the title. When David Sanders(well played by newcomer Nick Nolte) is on Holiday with his lover(the ALWAYS beautiful and aesthetic Jacqueline Bisset, of whom the film rests well on) Gail Berke, the two uncover items while diving: a small bottle of some sort, sufficient with morphine, and an unrecognizable piece of jewelry, worn by sea and time. Naive to Bermuda, the two continue their holiday, with many people after what is in the bottle, and just who wants it, who should get it, and what ELSE is down in the deep. Genuinely frightening, and appropriately paced, this film not only relies on the situation to keep interest, but psychological undertones to further tell the story.

One of the biggest things this film has going is the underwater photography, shot with beautiful landscapes of coral, fish, and dedication to what the actors explorations achieve. Filmed in Panavision widescreen, this film delivers the whole underwater experience, as each scene is carefully timed and arranged photographically. The fact that filming was done creatively without CGI is all the more fascinating, and you feel like you are actually there, underwater, experiencing. This is buttressed by John Barry's positively breathtaking score. Each note whispers a feeling under and above water, springing in the air, and whooshing through the water, like an animal. The theme is gorgeous and reflects not only the characters attitudes, but the theme of the sea and the deep itself. It is at times violent, and at other times soft and peaceful. The writing can be said something for as well, as the scenes are like a ballet, with carefully choreographed actions, and dialog through the special masks they wear, that a whole scene could take place under water, and does. Benchley adapted from his book, and the story works well.

The acting of the film could not be better. Nick Nolte is very believable as the rambunctious and adventurous David Sanders, and he is played with such prowess and eagerness, something that could be found in all of us, toward the ocean. We really learn to feel why David feels so much about the ocean, more so in the extended television version. Jacqueline Bisset is hauntingly gorgeous as Gail Berke, the conscience and voice of reason of the film. Gail is torn by morality midway through the film, something else we all can relate to. And as the danger caresses, so to does Gail toward what she believes in, and her love for David. Romber Treece is played out with spunk and passion by the late great Robert Shaw, fresh off the celluloid of Jaws, and makes the role his own. Treece, being an islander, knows the bad, and goods of the material they have found under sea, and acts more or less as a guide to keep the two out of danger, while achieving his own satisfaction to the sense of desire he has to the call of the sea. The supporting cast is really great as well. Louis Gosset is daring and intimidating as the main villain Henri Bondourant, one who kills at will, and who provides the three main characters with plenty of conflict, and Eli Wallach is sleazy and perfect as the only survivor of a wreck, that later became the site of the treasure and drugs. The main three do their best to help with the psychological undertones of the film, part of the real charm.

'The Deep' is more than just a deep sea adventure, but a psychological study of three human beings: One, an adventurous, intrepid young man, fascinated by what is dangerous and unknown to him; The other, his lover, a woman of strong passion, strength, and beauty on the inside and out, who is drawn to those she cannot access or comprehend; The third, a man who has been to hell and back, who still feels obliged to his place of comfort, the ocean. The chemistry between these characters, is what builds the undertone. Gail, is fascinated by Treece, because he has been through so much, and feels drawn to his reclusiveness and relevance. David is drawn to danger, and cannot be denied his goal, needs the pleasure of experience, and Treece, fascinated by both their innocent drives, can only help them thusly. The actually deep, a character itself, is the combination of their lively psyches coming together. When they are deep inside, they face danger in the form deadly animals, explosions rigged in the wreck, and most appropriately, themselves. They are forced to look inside themselves, further explored in the book and television version, and the resolution to the film is felicitous.

So when you look at it, 'The Deep' is a clever look into the deep of our minds, as well as our dreams, our fantasies, and our weaknesses as humans. If there is any way to uncover any of it, this film more or less shows the way, and all the more with the entertainment it delivers, gives us a true experience of what any 'Deep' is like.


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