The Deep (1977)

the deep poster 1977 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nice cast, some decent visuals

Plodding story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Deep

Studio:  Casablanca Filmworks

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  June 17, 1977

MPAA Rating:  PG

deep jacqueline bisset scuba diving shirt morphine

Got to love ’70s PG…

Vacationing in Bermuda, David Sanders (Nick Nolte) and Gail Berke (Jacqueline Bisset) discover a vial of morphine and a strange artifact.  The morphine belongs to a sunken World War II medical vessel and is coveted by local Henri “Cloche” Bondurant (Louis Gossett Jr.) while the other artifact can’t be explained.  Teamed with Romer Treece (Robert Shaw), the trio set to uncover the mystery of the dangerous sunken ship…but Bondurant is closing in on them and the game of cat-and-mouse might become deadly.

Directed by Peter Yates, The Deep is an action-adventure film.  The movie adapts the 1976 novel by Peter Benchley (who also worked on the adaptation) and was met with mixed reviews but a strong box office.  The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound.

deep voodoo jacqueline bisset

Who do the voodoo that you do?

I can remember growing up and thinking The Deep was a horror movie since it was from the author of Jaws.  When I finally saw it I still carried these “horror” vibes into the movie and kind of see it as a horror thriller in many ways.  The suspense and thrills of The Deep are a bit bland for most of the movie, but the film does have it moments.

The script is part of the strength of the movie and its weakness.  Much of the movie there is a slight mystery occurring in that you don’t know why there is treasure mixed in with the morphine…but the movie is very slow paced and drawn out, and you stop caring after a while.

The cast for the film is great.  Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset are the couple caught up in the intrigue and seem pretty genuine (they were having a relationship by the end of shooting).  Louis Gossett Jr. is a good drug tsar Henri Cloche, and Eli Wallach always eats his scenes up even in smaller roles like this one.  Robert Shaw returned to Peter Benchley’s work after his success in Jaws and shows his versatility by playing such a different character.

the deep moray eel attack

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…that a Moray!

The movie looks rather strong and some of the underwater diving scenes are rather skillfully shot.  The mechanical giant moray eel is more believable than the shark, but the movie is largely remembered for its opening scene with Jacqueline Bissett in her revealing white shirt while scuba diving (and is often credited for launching her career despite having starred in other pictures).

The Deep isn’t a bad movie, but it lacks the urgency I wish it had.  The trick with scuba diving is that it take a long time, patience, and safety…something that doesn’t always make for a good movie.  While The Deep has some realism in this, I wish that it was laced with better action scenes.  A TV cut which has never been released on DVD included an extra fifty-three minutes of footage…I think I’ll pass on that since the movie seems long enough.

Related Links:

The 50th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response