For some reason I’ve always had a vague curiosity to watch The Deep (1977), but never bothered to until recently. The film centers on a young couple on vacation in Bermuda who become wrapped up in the dangerous world of treasure hunters when they discover some valuable properties in a wrecked ship. The cast includes Nick Nolte (sporting a nice 70’s mustache), Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Shaw, Louis Gossett Jr., and Eli Wallach.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of The Deep was that the film was clearly an attempt to capitalize on the success of Jaws two years previous. The film contains several overlapping elements with the classic blockbuster, the main one being author Peter Benchley who wrote the novels and screenplays both films were based upon. In addition to Benchley, actor Robert Shaw appears in both films playing hardened professionals. And last, but not least, both stories take place on islands and involve plenty of time on (or in) the water.
The premise certainly contains enough potential for a fun time, but ultimately I left the film feeling that it was average. There’s nothing overtly terrible about the film; the story just doesn’t reach its full potential. That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have some good points. The cast does an adequate job of selling us on their characters and situations. Shaw stands out the most, not that he’s doing anything that we haven’t seen him do before. And technically speaking, the film looks great. The extended underwater sequences illustrate both the beauty and danger of sea life.
Overall, the film was an alright way to spend a Saturday morning in bed. That counts for something, right?