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Friday, 6 July 2012

The Deep (1977) - Spotlight on... Trailblazers


'The Deep' is a 1977 horror thriller directed by Peter Yates, and starring Jacqueline Bisset, Nick Nolte, Robert Shaw, Eli Wallach and Louis Gossett Jr.

It is based on the novel by Peter Benchley, who also wrote 'Jaws', but in my opinion 'The Deep' is a scarier film than 'Jaws'.

Watch the trailer:








Jacqueline Bisset scuba diving in a see through
 top stirred up a storm of controversy when
the film was released 

The plot

David Sanders and Gail Berke (played by Nolte and Bisset) go scuba diving while vacationing on the Bermuda Coast, and retrieve a number of shipwrecked artefacts including a medallion and an ampule of   morphine.  To find out about the origin of their treasure they seek the expertise of lighthouse keeper and treasure hunter Romer Treece (played by Shaw).  Meanwhile, local drug dealer Henri Cloche (played by Louis Gossett Jr.) finds about the ampule, and begins to terrorise the couple.






Controversy over a see through shirt
A photo from the horrific rape scene
The film's opening scene featuring Jacqueline Bisset scuba diving underwater wearing only a thin white t-shirt and bikini bottom caused a storm of controversy at the time of the film's release, particularly as the was see through and you could see Bisset's bare breasts through the material.  The hype generated additional publicity for the film, making the film a hit. The film's producer Peter Guber once said "That t--shirt made me a rich man".

The film was also controversial for its gratuitous violence towards the innocent couple, including a horrific rape scene where Bisset is attacked by a Hatian who rubs blood all over her body. 


Watch the controversial opening scene:

7" vinyl... Donna Summer - "Down, Deep Inside" 


Soundtrack

The film's score was composed by John Barry. 1970s disco diva Donna Summer also recorded a song for the film soundtrack "Down Deep Inside (Theme from 'The Deep'), which can be heard playing during the film's closing credits. 

The song was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and was a US Dance Chart hit.



Chart success
  • #3 on US Hot Dance Club Play chart
  • #5 on UK Singles chart
  • #5 on Netherlands GfK chart
  • #6 on Dutch Top 40 chart

Award nominations

  • Academy Award nomination for Best Sound
  • Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song ("Down, Deep Inside" - Donna Summer)


Closing remarks
'The Deep' is an enjoyable film to watch, with the spectacular photography of the scuba diving scenes making the viewer feel they too are underwater. The highlight for me is the chilling and suspenseful shark attack scene, which having seen the film a few times still leaves me on the edge of my seat.

There is also a three hour extended version of 'The Deep', which I have not yet seen, however it would be interesting to experience this version to understand what value (if any) the additional hour of footage brings to the film.

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