Columbia/1977/126m/ANA 2.35, PS 1.33
| The Deep is a pure delight, from the
evanescent transfer to the thoroughly engaging romp beneath the sea. The film of the Peter
Benchley novel has a lot going for it. The Bermuda locale is as picturesque as they come,
and the stars are thoroughly enjoyable to watch. So what if there are plot holes as large
as the Caribbean. After all, this is the film that shows why a clothed body can be more
exciting than a naked one, albeit, it may take a wet tee shirt.
So there are these beautiful people diving in lush blue water, gracefully prodding the depths to find some exciting artifact of the oceans rage. David Sanders and Gail Berke are vacationing in Bermuda to explore their own relationship rather than the tropical waters, but when they find some interesting items in the wreck of a munitions ship, their focus shifts. Before they find local treasure hunting legend Romer Treece, they have an encounter with Henri Cloche, Bermudas drug king. Cloche tries to sweet-talk them out of a bottle they found on their dive, but Sanders is closed-mouthed. But Cloche is not a man to let a simple "no" stand in his way. The action underwater is complimented by a nifty fight up an elevator tower, so voodoo play, and a good explosion or two.
The Deep is a movie ice cream sundae.
The stars are the main ingredients. The mesh effortlessly. Jacqueline Bisset has never
looked better on screen. The wet sequences are a great opportunity to show off the
actresss natural attributes. Along with the young Nick Nolte, this is one beautiful
pair of people. Noltes intensity and enthusiasm is the chocolate syrup over the lush
scoops of Bisset ice cream. Robert Shaw provides the whipped cream and nuts on this
confection. Shaws sly style borrows heavily from his performance as Quint in Jaws.
Perhaps the similarities stem from the Benchley being the author of both books. Dont
get me wrong, Shaws Treece is not up to the standard of Quint, but its a solid
role. Louis Gossett, Jr. is menacing enough to provide indigestion as Henri Cloche.