An entire generation before Into the Blue came The Deep, a film that could almost be the curmudgeonly grandparent of that film, starring two people old enough to be Jessica Alba and Paul Walker’s parents.
It’s also essentially the same film. Or should I say Into the Blue is the same as The Deep? Yes, that’s the right way.
David (Nick Nolte) and Gail (Jacqueline Bissett) are a young couple vacationing in Bermuda, diving the known wrecks in the area. When they discover a long since ‘misplaced’ wreck, they find a couple of artifacts that may or may not be valuable. They take this evidence to the ornery and unsociable Treece (Robert Shaw) an expert on local wrecks and folklore, and a man who eventually informs the couple that they may indeed be on to something.
But there are more interested onlookers than just surly Treece, and the treasures found on the wreck aren’t all of the stereotypical ‘buried treasure’ variety. Some attract the attention of nefarious ne-er-do-wells who covet the small liquid treasures for other motives.
Many new strangers seem eager to… introduce themselves to David and Gail. Many are… envious of their find. Some grow… disgruntled when told the items aren’t available for sale. After some… blunt requests for co-operation and… physical warnings to leave the area, David, Gail and Treece agree to take one more look at the wreck, here they find… entities both human and… other, all of whom… resent their presence on the submerged vessel.
The Deep is kind of slow and full of long dialogue free underwater sequences, some of which last in excess of six or seven minutes. But it’s also quite good and compelling regardless, which is odd given how very slow so many of these 70s efforts seem today.
It is written by the author of Jaws and set in the same base environment, but this is no Big Shark movie. It is a deliberate and mostly rewarding mystery drama with competent acting, a compelling plot that proves deeper than many one note films from the era, and – yes – Jacqueline Bissett’s steadfast unwillingness to wear a bra, even when diving in a tight white t-shirt. (Yay 70s Jacqueline Bissett.)
Final Rating – 7 / 10. It might prove a little slow and it might not float your boat, but The Deep is one sunken relic worth diving for.