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Dominic Quesada and Johnny Gray, two SCUBA divers searching for sunken treasure off the coast of Cuba, think they've hit the jackpot when they find a 17th century ship on the sea floor. They need working capital however and Johnny is ready to hock his boat but his wife Theresa thinks they're off on another wild scheme that will leave them all poorer than when they started. She comes around however and are soon joined by Gloria, whose boat they will use and Father Cannon, a university professor and archaeologist. Although Dominic hasn't been completely honest with his partners, they may in fact be in the area of a major treasure ship. When they do find it, the ship is teetering on the edge of a 300 foot cliff and dangerous for even the most experienced divers. Written by
This was RKO's first production in SuperScope. See more »
At the beginning of the film, Richard Egan's voiceover twice specifies that the gas in his SCUBA tanks is "oxygen". SCUBA tanks contain compressed air, which is mostly nitrogen and less than 20% oxygen. If they contained pure oxygen. the diver would go into convulsions within 20 minutes at the surface and in far less time at deeper depths. See more »
Howard Hughes was a producer that had a lot of talent for discovering beautiful women that went on to have better careers with other vehicles than the ones he decided to create for them. That seems to be the case of this John Sturges' 1955 film "Underwater!" in which the curvaceous Jane Russell starred for the last time for Howard Hughes.
The film is a curious one. We are introduced to Johnny and Dominic, two underwater divers who are searching for those sunken ships in the Caribbean, especially this one, not too far from Cuba. As they stumble into the old Spanish galleon, they find a man that appears to be a sort of pirate awaiting for them because it's obvious they are after those treasures.
As Johnny and Dominic go back to Cuba, we are introduced to Theresa, Johnny's wife, who is dead set against spending money chasing his dreams. But when Dominic meets Gloria, by chance, she tells him about the yacht she has been left with by a departing old flame. So the four friends, and a priest who knows about those sunk ships, go in search of the riches trapped underwater.
The film doesn't bring anything new to this film genre. In fact, it's pretty tame stuff we see in a predictable story we know how it will end. The best reward for the viewers of "Underwater" is the beautiful Jane Russell at her best. She was one of the sultriest women working in films during those days. The problem is the male stars who give by the numbers performances. Joseph Calleia is the only one that shows any spunk as the man who wants the riches from under the sea.
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