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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
The film premiered underwater to a group of journalists and others wearing diving equipment. The premiere was prior to the national release date of Feb. 9, 1955, and was held in Silver Springs, Florida. See more »
When Theresa pushes Johnny off the boat at the end, the walls of the tank in which the boat floats is visible in the background. See more »
Underwater was allegedly set in Cuba, but actually photographed on the Kona Coast of Hawaii, was the last time that Jane Russell worked for Howard Hughes. The mysterious industrialist would shortly be getting rid of RKO Studios and RKO itself would shortly go Underwater after that.
The site of Jane Russell even in a conservative one piece bathing suit was enough to delight the male members of the audience with those twin weapons of mass destruction Jane sported. But if you got around to listening to Jane she drifted in and out of an atrocious Spanish accent. There was no reason to cast her as Hispanic so why she was will remain a mystery.
Like his aerial films Howard Hughes took some really good care with the lavish Underwater photography and it remains the best feature of Underwater, even though the stuff photographed on Kona was supplemented by scenes done in a large tank.
All that though just to tell a rather routine tale of four treasure hunters, Jane Russell, Richard Egan, Gilbert Roland, and Lori Nelson who hunt for and discover an ancient Spanish Galleon loaded with gold bars. But also on board is a solid gold larger than life size statue of Jesus also adorned in jewels that was lost at sea to the Roman Catholic Church. Along for the ride is Jesuit scholar Robert Keith.
The four and Keith also run afoul of shark hunters/smugglers/pirates led by Joseph Calleia. How the plot resolves itself frankly borders on the ridiculous.
But the Underwater photography and the Jane photography make Underwater worthwhile viewing.
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