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Josef von Sternberg,
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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 »
When the boat is blessed, there are people and vessels in the background as seen from a high angle shot. These vessels disappear in the low-angle shot, even though they had masts, etc which should be visible. See more »
This was the first film seen in theaters as a widescreen presentation in Finland in the fifties. So much for the film history, because the video version I saw was in 1.33:1 format leaving a lot of the visual underwater spectaculars out of the picture. Not that it might have helped much the otherwise lackluster presentation. The underwater photography of scavenging a sunken treasure does look great and very well done for its time. But above the surface there are the all too static scenes made in a studio with painted skies and wind machines. The dialog and acting are stiff and more like posing instead of running smoothly along the story. Not that the plot is much of a help either. A bit more care for the script would have been needed for a working balance next to the well executed underwater scenes and such ambitious plans for marketing tricks like underwater screenings with aqualungs for the press. The whole story is very slow moving and largely without excitement until the final fifteen minutes. Only then is the movie finally able to fill some of the expectations that have been promised all along with claustrophobic mood, shark danger and Jane Russell stuck in a favorable position in open red swimming suit. John Sturges was usually a very capable director, but this time his skills have probably been too tied under the command of the producer Howard Hughes. I'm sure they didn't really mean the whole movie to sink like that.
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