In the English Channel John Sands, from a small rescue ship, finds the freighter Mary Deare drifting. Although there's only a little fire, the whole crew seems to have left the ship. John's already looking forward to a large salvage fee, but then he finds first officer Gerald Patch still on board. Sands can't get back to his tug boat and stays with Patch while Patch grounds the Mary Deare. Although he doesn't understand yet what happened on the Mary Deare, Sands allows Patch to persuade him not to talk about what he saw on board and to drag out the official investigation of the incident. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Charlton Heston was impressed that Gary Cooper still performed his own stunts, including remaining submerged for long periods of time, despite his age and obvious ill health. See more »
Patch and Sands enter the sunken portion of the Mary Deare using SCUBA equipment and are followed by Higgins and crew members by observing their underwater lights. Close-ups show large amounts of bubbles from the SCUBA in the underwater shot but no bubbles seen by Higgins on the surface, which would have made their locations very obvious. See more »
I realize that great special effects shouldn't make or break a movie, and they don't here, but they ARE really terrific. The shipwreck scenes in the beginning of the film are not only great for 1958, they're great by today's standards too. I'd love to see a making of documentary. I'm so bored with the special effects "making of" docs of today. It's always that everything was first shot against a green screen, and then come the interviews with the SPX guys telling you what they did and how hard it was to do. "Yep, we just programmed the computer and went for coffee while it rendered the action". Yeah, really impressive. No computer here. This is the true essence of what used to be a CRAFT. Albeit scaled down, everything you see here on the screen actually existed in real life and not in cyberspace. I don't know if anyone will ever read this, or even care to compare, but watch the similar ship scenes in the newer version of King Kong and then compare them to what was done here almost 50 years sooner. IMHO, the scenes in the 2005 "King Kong" look more like a very realistic cartoon! Same thing with this years "Flyboys". The dogfights had a lot of great "camera" angles and thrilling sequences, but nowhere near as thrilling as done almost 80 years before for "Wings". And besides, that cartoon look clashes with the live action stuff. Yes, NOT using a computer WOULD have made things harder for the "Flyboys" and "Kong" crews, but if they're really any good they would have come up with better results! That's why the director of "The Fugitive" crashed a REAL train for the film rather than stoke up the computer chips. You really want real, you have to have real in there someplace! I really think that the film industry has it backwards. Huge budget films should spend all that money on the harder to do but more satisfying "hand crafted" SFX and leave the computer generated junk for the low budget flicks.
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