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Gray Lady Down (1978)

A Navy Captain uses his experimental Snark to reach a nuclear submarine stuck on an ocean ledge.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Capt. Paul Blanchard
...
...
Capt. Bennett
...
Mickey
...
Danny Murphy
...
Cmdr. David Samuelson
...
Fowler
...
Vickie Blanchard
Hilly Hicks ...
Page
...
Admiral Barnes
William Jordan ...
Waters
Jack Rader ...
Harkness
Antony Ponzini ...
Caruso
...
Harris
...
McAllister (as Charlie Robinson)
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Storyline

The USS Neptune, a nuclear submarine, is sunk off the coast of Connecticut after a collision with a Norwegian cargo ship. The navy must attempt a potentially dangerous rescue in the hope of saving the lives of the crew. Written by Robbie Smith <robsmith@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped underwater... with time running out.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

April 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sauvez le Neptune  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film debut of Christopher Reeve. See more »

Goofs

When resting on the bottom, the crew are seen on the mess decks watching a movie. In real life, the non-essential crew would have been sent to their bunks and the ship would have been placed on reduced electrical load in order to preserve precious battery power. There would not have been any movies or cooked meals. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Paul Blanchard: Fourteen hundred and fifty feet! They really built this baby!
Murphy: Thank God!
Capt. Paul Blanchard: God and General Dynamics!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memories of the Thresher
28 December 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Gray Lady Down is one of the better Seventies disaster films and it's also one of the better films that Charlton Heston did in the later part of his career starting in the Seventies. Heston like so many other of the stars of the studio era was finding fewer and fewer decent film properties to do. This was one of his better choices.

Heston plays the skipper of a nuclear powered submarine which goes down in a collision. Things get further complicated when the 'gray lady' is buried partially in an undersea mudslide, blocking the escape hatch.

The Naval Rescue service is on the job however, but this will prove a difficult task.

The film is divided evenly between Heston and his crew as Heston tries to keep morale up that the survivors will be rescued and on the surface rescue vessel where a conflict between two captains hampers the rescue effort. Stacy Keach is the captain of the rescue vessel and his conflict is with Keith Carradine also of captain's rank who's developed a special undersea two man vessel that can scoop the dirt off the gray lady.

Special mention should go to Ronny Cox who is Heston's number two and also not really getting along with him, but who steps up to the plate in a most heroic fashion.

In 1978 when Gray Lady Down came out there were still memories of the submarine U.S.S. Thresher which went down in 1963 with all hands lost in one of the U.S. Navy's worst disasters at sea. A lot of what you see in this film was developed because of that tragedy.

Gray Lady Down is a no nonsense sea rescue film with the impossible situations that characterized a lot of the films of this type kept out of the story. It's one of the best and yet most unsung of the disaster films of the decade. Should be seen more often. Charlton Heston and the rest of the cast do a fine job on this film.


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