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16 Fathoms Deep (1948)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 25 July 1948 (USA)
In post-WW2 Florida, a former Navy diver is hired by Greek-American sponge divers who are at the mercy of a crooked sponge-exchange owner.


Irving Allen


Max Trell (screenplay), Forrest Judd (adaptation) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Mr. Demitri (as Lon Chaney)
Arthur Lake ... Pete
Lloyd Bridges ... Ray Douglas
Eric Feldary ... Alex
Tanis Chandler ... Simi
John Qualen ... Capt. Athos
Ian MacDonald ... Nick
Dickie Moore ... George
Harry Cheshire ... Uncle Mike
John Bleifer John Bleifer ... Capt. Briakos


Examines the dangerous business of snaring sponges on the ocean's floor that are sold via an auction exchange. Dimitri, the crooked-head of a Florida sponge-exchange, tries to prevent a boatload of valuable sponges from reaching port in time for the cargo to be sold at auction. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Adventure | Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was the first feature photographed in the Ansco color process. See more »

Alternate Versions

Television prints of this film are in black and white. See more »


Version of Sixteen Fathoms Deep (1934) See more »

User Reviews

Too Much Narration, Not Enough Drama
20 July 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

16 Fathoms Deep (1948)

** (out of 4)

Lloyd Bridges play a man who gets out of the Navy and heads to Florida to get a job on a sponge boat but he's turned down by the biggest owner (Lon Chaney, Jr.) in the business. he eventually gets a job on-board a new captain's (Arthur Lake) boat and soon they head out to sea to try to do some good fishing so that they can keep the boat. 16 FATHOMS DEEP is a remake of a 1934 film and it's clear that director Irving Allen didn't have much money because there's very little going on here. The biggest problem is that the entire film is rather flat because there's never any real adventure or drama because the majority of the film is nothing but narration. I'm not sure what Bridges was paid but I'd say he would have gotten much more for a narration credit than his actual acting credit. He really isn't given too much to do in regards to acting but he does narrate throughout the entire film and this really just adds a cheapness to the entire picture. Instead of the filmmakers trying to build up tension by telling a story, instead we just get to see cheap scenes played out while the narrator tries to give the emotion and feeling of a scene. This might work when you're reading a book out loud but there's no getting around the fact that this is a movie and the visuals are quite important and director Irving simply didn't add anything to make this feel like a real movie. If he was going to take this approach of explaining everything then perhaps he should have just made a documentary on the subject because it probably would have been better. Again, performance wise Bridges really isn't given anything to do so you can't judge him on this. His narration is pretty good through. Lake is good as the new captain but he too isn't really given enough. Chaney, Jr., who appeared in the earlier film, steals the film as the bad guy but sadly he isn't on screen enough to make a major impact. 16 FATHOMS DEEP features some nice underwater stuff but there's simply not enough going on here to make it worth viewing by anyone other than film buffs.

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Release Date:

25 July 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

16 Stânjeni adâncime See more »

Filming Locations:

Rainbow Springs, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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