A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.
In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, British warship H.M.S. Amethyst sails up the Yangtse river but on the return trip finds its way blocked by a barrage fire from the Communist Chinese shore batteries.
Mike and Tony Petrakis are a Greek father and son team who dive for sponges off the coast of Florida. After they are robbed by crooks, Arnold and the Rhys brothers, Mike decides to take his men to the dangerous 12-mile reef to dive for more sponges. Mike suffers a fatal accident when he falls from the reef leaving Tony to carry on the business. But now he has a companion, Gwyneth Rhys.Written by
For many years it was widely believed that the failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright had resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market were either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) 16mm pan/scan television copies of the film purchased on the underground market. The legal status of the film was eventually resolved by 20th Century-Fox, and the movie was rescued from public domain so that a quality DVD could be released through Fox Cinema Archives. Fans are now able to enjoy the movie with stereo sound and a quality picture--complete with the "lost" scene in which Gilbert Roland stuffs a cigar into Peter Graves' mouth after beating him in a fistfight. See more »
[to Gwyneth Rhys]
Hey, you want to know what my real name is? Adonis. My mother named me after a Greek god. I'm a beautiful young man.
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BENEATH THE 12-MILE REEF (Robert D. Webb, 1953) **1/2
To begin with, I recall watching this as a Sunday matinée on Italian TV as a kid. Though one of the very first Cinemascope outings, its copyright was somehow not renewed by Fox when it was due and, consequently, it fell into the dreaded Public Domain; that said, the copy I acquired as part of a 2-disc 4-movie "Pirates"(!) set was surprisingly in Widescreen, even if the image itself proved overly soft.
Unfortunately, the narrative's unusual background of sponge-fishing (treated in some detail but emerging to be more dreary than absorbing, despite nice Oscar-nominated underwater photography) is put in the service of a clichéd Romeo & Juliet storyline. In fact, while I usually lap up such vintage Hollywood adventure films, this one was constantly undermined by a cornball script (amazingly penned by noir expert A.I. Bezzerides!) in which Robert Wagner, decked-out with an unbecoming hairdo, is seen immaturely flaunting his Adonis features every so often (the virile nature of such earthy people is always at the fore in this type of film!) while it takes some serious suspension of disbelief to accept a man of such obvious Latin tinge as Gilbert Roland in the part of a Greek!
Slightly overlong for its purpose, the film is nonetheless redeemed by a strong cast (which also includes petite Terry Moore as Wagner's love interest, Richard Boone her father, Peter Graves the man she jilted, and J. Carroll Naish as Roland's brother/associate a role not too far removed from his CLASH BY NIGHT  characterization), an excellent score by the great Bernard Herrmann (which seems kind of wasted on such trivial fare, though it didn't prevent the film from being presented at Cannes where that year's jury numbered Luis Bunuel among its members and Jean Cocteau as president!!) and the requisite underwater struggle with a squid (also featured during this era in the likes of REAP THE WILD WIND  and TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA ).
For the record, I followed this oater with two other more satisfying titles from director Webb WHITE FEATHER  and THE PROUD ONES  both Westerns I had acquired some time back through an acquaintance of my father's but which I hadn't yet gotten around to checking out until now
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