6.2/10
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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.

Director:

David Greene

Writers:

David Lavallee (novel), James Whittaker (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Capt. Paul Blanchard
David Carradine ... Capt. Gates
Stacy Keach ... Capt. Bennett
Ned Beatty ... Mickey
Stephen McHattie ... Danny Murphy
Ronny Cox ... Cmdr. David Samuelson
Dorian Harewood ... Fowler
Rosemary Forsyth ... Vickie Blanchard
Hilly Hicks ... Page
Charles Cioffi ... Admiral Barnes
William Jordan William Jordan ... Waters
Jack Rader ... Harkness
Antony Ponzini ... Caruso
Michael O'Keefe ... Harris
Charles Robinson ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Norwegian

Release Date:

April 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

S.O.S. submarino nuclear See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the submarines shown submerged at sea are models. They were shot "dry" in the studio. Smoke was used to supply the effect of sea water. See more »

Goofs

The SNARK cleans sand and rock debris from around the sunken sub's escape hatch, but when the rescue vessel arrives later, the submarine is completely clean; all the debris is gone. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Gates: [referring to those aboard the downed submarine] I hope they understood it.
Mickey: If I did - they did!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Catch and Release (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memories of the Thresher
28 December 2007 | by bkoganbingSee 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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