34 user 11 critic

Gray Lady Down (1978)

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


David Greene


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




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)


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


A collision at sea. 41 men trapped in a Nuclear Submarine on an ocean ledge 1,450 feet beneath the sea. The most exciting rescue adventure ever filmed. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The submarine used in a few "breaching" scenes is USS Trout 566. This vessel was one of the last diesel submarines. It was to be given to Iran, but the US refused to turn it over due to the Iranian hostage crisis. The scenes were filmed when the boat was active, with active naval personnel. The boat was decommissioned and scrapped, unlike its predecessor and namesake USS Trout 202 which is still on eternal patrol. See more »


The concept of using a shaped charge underwater is somewhat of a fallacy. In normal circumstances the nature of the surrounding air would allow for a great deal of compression which allows the charge to work. Even so, the explosion still has some degree of impact in all directions. Water, however, does not compress, which greatly reduces the directionality. The impact would still be enough to rupture the hull. See more »


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


Referenced in Archer: Drastic Voyage: Part 1 (2015) See more »

User Reviews

Great cast, solid entertainment
25 May 2019 | by bryan-930-337366See all my reviews

One of the better disaster films of the 70s with fine performances by Charlton Heston and David Carradine, lending strong support are Stacy Keach, Stephen McHattie, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, and a cast of recognizable faces including Christopher Reeve in his film debut pre-Superman. Solid thrills and tension throughout with a tight script and believable story based on a real incident (supposedly). Solidly entertaining and holds up well. One of the best submarine films out there. Highly recommended.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Norwegian

Release Date:

April 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gray Lady Down See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed