7.6/10
160,028
434 user 106 critic

The Abyss (1989)

Trailer
2:47 | Trailer
A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director:

James Cameron

Writer:

James Cameron
Reviews
Popularity
2,280 ( 219)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Harris ... Bud Brigman
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Lindsey Brigman
Michael Biehn ... Lt. Coffey
Leo Burmester ... Catfish De Vries
Todd Graff ... Alan 'Hippy' Carnes
John Bedford Lloyd ... Jammer Willis
J.C. Quinn ... 'Sonny' Dawson
Kimberly Scott ... Lisa 'One Night' Standing
Captain Kidd Brewer Jr. ... Lew Finler (as Capt. Kidd Brewer Jr.)
George Robert Klek George Robert Klek ... Wilhite
Christopher Murphy ... Schoenick
Adam Nelson ... Ensign Monk
Dick Warlock ... Dwight Perry (as Richard Warlock)
Jimmie Ray Weeks ... Leland McBride
J. Kenneth Campbell ... DeMarco
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Storyline

Formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some issues to work out. They are drafted to assist a gung-ho Navy SEAL with a top-secret recovery operation: a nuclear sub has been ambushed and sunk, under mysterious circumstances, in some of the deepest waters on Earth. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A place on earth more awesome than anywhere in space. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some scenes of action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the first day of filming, the main water tank sprang a leak, requiring dam-repair experts to fix it. See more »

Goofs

Although, of course, all the equipment and terrain is fictional and only subject to fictional physics, it is intuitively extremely unlikely that something the size and weight of the fallen crane could pull something the size and weight of the rig along the sea bed, especially when the cable is draped over the edge of the cliff and the crane is presumably bumping along the rocky cliff wall. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
USS Montana Captain: Sixty knots? No way, Barnes. The Reds don't have anything that fast.
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Crazy Credits

In the cast list, Super Seal Rover is credited as Big Geek and Mini Rover Mk II is credited as Little Geek. These are the actual models used for the unmanned submarines. See more »

Alternate Versions

The airline version of "The Abyss" was supervised by Cameron himself and runs 118 minutes. Since you can't show a vehicle crashing in a movie shown on an airplane, all of the opening scenes of the submarine incident had to be removed and the title sequence changed (the airline version begins with shots of helicopters landing at the rig). The same version has been used for network TV showings. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stargate: Atlantis: Submersion (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Willing
Written by Lowell George
Performed by Linda Ronstadt
Courtesy of CEMA Special Markets and Capitol Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
"These guys are about as much fun as a tax audit."
29 April 2005 | by ryan_kuhnSee all my reviews

The Abyss was a movie of destiny. First off, this movie either began or was the result of a lifetime obsession James Cameron has the ocean (see later Titanic and his IMAX deep sea movies). The Abyss is also full of echos of claustrophobic thriller/adventure movie Alien, in which Cameron directed the sequel. So combining one of Cameron's old movies with his new obsession, we get The Abyss, a solid sci-fi thriller starring Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Ed Harris plays Bud, the head of an undersea oil rig where very little actually happens and the people on the rig are only there in case something goes wrong. Well, wouldn't you know it, but an American nuclear submarine patrolling the US coast near the oil rig suddenly sinks, killing the sailors on board. The Americans suspect it's the Soviets, but we know better. Something pink and glowing does something to the submarine causing it to sink. A team of Navy seals, ferried down to the rig by Bud's ex-wife Lindsey (Mastrantonio), boards the oil rig and uses it as a command base for their mission to recover the submarine. And that is when the fun begins. Of course a hurricane has to enter into the plot, in movies like this, there is always a hurricane, but beyond, The Abyss is a solid sci-fi thriller, where the oil rig becomes a character in the movie. Much like the Nostromo in Alien or The Discovery in 2001, the tight spaces adds flavor to the movie, bringing the setting in as another character of the movie. The special effects were groundbreaking at the time and hold up well today. The scene of a column of water snaking its way through the oil rig still creeps me out to this day.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Abyss See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,319,797, 13 August 1989

Gross USA:

$54,461,047

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$90,000,098
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical) | (special edition)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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