A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and faces danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director:

James Cameron

Writer:

James Cameron
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821 ( 267)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

Deep below the blue surface, there lies a place no one has ever dreamed of..... 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

This was James Camerons first experience with filming in the Super 35 format. He would later use this format for Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994), and Titanic (1997). See more »

Goofs

When Bud is sneaking out of the moon pool, Coffey is seen slowly lowering Big Geek, which is chained to the lowering apparatus and not attached to Flatbed. But after Cat enters the fight Coffey jumps into Flatbed and takes off, but he had not attached the war head to Flatbed, nor disconnected it from the lowering apparatus. 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

There are no opening credits, save for the title, which emerges from darkness. The camera then follows down the "Y" of the title, and dissolves into the underwater blue of the ocean. See more »

Alternate Versions

The R2 Special Edition DVD contains all extended/altered scenes mentioned before, and includes the following extra scenes:
  • Before Bendix asks Hippy over the radio to get Bud, he mentions to the guy next to him that Lindsey will probably freak out if Bud agrees to hand over the rig and crew to the Navy.
  • One Night and Sonny are fooling around with Cab One's grappling arm before being called back to the moon pool by Bud.
  • In the briefing scene, Hippy's reluctance to go near the submarine because of the radiation is extended. Coffey comments they will not be in danger because of continuous radiation monitoring. Hippy finally agrees to go when he hears someone else will be appointed to operate his ROV then. The scene returns to normal with Coffey's sudden outburst.
  • There is a short close-up shot of Lindsey's face after Coffey gives Hippy a reprimand.
  • The scene where the Deepcore crew is transported to the USS Montana is extended. After passing the Montana's propulsion system, Monk's team is seen opening up an outer hatch, and Hippy sends his ROV through it and confirms that radiation levels are below tolerance levels. After Coffey's explanation of the nuclear warhead's power, Lindsey responds that "it's World War 3 in a can". Coffey's team then proceeds to the ruptured front of the Montana.
  • The Montana search has been extended, with Coffey's team passing through several more compartments before arriving in the command center. Coffey removes the nuclear arming key from the dead captain. After splitting up into two teams, Bud and Jammer pass through the torpedo room before Jammer panics and stays behind.
  • Immediately after the flooding of Deepcore has started, crewman Perry is seen being overwhelmed by the sudden flow of water (his body is discovered in a new scene). -A new scene during the flooding shows Lindsey and Catfish saving the trapped Monk from the fire.
  • Bud comforts Sonny who tries to contact Benthic Explorer after the flooding, and then makes a short inspection tour before he arrives at unconscious Jammer's bed.
  • A new shot of Lindsey bringing a drink to Monk, who thanks her for saving his life.
  • During Bud's descent, power is suddenly running low, causing all crewmembers to quickly shut off all non-essential equipment.
  • Just after the Deepcore crew leaves the rig, there is a low-angle overview shot of the NTI ship with Deepcore and all the other ships on it.
  • As the credits start, the movie is dedicated to the memory of captain Kidd Brewer, who played Finler in the movie and died in a diving accident some years after the original release.
  • Extra credits on the 'Special Edition'.
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Connections

Referenced in Evolution (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Much Pressure
(uncredited)
Written by Neol Davies
Published by Fairwood Music Ltd.
Performed by The Selecter
Courtesy of EMI Records Group/Chrysalis Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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