7.6/10
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432 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
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Popularity
2,063 ( 98)
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:

There's everything you've ever known about adventure, and then there's The Abyss. 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

James Cameron nearly drowned during production while he was weighed down at the bottom of the giant water tank during filming. His assistant director had failed to warn him to refill his oxygen, and realizing that he was running out of air, Cameron asked for help from underwater DP Al Giddings. However, Giddings couldn't hear him (he was near-deaf from an old diving-bell accident), and with no one else nearby, Cameron quickly released his helmet, harness and weights, and started to swim with great speed to the surface, exhaling all the way in order to prevent lung damage from decompression. One of the safety divers held him down and gave him a regulator, which was broken and only produced water. Cameron tried to release himself, but the diver, thinking that Cameron was simply having a panic attack, held him even tighter. Cameron only survived because he punched the diver in the face, and reached the surface before he passed out. The AD and the diver were fired the same day. See more »

Goofs

During the submarine chase sequences, Coffey smashes a tape player with his elbow. A few shots later, it is back in one piece. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The opening 20th Century Fox logo doesn't have the usual fanfare, only the sound of sonar pings in the background. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK television premiere (Channel 4) included the rat in breathing fluid sequence. When the film was reshown the sequence had been removed again. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mission to Mars (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

WILLING
Written by Lowell George
Performed by Linda Ronstadt
Courtesy of CEMA Special Markets and Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
S10 Reviews: The Abyss (1989)
17 April 2005 | by suspiria10See all my reviews

Towards the end of the Cold War the USS Montana, a nuclear submarine runs straight into an underwater cliff after an encounter with what they believe was a new beyond state-of-the-art Russian submersible. The Navy dispatches a SEAL team (lead by Michael Biehn) to record and survey the situation and to find some answers. The commission a nearby (or is it hijack?) deep sea oil drilling platform run by the estranged Brigman's, Bud and Linsey (Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). During their mission things aren't quite as they seem as they discover that they are not alone deep in "The Abyss". On the verge of war topside and below with themselves the SEAL and workers struggle to come to terms with an unbelievable situation that could lead them to a nuclear confrontation.

"The Abyss" is a richly constructed story that puts well thought up and executed characters into a situation that looks to be a schmaltzy, love story set under the sea. The aliens or NTI's pretty much take a backseat to the human element and our old conflicting ways, these NTI's are non-violent and they want to teach us the error of our ways and they mean business (especially in the Special Edition cut). The whole cast does a wonderful job and most of the leads give Oscar-caliber performances. Harris and Mastrantonio do it so well you think their actually married. James Cameron establishes his love for the ocean in "The Abyss" will fully succeeds on all the technical levels. The production design is amazing with the full-size Deep Core set that was submerged at the bottom of an unused nuclear reactor building. Cameron shows his affinity for technology as the "pseudo pod "soon championed in the new wave of computer generated imagery. Highly recommended.


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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:

(theatrical) | (special edition)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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