The Deep 1977 ***


Adapting a Peter Benchley novel in the aftermath of Jaws was always going be a difficult prospect; the lack of a killer shark stopped The Deep from reaching such iconic status, although Peter Yates’s film is a good-looking thriller with personable leads. Gail and David (Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Nolte) are holidaying in Bermuda when they meet up with adventurer Romer Treese (Robert Shaw) who is on the trail of sunken treasure. There’s plenty of danger, from a Haitian drug cartel to a deadly Moray eel that guards the treasure, and Shaw is always good value as a similar grizzled sea-soak to the one he played in Jaws. The Deep is likably old-school in its traditional adventure plotting, but Yates brings excellent production values to the fore, with impressive underwater photography that catches his photogenic leads at their youthful best.


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