While scuba-diving near shipwrecks off Bermuda, vacationing couple David Sanders and Gail Berke (Jacqueline Bisset) recover a number an ampule and a medallio. Seeking the advice of lighthouse-keeper and treasure-hunter Romer Treece on the origin of the medallion, they are informed it is very old and of Spanish origin, while the ampule is noticed by a man who informs Henri Cloche, a local drug kinpin. Cloche tries to buy the ampule with no luck so he resorts to terrorizing the couple, first by kidnapping them and then with black magic. Upon further examination by Treece, the ampule contains medicinal morphine from the Goliath, a ship that sank during World War II with a cargo of munitions and medical supplies, and something that Cloche also has an interest in…..
A big hit in its day though not much talked about now, how much you enjoy The Deep probably depends on how much you like sequences of an aquatic nature, as nearly half the movie is set underwater, which is even more than Thunderball. I’m very partial to these kinds of scenes, finding them relaxing and visually interesting, so it will come as no surprise that I’m also very partial to The Deep. Despite throwing in underwater treasure hunting, fighting, sharks and a very large eel, it does have plenty of stuff happening on land too though, with brawling, chasing, a near rape and a rather frightening employment of voodoo where the heroine is terrorised in her room. The basically exciting story could do with tightening in places, but Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset, whose pose in a wet T-shirt adorned many teenage boy’s walls at the time, make a likeable couple and Louis Gosset Jnr a wonderfully hissable villain. Robert Shaw plays a similar role to his part in Jaws, which was also from a Peter Benchley novel. All in all this is a fairly unremarkable but enjoyable adventure which will be let down for some by the extensive undersea stuff but for me adds to the enjoyment, being stunningly photographed and accompanied by extremely evocative scoring by John Barry. Although around two hours, a version running almost three hours was once shown on US TV, but the recent Blu Ray release disappointed fans by only having some of the extra footage.