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The Deep

original movie poster
Directed by Peter Yates
Produced by Peter Guber
Written by Peter Benchley
Tracy Keenan Wynn
Starring Robert Shaw
Jacqueline Bisset
Nick Nolte
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Christopher Challis
Editing by David Berlatsky
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment (DVD)
Release date(s) June 17, 1977
Running time 124 min.
Language English

The Deep is a 1977 film directed by Peter Yates based on the novel by Peter Benchley.



While scuba-diving near shipwrecks off Bermuda, vacationing couple David Sanders (Nick Nolte) and Gail Berke (Jacqueline Bisset) recover a number of artifacts, including an ampule of amber-colored liquid and a medallion bearing the image of a woman and the letters "S.C.O.P.N." and a date, 1714. On the advice of friends, Sanders and Berke seek the advice of lighthouse-keeper and treasure-hunter Romer Treece (Robert Shaw) on the origin of the medallion, who identifies the item as Spanish and takes an interest in the young couple. The ampule is noticed by the man who had rented diving equipment to Sanders and Berke, which in turn attracts the attention of Henri Cloche (Louis Gossett, Jr), a local drug kingpin for whom the shop owner works, and he begins to terrorize the couple. The ampule contains medicinal morphine from the Goliath, a ship that sank during World War II with a cargo of munitions and medical supplies. The wreck of the Goliath is considered dangerous and is posted as off-limits to divers due to the danger of explosions. Treece concludes that a recent storm has exposed her cargo of morphine and unearthed a much older wreck containing Spanish treasure.

Sanders, Berke, and Treece make several dives to the wrecks, recovering thousands of morphine ampules from Goliath and several additional artifacts from the Spanish wreck. The group are attacked by tiger sharks, fed stimulants by Cloche to make them more aggressive and prone to attack the trio as well as a gigantic moray eel dubbed 'Percy' by Treece during these dives. Through research in Treece's library, they reconstruct the history of the lost treasure ship, locate a list of valuable items, including a metallic jar with the letters "EF" engraved on it, and learn the identity of the noblewoman (Isabella Farnese) for whom they were intended. Sanders is determined to locate some of the items on the list to establish provenance; Treece wishes to destroy the Goliath to put the morphine out of reach of Cloche; and Cloche interferes with their efforts so that he can recover the morphine for himself. During a running series of conflicts Adam Coffin (Eli Wallach), the only survivor from Goliath, is killed when he triggers a booby-trap while trying to steal the recovered morphine and Treece's friend Kevin (Robert Tessier) is murdered by one of Cloche's henchmen. A climactic battle during the final dive ensues, with Cloche and his divers as well Percy being destroyed in the destruction of the Goliath and the discovery of a gold necklace that provides the needed provenance of the treasure.


Many of the open water diving sequences of the film were shot on the wreck of the RMS Rhone in the British Virgin Islands.

Main cast

Two actors from the Jaws films (which were also based on the novel by Peter Benchley) appeared in this movie. Robert Shaw played shark hunter Quint in the first film while Louis Gossett, Jr. played SeaWorld park owner Calvin Bouchard in the third film.

External links



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