22 August 2014 | michaelt-culligan
Loren's first tilt at stardom.
This was the first starring role of the newly renamed Sophia Loren and she was, allegedly, unhappy with the change after working hard to succeed as Sofia Lazzaro. Legend insists that her future husband – Carlo Ponti – was responsible for the change, but it seems more likely that it was the producer of this film, Goffredo Lombardo, who followed the fashion of anglicising her first name and used a variation on the surname of Swedish actress Märta Torén with whom he had worked. The film's plot would not achieve many points for originality: A rich father (Umberto Melnati) lends his yacht to some scientists for an expedition to the Red Sea on condition that they take his rebellious daughter (Loren) along with them. She eventually gets herself into a dangerous situation underwater from which the expedition leader (Steve Barclay) has to save her. The result is somewhat short of surprising. It is, however, fascinating, to see the young Loren accept the mantle and responsibility of being the star of the film with such ease (much of the publicity consisted of distributing photos of a bikini-wearing Loren), which led to much better reviews for her than the film itself received. For a dedicated fan of Sophia Loren, it is probably worth seeking out; for anyone else, it is no different to a lot of other 'B'films of the time.