The Abyss (1989)

PG-13   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Mystery


The Abyss (1989) Poster

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and faces danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.


7.5/10
161,606


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  • The Abyss (1989)
  • Michael Biehn in The Abyss (1989)
  • The Abyss (1989)
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in The Abyss (1989)
  • The Abyss (1989)
  • Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in The Abyss (1989)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


31 December 2003 | travisimo
8
| Good Sci-Fi Flick
I've never really heard of The Abyss except in Fox DVD commercials. When it came out, I was only 8 and not into sci-fi movies that weren't titled Star Wars. However, now I decided to check it out and was quite pleased with this solid sci-fi movie.

At first, I wasn't quite sure why this was considered sci-fi. It seemed pretty normal with the sinking of a nuclear sub and the hiring of an oil crew to save it. It wasn't for a while till we really got to meet the "extraterrestrial" creatures. The special effects for representing these characters were quite good, and I especially liked the water creature that toured around the rescue vessel. It's also neat to see that effect inspire a similar one used in Terminator 2.

As I said, the story took a little while to gain steam, but it was pretty interesting from then on. The acting was good too, most notably by Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The other actors didn't do anything really extraordinary but serve as solid supporting characters.

Overall, I wouldn't say The Abyss is the best sci-fi movie out there or that it will dethrone Star Wars anytime soon, but rather it's a solid addition for any sci-fi fan's collection.

My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first American films to be shot in Super 35 format, and filmed in a custom variant known as "Abyss Format". Clairmont Camera had ground glasses made for the cameras that displayed four separate framelines - 1.66, 1.85, 2.2, and 2.35 - all gradually shifted upwards so they maintained headroom. This allowed prints to be made in the two common "flat" 35mm formats, in anamorphic 35mm, and in 70mm.


Quotes

USS Montana Captain: Sixty knots? No way, Barnes. The Reds don't have anything that fast.


Goofs

When the men hanging on the subs jump off to investigate the nuclear submarine, a camera shot pointing upwards reveals the surface of the tank they were filming in.


Crazy Credits

There was a dedication for Captain Kidd Brewer Jr. added at the beginning of the end credits of the special edition.


Alternate Versions

The R2 Special Edition DVD contains all extended/altered scenes mentioned before, and includes the following extra scenes:

  • Before Bendix asks Hippy over the radio to get Bud, he mentions to the guy next to him that Lindsey will probably freak out if Bud agrees to hand over the rig and crew to the Navy.
  • One Night and Sonny are fooling around with Cab One's grappling arm before being called back to the moon pool by Bud.
  • In the briefing scene, Hippy's reluctance to go near the submarine because of the radiation is extended. Coffey comments they will not be in danger because of continuous radiation monitoring. Hippy finally agrees to go when he hears someone else will be appointed to operate his ROV then. The scene returns to normal with Coffey's sudden outburst.
  • There is a short close-up shot of Lindsey's face after Coffey gives Hippy a reprimand.
  • The scene where the Deepcore crew is transported to the USS Montana is extended. After passing the Montana's propulsion system, Monk's team is seen opening up an outer hatch, and Hippy sends his ROV through it and confirms that radiation levels are below tolerance levels. After Coffey's explanation of the nuclear warhead's power, Lindsey responds that "it's World War 3 in a can". Coffey's team then proceeds to the ruptured front of the Montana.
  • The Montana search has been extended, with Coffey's team passing through several more compartments before arriving in the command centre. Coffey removes the nuclear arming key from the dead captain. After splitting up into two teams, Bud and Jammer pass through the torpedo room before Jammer panicks and stays behind.
  • Immediately after the flooding of Deepcore has started, crewman Perry is seen being overwhelmed by the sudden flow of water (his body is discovered in a new scene). -A new scene during the flooding shows Lindsey and Catfish saving the trapped Monk from the fire.
  • Bud comforts Sonny who tries to contact Benthic Explorer after the flooding, and then makes a short inspection tour before he arrives at unconscious Jammer's bed.
  • A new shot of Lindsey bringing a drink to Monk, who thanks her for saving his life.
  • During Bud's descent, power is suddenly running low, causing all crewmembers to quickly shut off all non-essential equipment.
  • Just after the Deepcore crew leaves the rig, there is a low-angle overview shot of the NTI ship with Deepcore and all the other ships on it.
  • As the credits start, the movie is dedicated to the memory of captain Kidd Brewer, who played Finler in the movie and died in a diving accident some years after the original release.
  • Extra credits on the 'Special Edition'.


Soundtracks

The Walk To The Gas Chamber
(uncredited)
From
The Seventh Sign (1988)
Music composed and performed by Jack Nitzsche
Courtesy of Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
Published by TSP Music, Inc. administered by EMI Music, Inc.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Adventure | Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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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