3 Stars

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UNDERWATER! (1954)
Run Time 99:00
Subtitles English SDH
Sound Quality DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 – English
Aspect Ratio 2.0:1 16 X 9 LETTERBOX
Product Color COLOR
Disc Configuration BD 50

From masterful director John Sturges (BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, THE GREAT ESCAPE) comes this RKO romantic action adventure set in the exotic world of the Caribbean! Hollywood beauty Jane Russell is Theresa, girlfriend of ship operator Johnny (Richard Egan), who teams up with perennial rainbow chaser Dominic (Gilbert Roland). They hunt for fabled treasure lost in an old Spanish galleon off the Cuban coast. Amid the threat of rapacious sharks and the hazards of underwater salvaging, the adventurers work against time. They must raise the gold from its ghostly grave before the rotting old ship’s hull slips off the ledge where it has rested for centuries. If that weren’t enough, the group must also outwit a local pirate. This thriller is photographed in Technicolor® in a beautiful setting of lush tropical ports and unfathomable undersea locations, now restored to its original Superscope glory!

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Ronald Epstein

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Will Krupp

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Wow! I have always wondered about this film ever since I saw that photo of the huge Times Square billboard of Jane Russell !
Yes! It played at the Mayfair (later renamed the DeMille) with that HUGE corner billboard right on Times Square!

underwater_pe.jpg


The title is a favorite for those who remember the Medved Brothers books from the 70s-80's. This one was in THE GOLDEN TURKEY AWARDS (I still have my copy!) and I loved reading about the money Howard Hughes poured into this and how he hosted a one of a kind (I believe) underwater premiere, complete with reviewers and guests in scuba gear watching the movie while being underwater and being served by "usherwets" (how they actually drank anything with the scuba gear on is a mystery to me but oh, well) that was a complete disaster.

It's also the first film released in SUPERSCOPE. It was shot full frame and cropped to 2:1 (with anamorphic squeeze) for projection prints. This blu-ray is great news for a fun title (and I've never seen it, to boot!)

Whoa! Talk about coming out of left field. Nice surprise though. Would love to see The French Line.
Wouldn't that be great? I've never seen THE FRENCH LINE look like anything but shit and it would be nice to have a disc that gave an idea of what it must have looked like in 1954.

JR in 3D...it'll knock BOTH your eyes out! (Really subtle, eh?)
JR.jpg
 
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Randy Korstick

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I had this movie on Laserdisc but it was full frame not Superscope. I am curious about the movie again as it has been more than 25 years since I last watched it but I remember being disappointed in it and finding it pretty dull. Superscope may help. I will probably get this when it is part of a 4 for $44.
 

Will Krupp

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I had this movie on Laserdisc but it was full frame not Superscope. I am curious about the movie again as it has been more than 25 years since I last watched it but I remember being disappointed in it and finding it pretty dull. Superscope may help. I will probably get this when it is part of a 4 for $44.
OMG Randy, I wasn't even paying attention! When you mentioned 4 for $44 I was like "oh poor Randy thinks it's WAC when it's SURELY coming from Kino!" Whoops! Hahah.

This FEELS like a Kino title and I don't know why I assumed that's who was putting it out! Shame on me, I didn't read it carefully!
 
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lark144

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I remember seeing this when I was three, and being startled by the spectacle of Jane Russell cavorting underwater; that overly saturated aqua seeming to overwhelm everything, even her. All I recall is that one image, and of course that big poster in front of the theater; I saw it in Syracuse, probably at the RKO Keith, so it was slightly smaller than that at the Mayfair, but not by all that much. It's probably not all that good, but because of that memory, I have to have it.
 
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bujaki

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I saw Underwater many times on the big 1.37 screen in my home town when I was a wee child. It was called La sirena del Caribe (The Mermaid of the Caribbean). I have never seen it in Superscope. But I have seen The French Line in 3D and it was great fun.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I remember seeing this when I was three, and being startled by the spectacle of Jane Russell cavorting underwater; that overly saturated aqua seeming to overwhelm everything, even her. All I recall is that one image, and of course that big poster in front of the theater; I saw it in Syracuse, probably at the RKO Keith, so it was slightly smaller than that at the Mayfair, but not by all that much. It's probably not all that good, but because of that memory, I have to have it.
Damn, you got an excellent memory:)
 

lark144

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Damn, you have an excellent memory too.:) At that age, the only thing I can remember is eating my cocoa puffs.
You must be younger, because I remember Cocoa Puffs first appearing in supermarkets when I was five.

Anyway, I grew up in a family of movie buffs, and I was taken to all sorts of films at a very young age. One of the first films I remember seeing was A STAR IS BORN. During "The Man That Got Away" sequence, the projection booth caught fire, and we had to exit the theater through a emergency door that was to the left of the screen. In order to reach the door, one had to walk past Judy Garland's gigantic, ruddy complexioned face. Smoke was pouring out of the projector booth but the film was still running. That's something I will never forget. Anyway, I never saw the rest of A STAR IS BORN, so i tried to see the film again in an archival 35mm print at Columbia's School of International Affairs in the early 1970's and the projection broke down again during the very same scene. Anyway, that's what I remember.
 
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Matt Hough

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Would love to that The French Line in 3D. What TCM occasionally shows looks absolutely horrendous.

Never been much of a fan of Underwater! but I'd be willing to see it again in HD and widescreen.
 
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Robert Crawford

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You must be younger, because I remember Cocoa Puffs first appearing in supermarkets when I was five.

Anyway, I grew up in a family of movie buffs, and I was taken to all sorts of films at a very young age. One of the first films I remember seeing was A STAR IS BORN. During "The Man That Got Away" sequence, the projection booth caught fire, and we had to exit the theater through a emergency door that was to the left of the screen. In order to reach the door, one had to walk past Judy Garland's gigantic, ruddy complexioned face. Smoke was pouring out of the projector booth but the film was still running. That's something I will never forget. Anyway, I never saw the rest of A STAR IS BORN, so i tried to see the film again in an archival 35mm print at Columbia's School of International Affairs in the early 1970's and the projection broke down again during the very same scene. Anyway, that's what I remember.
Yup, eating Cocoa Puffs and watching Captain Kangaroo or Romper Room on the TV.:) I do have some vague memories of watching King Kong on the Million Dollar Movie when I was about 5 years old or so.
 

lark144

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Would love to that The French Line in 3D. What TCM occasionally shows looks absolutely horrendous.

Never been much of a fan of Underwater! but I'd be willing to see it again in HD and widescreen.
I don't think it was much of a movie either, because all I can remember is Ms. Russell in a swimsuit and really saturated colors. However, because that image is so strong, a Proustian remembrance if you will, at some point I'm going to have to get this, and watch it again.

Still, this hasn't exactly been a stellar month for Warner Archive, though there may be more announcements tomorrow.
 
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Thomas T

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Well, I for one am thrilled that this is coming on blu from WA. When Great Day In The Morning was released, I thought "Could Underwater be far behind?". I'm sure the naysayers would much prefer such creaky and dusty "classics" like The Great Ziegfeld or Marie Antoinette but I'll take Jane Russell over over Norma Shearer any day!