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The Abyss [1989]

Director:James Cameron
Writer:James Cameron
Composer:Alan Silvestri
Length:138 minutes
(2 hours 18 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Sorting Category:SciFi
IMDB Rating:7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:82%
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Synopsis: A deep sea drilling operation is commandeered by the US government to investigate the site of a downed sub, where they find much more than they expected.

Reaction: It runs a bit long, but it uses that time to effectively develop the characters and the sense of mystery.

Personal Rating: 8/10

"Hippie. Do me a favor. Stay off my side."

James Cameron => Director / Writer
Alan Silvestri => Composer
Adam Nelson => Ensign Monk, SEAL Team Member
Brad Sullivan => USS Montana Executive Officer
Chris Elliott => Bendix
Christopher Murphy => Schoenick, SEAL Team Member
Ed Harris => Virgil 'Bud' Brigman
Frank Lloyd => USS Montana Navigator
J.C. Quinn => Arliss 'Sonny' Dawson
John Bedford Lloyd => Jammer Willis
Ken Jenkins => Gerard Kirkhill, Benthic Petroleum Co. Representative
Kimberly Scott => Lisa 'One Night' Standing
Leo Burmester => Catfish De Vries
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio => Lindsey Brigman
Michael Beach => Barnes
Michael Biehn => Lt. Hiram Coffey
Peter Ratray => USS Montana Captain
Todd Graff => Alan 'Hippy' Carnes

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • A scene at the beginning showing the crew rounding up at the moon pool had to be re-shot, because the Flatbed submersible was parked in the pool. Flatbed was supposed to be out in the water pulling the rig during that particular scene.
  • The studio pushed hard for an Academy Award nomination for Michael Biehn as best supporting actor.
  • The fictional company "Benthic Petroleum" also owns the gas station shown in James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the flying oil tanker in Jan de Bont's Twister.
  • In the end shot where the alien ship surfaces, it's supposed to be spring or summer. However, the film was being shot towards the beginning of winter, so the actors put ice cubes in their mouths so they wouldn't breathe out mist.
  • In the original storyline, when Lindsey is talking to Bud during his descent, she explains why she is always so hard on people. Lindsey grew up in a family with five older brothers, and she had to fight for everything, even to be noticed.
  • The first feature film to have used an early version of Adobe Photoshop.
  • For financial reasons, the "Deepcore" set was never dismantled. It stands in the abandoned (and drained) South Carolina nuclear power plant, where the film was shot. 20th Century Fox has posted signs around the set informing potential photographers that Fox still owns the set (and the designs) and that any photographs or video shooting of the set is prohibited by copyright law. Their official copyright information is on the Deepcore rig itself.
  • Most of the underwater filming took place in a half-completed nuclear reactor facility in Gaffney, South Carolina, including the largest underwater set in the world at 7 million gallons.
  • The scene with the water tentacle coming up through the moon pool was written so that it could be removed without interfering with the story, because no one knew how the effect would come out. The actors were interacting with a length of heater hose being held up by the crewmen. When the effects were completed, though, they exceeded everyone's expectations and wildest hopes.
  • Fluid breathing is a reality. Five rats were used for five different takes, all of whom survived and were given shots by a vet. The rat that actually appeared in the film died of natural causes a few weeks before the film opened. According to James Cameron, the scene with the rat had to be edited out of the UK movie version because "the Royal Veterinarian felt that it was painful for the rat". James Cameron repeatedly assures that the rats used for this take didn't suffer any harm.
  • This version is missing the pre-credits quote "...when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you" by [?] Friedrich Nietzsche because Criminal Law used it, and they didn't want to seem like imitators. The quote was restored in the director's cut.