Five More Submerged Classics
The Poseidon Adventure (1972) It has been remade twice, but neither attempt came close to capturing the scary fun of watching a Who's Who of 1960s stars try to resurrect their careers by crawling through the innards of an overturned ocean liner: Gene Hackman gives something of a measured performance, but chewing the scenery behind him are the veteran likes of Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowell, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters and Jack Albertson.
Sink the Bismark! (1960) The German battleship that wreaked havoc in the North Atlantic gets its comeuppance thanks to the Royal Navy. Kenneth Moore is the conflicted captain in charge of finding and sinking the ship; Dana Wynter is the Women's Royal Naval Service officer who helps him get his head together. Narrated by Edward R. Murrow, who also plays himself as a London war correspondent.
Deep Blue Sea (1999) A floating research center is dismantled, piece by piece, by sharks with super-big brains — the creation of a beautiful scientist (Saffron Burrows) trying to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's. Like its fishy villains, the movie is fast-moving and surprisingly smart. Plus, Samuel L. Jackson makes one of the most jaw-dropping exits in movie history.
All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953) A-whalin' we go with Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger, sea captain brothers who inexplicably bring the woman they both love (Ann Blyth) along for the ride. More than one brave whaler goes to Davy Jones' locker in the heroic pursuit of whale baleen to make buggy whips. Great supporting performances by James Whitmore and Keenan Wynn.
Airport '77 (1977, of course) "Bigger, more exciting than Airport '75!" declared the trailer. Well, it's certainly wetter. This time a Boeing 747 crashes in the Bermuda Triangle and sinks with its all-star cast: Pilot Jack Lemmon's passengers include Lee Grant, Brenda Vaccaro, Joseph Cotten, Olivia de Havilland and Darren McGavin. Jimmy Stewart plays the owner of the plane (safe on land), and we can almost hear him drawling, "What am I doin' here?"
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Critic and commentator Bill Newcott on how people watch movies today, and what may have been lost in the less-communal, smaller viewing experience.