Based on a book by Peter Benchley, this mid 70s film created a new level of thrill of the ocean with the adventure of treasure hunting in The Deep.
Directed by Peter Yates, the film starred Nick Nolte, Robert Shaw, Louis Gossett Jr. and Jacqueline Bisset.
Nolte and Bisset play David and Gail, a young couple diving off the coast of Bermuda.
Discovering antiquities while diving, they consult local treasure hunter Romer (Shaw) about what they’ve found and what it might mean.
One of their discoveries is an ampoule that contains an old form of morphine, and a local drug dealer Henri Cloche (Gossett Jr) wants to buy that discovery and exploit it.
Not wanting to sell to Cloche, the couple becomes the focus of his Haitian black magic to scare them into giving up their find. Meanwhile they try to find out more about the ship where they found the antiquities and try to decide whether to destroy the area to prevent Cloche from sourcing the drug.
Filmed in the British Virgin Islands, the adventure film focused on the the conflicts of past and present, and the curiosity of revealing secrets long kept on the ocean floor.
Made for under US $10 million, the film was released in June 1977 at the beginning of the summer movie season. The Deep was panned by critics, but loved by the public, especially for its underwater scenes.
The original poster for the film was a graphic showing a female figure swimming to the surface, focusing on the unknown expanse of deep water. But the poster was soon changed to reflect the assets of Jacqueline Bisset.
The constant discussion of the opening scene showing Bisset diving in a white t-shirt and bikini bottom became a Hollywood marketing tool.
An eyeful of her lush body made the film’s poster even more notorious for movie fans, when it was shown in select movie theatres.
The film made $47 million at the box office, many crediting the poster for so many movie fans going to see this treasure thriller.