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The Abyss: Extended Cut [1989]

Director:James Cameron
Writer:James Cameron
Composer:Alan Silvestri
Length:171 minutes
(2 hours 51 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
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 longer than the original cut, but it uses that time to effectively develop the characters and the sense of mystery.

Personal Rating: 7/10

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:

  • The masks were specially designed to show the actors' faces, and had microphones fitted so that dialogue spoken at the time by the actors could be used in the film. The noises made by the regulators in the helmets were erased during sound post-production.
  • 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.
  • Director James Cameron contacted Orson Scott Card before filming began with the possibility of producing a book based on the film. Card initially told his agent that he doesn't do "novelizations", but when she told him that the director was James Cameron, he agreed to consider it. The script arrived, and Card signed on after receiving assurances from Cameron that he would be free to develop his "novel" the way he wanted to. After a meeting with Cameron, Card immediately wrote the first three chapters, which dealt with events concerning Bud and Lindsay Brigman that occurred before the events in the film. Cameron gave these chapters to Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who used it to develop their characters.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Since the "Benthic Explorer" model ship was so large and filmed on open seas, the production company was required to register it with the Coast Guard.
  • Michael Biehn's character gets bitten on the arm by another character. This happens to him in every James Cameron movie he's in - see The Terminator and Aliens.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There are no opening credits save the title of the film.