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Deep Water

4.1 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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(Dec 18, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

DEEP WATER is the stunning true story of the fateful voyage of Donald Crowhurst, an amateur yachtsman who enters the most daring nautical challenge ever – the very first solo, non-stop, round-the-world boat race.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Simon Russell Beale, Clare Crowhurst
  • Directors: Jerry Rothwell, Louise Osmond
  • Producers: Al Morrow, Cameron McCracken, François Ivernel, John Smithson, Jonathan Banatvala
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: December 18, 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000VKL6ZW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,556 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Deep Water" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a beautiful and compelling film. It is the story of the last voyage of Donald Crowhurst, a batty amateur of the finest British tradition: a man with a young family and a struggling business who became fixated on the forlorn quest to win the 1968 Sunday Times solo, non-stop round-the-world-yacht race.

Archive footage reveals that from the earliest stage Crowhurst, a tubby, cardigan-wearing thirty-seven-year-old inventor, had no idea what he was taking on. But he was certainly dressed for it: in a tie and slacks as he set off on the race! The poor man did not know what he was doing, how his plan had a hope of success, yet bizarrely he was financed, filmed and represented by people who ought to have known better. Most strangely of all he was allowed, even out of his garden shed, by his wife, a woman revealed by the documentary to be otherwise a sober, sensible, reflective and thoughful woman.

One of many tragedies catalogued in this film is that no-one had the wherewithal or gumption to tell this poor chap - in no sense one of life's winners, and certainly not the sort to be up for a round-the-world solo yacht journey - not to be such a blazing fool.

Yet, like a Greek tragedy, plot developments thereafter pile inevitably on, compelling the poor man on when even he had twigged it was sheer madness: the oppressive terms of his financing, residual pride, his own ill-considered decisions to misreport his positions and, in the final strait, the sheer bad luck to have a couple of his competitors unexpectedly sink or go postal on him when all he needed them to do was simply complete the course ahead of him and allow him to finish in quiet, plucky British ignominy.
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Format: DVD
In 1968 the Sunday Times of London sponsored a race to see who could circumnavigate the globe --solo and without stopping. Prizes were offered for the one who finished first and the one who finished fastest. Nine sailors entered the race, but this documentary film focuses on three contestants in particular-- Robin Knox-Johnston, who finished first by averaging 92 miles a day for 312 days (28,704 miles) and who appears in the film; the Frenchman Bernard Moitessier, who turned around just before finishing, forsaking fame and fortune for the isolation of the sea, and sailed an additional 10,000 miles to Tahiti (his book The Long Way tells his story); and then the amateur sailor and eccentric Donald Crowhurst who never should have entered the race under any circumstances. His bizarre story forms the real narrative of this film. It's difficult to say more without spoiling this film, but you can be sure that it's more of an exploration of the deep waters of the human psyche than an adventure tale. Interviews with family members and friends; archival film footage; news reels; diaries, audio tapes, 16mm film and ship logs by the sailors; and still photos lend authenticity to the pathos of this deeply human story. Two of the film's producers were John Smithson and Paul Trijbits who made Touching the Void.
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Format: DVD
"Deep Water" tells the strange story of Donald Crowhurst, an Englishman of limited sailing experience who was one of 9 men to take up the challenge issued by the Sunday Times in 1968: A non-stop single-handed boat race around the globe. There were doubts as to whether boat or human could withstand such an arduous, isolated journey. The first person to do it would win a Golden Globe. The fastest would win £5,000. Crowhurst was a struggling small businessman with a family who had never found the success he wanted from life. The opportunity for fame and prize money appealed to him. To get a sponsor to pay for his boat, Crowhurst staked all he had, including his house, on completing at least half of the race -a decision that would have bizarre and catastrophic consequences.

Crowhurst set sail in the 40-foot trimaran "Teignmouth Electron" on the date of the race deadline, October 31, 1968. The story of his voyage, his predicament, and surprising decisions is told through old 16mm movies taken on board the boat and interviews with son Simon and wife Clare Crowhurst, friend Ron Winspear, journalist Donald Kerr, and Ted Hynds, who was deputy to Crowhurst's dodgy press agent Rodney Hallworth. Competitors Robin Knox-Johnston and Bernard Moitessier provide an insider's perspective on the race, Moitessier in the form of films and logs, since he is deceased. Francoise Moitessier shares her husband's experience and her own. Along with Tilda Swinton's narration, they paint a compelling picture of this groundbreaking 10-month endurance test.

This is one of those rare documentaries that might suffer from spoilers, so I'll be vague. "Deep Water" superbly recreates Crowhurst's grave dilemma and his character which obliged him to cope as he did.
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Format: DVD
If you're a fan of Tomalin and Hall's The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst be aware that this documentary is a different sea tale altogether. Tomalin and Hall's book is a psychological portrait of a small town intellectual desperate for recognition and success. Deep Water, on the other hand, emphasizes Crowhurst's economic plight portraying him more flatteringly as a kind of dreamy anti-hero. Readers of the Tomalin book will like the tidbits of old film footage but may find Crowhurst's tale constrained by the nature of the film medium and the editorial accommodations likely made for family members who are interviewed throughout.
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