Gray Lady Down
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
This is a movie about just such a circumstance; an American sub (SSN) on her way home after a routine patrol collides with a Norwegian tanker, due to low visibility. The sub sinks to an unstable ridge on the side of an underwater mountain in the depths of the Atlantic. A furious rescue operation then gets underway by the US Navy to save the sailors trapped on board.
This is a fine submarine movie which boasts fine performances by Charlton Heston and Stacy Keach. Even the usually one dimensional David Carradine plays a passable under-appreciated engineer. The direction is also quite good and the special effects are decent.
While I was in the Navy, there was a running joke that went something like this: The good news is that you're never, ever more than 6 miles from land. The bad news is, the land is straight down. Here is a frightening story of what happens when an unfortunate submarine slips down to that land. It is a tale which has all the more relevance given the fates of the USS "Thresher," USS "Scorpion" and the more recent incident on the Russian sub "Kursk." This is a worthwhile and realistic Navy movie worth watching. Hopefully, the scenario depicted will never come true.
Christopher Reeve has a bit part as an officer, and it was this appearance that first brought him to the attention of producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind when they were looking for candidates for "Superman".
Unfortunately, this new DVD release is not the right way to experience the film since Goodtimes Video has incredibly chosen to release it pan and scan instead of letterboxed, which totally defeats the purpose of DVD entertainment in the first place. Turner Classic Movies has shown it letterboxed before, and I recommend waiting for it to show up there again before being subjected to the wrong way of seeing it. Shame on Goodtimes Video for not doing this film justice with a decent video release!
Two underwater vehicles are used in the rescue, a two-man experimental Snark, and a DSRV (Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle). There are many taut, exciting scenes in the process, and the pacing by director David Greene keeps the action flowing.
Charlton Heston delivers a strong performance as Captain Blanchard, with moments of anguish he dare not show his crew. David Carradine and Ned Beatty, who operate the Snark, add a lot to the film as they try to find the "Gray Lady Down" on the murky ocean floor.
Other notable performances come from Stacy Keach, Ronny Cox, and William Jordan, and Christopher Reeve has a bit part, that if you blink you'll miss.
Great score by Jerry Fielding, and cinematography by Stevan Larner, filmed in part on the USS Cayuga and USS Pigeon.
Despite its many tragedies, ultimately it's a feel-good film, that celebrates American strength and ingenuity, and makes for good, solid family viewing.
Total running time is 111 minutes.
Loosely based on David Lavallee's novel "Event 1000", the film puts legendary actor Charlton Heston in the role of the commander of the nuclear submarine "Neptune". On its way home, the sub is accidentally hit by a wayward Norwegian freighter in dense fog some sixty miles off the Atlantic seaboard. While he and his crew (including Ronny Cox, Dorian Harewood, and Stephen McHattie) try to find ways of staying alive and sane as the sub rests on an unstable slope more than a quarter mile underwater, a massive rescue operation is mounted by a by-the-book captain (Stacy Keach) and a non-conformist Navy man (David Carradine) that involves not only the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) but Carradine's own debris-clearing vehicle the Snark.
The result is, despite some minor flaws, a very good and taut suspense drama, with Heston giving yet another one of his professional performances, this time not as a megahero (a la BEN-HUR), but as just one of the guys. Keach and Carradine also do a good job under the direction of David Greene, as does Ned Beatty as Carradine's assistant. Solid underwater photography and special effects, plus a tension-packed score by Jerry Fielding (Oscar nominee for THE WILD BUNCH and STRAW DOGS) make GRAY LADY DOWN a thoroughly underrated film that is well worth watching.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first saw this movie when it first came out. Then I thought it boring. Now it held my interest. This movie reminds me of the Irwin Allen disaster movies. Read morePublished 15 days ago by DEBRA D. JEAKINS
I remember when this movie came out in the 1970s. I pestered my mother to go see this at the local drive-in theatre. Read morePublished 20 days ago by J. C. Bednar
Excellent submarine movie. Will watch it again. Charlton Heston is young in this movie. He is a good actor.Published 1 month ago by LUVSERIES69
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Look for Similar Items by Category
- Movies & TV > 4-for-3 DVD
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Action & Adventure
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Kids & Family
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Military & War
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Mystery & Thrillers
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Action & Adventure
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > All Universal Studios Titles
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Classics
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Drama