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Film / The Deep

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No points for guessing why this is the poster image.

The Deep is 1977 adventure/thriller film adapted from Peter Benchley's novel of the same name, directed by Peter Yates.

Nick Nolte (in his first major big-screen role) and Jacqueline Bisset star as David Sanders and Gail Berke, young lovers on vacation in Bermuda who discover sunken treasure... and morphine. Complications ensue.

Also stars Robert Shaw as Romer Treece, Louis Gossett Jr. as Henri Cloche, and Eli Wallach as Adam Coffin.

No relation to the 2015 animated series.

This work contains examples of these tropes:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Kevin is The Mole in the book but a stalwart ally in the film.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Coffin is only a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing in the film. In the book he is a dependable ally with fatherly feelings toward Treece.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Henri "Cloche" Bondurant introduces himself in a polite and gracious way while offering to buy an artifact David and Gail found for supposedly harmless reasons. When they decline to deal with him, he has them kidnapped, threatens to cut David's tongue out, and subjects Gail to a Shameful Strip.
    • Coffin is introduced as a kindly old sea dog who is fairly tranquil about working a menial job, happily provides the main trio with information about the Goliath, and says he wants to recover the bodies of his dead shipmates onboard the wreck. Once he actually starts working with the main trio, it becomes clear that he's willing to betray and endanger them for the valuable morphine in the cargo hold.
  • Composite Character: Cloche has a slightly expanded presence and his role envelops those of minor book villains like the man who tries to buy the first vial of morphine and the diver who is killed by a moray eel.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Coffin isn't a very reliable ally, but he looks shocked when he sees Bondurant's men chumming the waters so that sharks will endanger the three main characters during their diving trip.
  • Fanservice: Both ways in the opening titles, with Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset skin-diving, Nolte in very small and very tight shorts and Bisset in tiny black bikini bottoms and white T-shirt.
  • Forced to Watch: One of Cloche's goons pins David to the wall with a knife at his throat while Gail is given a Pervy Patdown and forced into a Shameful Strip.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: When salty treasure hunter Treece finds out that David and Gail have found a wreck he's heavily interested in, he asks who else knows about it. After a moment's pause, they truthfully reply that a local man named Bondurant has approached them about the wreck. However, it quickly becomes clear that Treece is a hero (or at least an Anti-Hero) and Bondurant is a ruthless crime lord.
  • I Have This Friend: David is pretty transparent when he tells Treece about his "friend" who found a 1714 coin.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jacqueline Bisset as Gail hits pretty much every trope on the list, from Navel-Deep Neckline to Toplessness from the Back, with assorted stops at bared midriffs, Leg Focus, and most famously, Sexy Soaked Shirt (see below).
  • Never Split the Party: Gail gets some flak over how she first dives into a sunken ship (which David yells at her for — as well as he can underwater, at least), then wanders away from him to explore, violating the buddy system. The result? She nearly loses her arm and drowns when attacked by a moray eel.
  • Pervy Patdown: When Cloche and his goons kidnap David and Gail, one of them really enjoys frisking her for the morphine bottle.
  • Race Lift: Treece and Kevin seem to be of purely European descent. In the book, they are descendants of Native American exiles and look it.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: One of the most iconic examples ever, courtesy Jacqueline Bisset going diving in a T-shirt. With no bra underneath. The poster above is actually rather tame in comparison to the opening scene of the film, which is nearly nine minutes long and features extended shots of Bisset swimming around underwater in said T-shirt.
  • Shameful Strip: As if giving her a Pervy Patdown wasn't bad enough, Cloche makes Gail remove her white button-down shirt. And the bikini top she was wearing under it.
  • Silence Is Golden: The opening scene, where David and Gail are diving around the wreck and finding various artifacts, and Gail is going down in history as the all-time champion of Sexy Soaked Shirt, runs nearly nine minutes without any dialogue.
  • Slippery as an Eel: A moray eel has made the wreck its home, presenting a potentially-lethal challenge to anyone trying to dive it.
  • Sole Survivor: Coffin is the only survivor of the sinking of the Goliath and is interested in salvaging the wreck now that it's been found.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the book, Treece loads his boat with explosives and rams Cloche’s boat after the salvage job, killing both men. In the film, Cloche dies earlier, in the underwater fight, and Treece survives.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Treece saved Coffin's life when he "washed up on the beach" after the Goliath sunk, but Cofflin is willing to betray and endanger him during the treasure hunt.