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Abyss, The Movie

Movie Summary for Abyss, The


Tagline for the 80's movie The Abyss starring Ed Harris: There's everything you've ever known about adventure, and then there's The Abyss.

Abyss, The DVD


An American nuclear sub crashes off the coast of Cuba after a collision with an unknown object. The government believes that it must be the USSR. But their concern is with the men aboard so they employ the talents of a group of underwater roughnecks led by Ed Harris and his soon-to-be-ex wife Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The Navy SEALS sent to find the crash site and prevent the Soviets from capturing a weapon of destruction, get fanatical when Harris' crew start seeing Aliens.


Ed Harris - Virgil 'Bud' Brigman
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio - Lindsey Brigman
Michael Biehn - Lt. Hiram Coffey
Leo Burmester - Catfish De Vries
Todd Graff - Alan 'Hippy' Carnes
John Bedford Lloyd - Jammer Willis
J.C. Quinn - Arliss 'Sonny' Dawson
Kimberly Scott - Lisa 'One Night' Standing
Captain Kidd Brewer Jr. - Lew Finler (as Capt. Kidd Brewer Jr.)
George Robert Klek - Wilhite
Christopher Murphy - Schoenick, SEAL Team Member
Adam Nelson - Ensign Monk, SEAL Team Member
Dick Warlock - Dwight Perry (as Richard Warlock)
Jimmie Ray Weeks - Leland McBride
J. Kenneth Campbell - DeMarco


Because digital effects were not used extensively yet in the late 80's, director James Cameron convinced the studio that underwater filming was necessary for realism. The crew found an abandoned nuclear power station in South Carolina. The exterior of the rig and the cliff were both built in two half-completed reactor cooling tanks.

The diving equipment had to be specially designed to allow the Abyss actors to remain underwater for hours at a time, and to allow their entire face to be seen by the camera while underwater.

The Abyss won the 1990 Oscar for Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

Academy Awards:

80's Film Facts:

The Movie Abyss, The was released to theatres on 08/09/1989 by 20th Century Fox, and grossed $54,243,125 at the box office in the US on a budget of $70,000,000 .

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