War-Gods of the Deep (1965)

85 mins | Science fiction | May 1965

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HISTORY

The 3 Oct 1963 DV included the film under its working title, City in the Sea, in a list of upcoming productions by American International Pictures (AIP). The film was one of several in a series based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Although the 14 Nov 1963 DV announced Jerry Sohl as screenwriter, he was later replaced by Charles Bennett, as noted in the 18 Feb 1964 LAT. The 14 Feb 1964 DV reported the casting of actress Martha Hyer in a lead role. Six months later, she was replaced by studio contractee Susan Hart, according to the 31 Aug 1964 issue. Various sources state that Hart was also the wife of studio founder James H. Nicholson. Boris Karloff complained to the 30 Dec 1964 Var that he was required to grow a beard for his role, which was eventually taken over by Vincent Price.
       Principal photography began 9 Nov 1964, as reported in that day’s DV. The 22 Feb 1965 edition announced the new title as Warlords of the Deep, for which a second unit was filming underwater scenes in the Bahama Islands. Although the 28 Oct 1964 Var listed Dale Robertson among the cast, the next day’s DV revealed that he had been replaced by Tab Hunter. Filming took place at Pinewood Studios, near London, England, according to the 30 Dec 1964 Var. The picture featured stuntman Peter Brace as AIP’s latest creation, “The Gillman,” a scaly “half human, half fish,” ... More Less

The 3 Oct 1963 DV included the film under its working title, City in the Sea, in a list of upcoming productions by American International Pictures (AIP). The film was one of several in a series based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Although the 14 Nov 1963 DV announced Jerry Sohl as screenwriter, he was later replaced by Charles Bennett, as noted in the 18 Feb 1964 LAT. The 14 Feb 1964 DV reported the casting of actress Martha Hyer in a lead role. Six months later, she was replaced by studio contractee Susan Hart, according to the 31 Aug 1964 issue. Various sources state that Hart was also the wife of studio founder James H. Nicholson. Boris Karloff complained to the 30 Dec 1964 Var that he was required to grow a beard for his role, which was eventually taken over by Vincent Price.
       Principal photography began 9 Nov 1964, as reported in that day’s DV. The 22 Feb 1965 edition announced the new title as Warlords of the Deep, for which a second unit was filming underwater scenes in the Bahama Islands. Although the 28 Oct 1964 Var listed Dale Robertson among the cast, the next day’s DV revealed that he had been replaced by Tab Hunter. Filming took place at Pinewood Studios, near London, England, according to the 30 Dec 1964 Var. The picture featured stuntman Peter Brace as AIP’s latest creation, “The Gillman,” a scaly “half human, half fish,” with webbed feet and “claws instead of hands.” A similar monster, known as the “Gill-man,” was conceived more than ten years earlier for The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, see entry).
       The film, re-titled War-Gods of the Deep, opened 2 Jun 1965 in New York City, on a double bill with Beach Blanket Bingo (1965, see entry). Critic Howard Thompson described the former picture as the “less bad” of the two. The 2 Jun 1965 DV was more enthusiastic, noting “excellent direction and special effects, plus good performances.” The Los Angeles, CA, opening followed on 28 Jul 1965 at forty locations. The picture screened a year later at the International Science Fiction Film Festival in Trieste, Italy, as noted in the 13 Jul 1966 Var.
       Released in England as City Under the Sea, the picture bore no relation to a Regal Films production of the same name, mentioned in the 12 Jul 1966 DV.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Oct 1963
p. 1.
Daily Variety
14 Nov 1963
p. 7.
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1964
p. 6.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 Oct 1964
p. 21.
Daily Variety
9 Nov 1964
p. 6.
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1965
p. 3.
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1965
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
18 Feb 1964
Section D, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jul 1965
Section B, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jul 1965
Section D, p. 8.
New York Times
3 Jun 1965
p. 24.
Variety
30 Sep 1964
p. 13.
Variety
28 Oct 1964
p. 62.
Variety
30 Dec 1964
p. 13.
Variety
13 Jul 1966
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc exec prod
Assoc exec prod
WRITERS
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir underwater photog
Underwater photog
Underwater photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Scenic artist
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Doomed City" ("City in the Sea") by Edgar Allan Poe in Poems (1831) and his short story "A Descent into the Maelstrom" in Graham's Magazine (May 1841).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Warlords of the Deep
City Under the Sea
City in the Sea
Release Date:
May 1965
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 2 June 1965
Los Angeles opening: 28 July 1965
Production Date:
began 9 November 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Bruton Film Productions
Copyright Date:
26 May 1965
Copyright Number:
LP31197
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
PathéColor
Duration(in mins):
85
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Jill Tregellis, a young American, owns a converted manor house hotel on the Cornish coast. The body of a guest washes up on shore, its face contorted by fear, and is discovered by another American, Ben Harris. Ben informs Jill and her eccentric artist friend, Harold Tiffin-Jones, about the body. They discover a strange creature, a gillman, in the hotel. It escapes, and Jill disappears that night leaving a trail of seaweed. Ben, Harold, and Herbert (Harold's pet rooster) follow the trail and discover a passage to Lyonesse, an underwater city surrounded by volcanoes. Lyonesse is ruled by The Captain, who, searching for a seismologist, captured the hotel guest and kidnaped Jill because he believes her to be the reincarnation of his dead wife. Life in Lyonesse is eternal except for those found guilty of crime; such people are thrown to the gillman. As Ben and Harold arrive, a Mr. Ives is being tried. Together he, Jill, Ben, Harold, and Herbert escape, and Lyonesse is destroyed by erupting volcanoes. The Captain also escapes but is destroyed when exposed to ... +


Jill Tregellis, a young American, owns a converted manor house hotel on the Cornish coast. The body of a guest washes up on shore, its face contorted by fear, and is discovered by another American, Ben Harris. Ben informs Jill and her eccentric artist friend, Harold Tiffin-Jones, about the body. They discover a strange creature, a gillman, in the hotel. It escapes, and Jill disappears that night leaving a trail of seaweed. Ben, Harold, and Herbert (Harold's pet rooster) follow the trail and discover a passage to Lyonesse, an underwater city surrounded by volcanoes. Lyonesse is ruled by The Captain, who, searching for a seismologist, captured the hotel guest and kidnaped Jill because he believes her to be the reincarnation of his dead wife. Life in Lyonesse is eternal except for those found guilty of crime; such people are thrown to the gillman. As Ben and Harold arrive, a Mr. Ives is being tried. Together he, Jill, Ben, Harold, and Herbert escape, and Lyonesse is destroyed by erupting volcanoes. The Captain also escapes but is destroyed when exposed to air. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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