Down to the Sea (1936)

67 or 69 mins | Drama | 25 August 1936

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Beneath the Seas , and Twenty Fathoms Below . It was reviewed by the NYT as Down Under the Seas , and called Beneath the Seas by MPH 's "In the Cutting Room." The onscreen credits note that the picture's underwater scenes were filmed at Silver Springs, FL, and dedicate the film to the Greek community of Tarpon Springs, FL, who cooperated in the production. HR production charts include Dorothy Ates in the cast; her participation in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. Although Irving Pichel's character is listed as Alex Fotakis in contemporary reviews, he is called Alex Grenaris in the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Beneath the Seas , and Twenty Fathoms Below . It was reviewed by the NYT as Down Under the Seas , and called Beneath the Seas by MPH 's "In the Cutting Room." The onscreen credits note that the picture's underwater scenes were filmed at Silver Springs, FL, and dedicate the film to the Greek community of Tarpon Springs, FL, who cooperated in the production. HR production charts include Dorothy Ates in the cast; her participation in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. Although Irving Pichel's character is listed as Alex Fotakis in contemporary reviews, he is called Alex Grenaris in the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Jul 1936.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jun 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Dec 35
p. 12.
Film Daily
17 Apr 36
p. 12.
Film Daily
30 Jun 36
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
1 Jul 36
p. 11.
Motion Picture Herald
30 May 36
p. 34.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Jul 36
p. 105.
New York Times
10 Aug 36
p. 10.
Variety
12 Aug 36
p. 19.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Down Under the Seas
Twenty Fathoms Below
Beneath the Seas
Release Date:
25 August 1936
Production Date:
began 9 May 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
20 July 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6477
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor "High Fidelity" Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
67 or 69
Length(in feet):
6,163
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
2283
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Trouble is brewing between rival factions of Tarpon Springs, Florida, a Greek community of sponge gatherers, when Johnny Kamines returns from college to visit his childhood friends, Steve Londos and Helen Pappas. Steve is the chief diver on a boat owned by Helen's gruff father, Captain Gregory Pappas, and captained by Alex Grenarias. Alex and Steve occasionally dive illegally in the shallow waters reserved for "hookers," the sponge gatherers who use long hooks. Although their actions anger the hookers, Pappas' power and prestige prevent them from redressing the situation. Steve and Helen are engaged, despite Helen and Johnny's strong feelings for each other. Johnny therefore strives to protect Helen's feelings the day after he arrives, when he finds Steve drunk at Alex's house, where he was to turn in money he raised in an annual drive to help crippled divers. The girls entertaining Steve and Alex steal the collection money, and after Johnny uses his tuition money to replace it, he must begin working on the Pappas boat. One day, Johnny tries to stop Alex and Steve from poaching sponges but to no avail. While Steve is diving, he grabs the hook of a one sponger and almost drowns him. Johnny saves the man, Luis, who works with his father Demitrius, and then joins the battle on the side of the hookers. The next afternoon, Johnny brings the sheriff to the auction where the sponges from Alex's boat are being sold. After verifying that the catch was poached, the sheriff arrests Alex and his crew. Once they are released on bail, Alex and Steve look for Johnny, but when ... +


Trouble is brewing between rival factions of Tarpon Springs, Florida, a Greek community of sponge gatherers, when Johnny Kamines returns from college to visit his childhood friends, Steve Londos and Helen Pappas. Steve is the chief diver on a boat owned by Helen's gruff father, Captain Gregory Pappas, and captained by Alex Grenarias. Alex and Steve occasionally dive illegally in the shallow waters reserved for "hookers," the sponge gatherers who use long hooks. Although their actions anger the hookers, Pappas' power and prestige prevent them from redressing the situation. Steve and Helen are engaged, despite Helen and Johnny's strong feelings for each other. Johnny therefore strives to protect Helen's feelings the day after he arrives, when he finds Steve drunk at Alex's house, where he was to turn in money he raised in an annual drive to help crippled divers. The girls entertaining Steve and Alex steal the collection money, and after Johnny uses his tuition money to replace it, he must begin working on the Pappas boat. One day, Johnny tries to stop Alex and Steve from poaching sponges but to no avail. While Steve is diving, he grabs the hook of a one sponger and almost drowns him. Johnny saves the man, Luis, who works with his father Demitrius, and then joins the battle on the side of the hookers. The next afternoon, Johnny brings the sheriff to the auction where the sponges from Alex's boat are being sold. After verifying that the catch was poached, the sheriff arrests Alex and his crew. Once they are released on bail, Alex and Steve look for Johnny, but when they do not find him at Luis' boat, the spiteful Alex hits Demitrius, who falls into the water and drowns. Steve then finds Helen and Johnny together and returns Johnny's tuition money to him. Helen prevents the men from fighting and, after Johnny leaves, breaks her engagement to Steve. Pappas enters the argument, telling Steve that he must leave that night on the boat to avoid prosecution, and ordering Helen to marry Steve when he returns in three months. After Pappas collapses, Steve and Helen agree to carry out his wishes. Meanwhile, Luis finds Steve's medallion on the dock by his boat and assumes that he is responsible for Demitrius' disappearance. The hookers chase Pappas' boat, and when Alex sees them coming, he brings Steve up too quickly from his dive in hopes of killing him before he tells the hookers the truth about the murder. Steve gets a severe case of the bends, and when Johnny deduces the reason behind Alex's actions, Alex knocks him out and puts him into Steve's diving suit. When the hookers storm the boat, they mistake Johnny for Steve and try to cut his airline. While everyone is fighting, however, Steve crawls on deck and attempts to raise Johnny himself. In the end, Alex is thrown to the sharks, Johnny is rescued and prevents anyone from being arrested, and the three childhood friends are reconciled before Steve dies. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.