“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”
A team of scientists are on a submarine charged with the installation of earthquake warning sensors on the seabed, in specific places, around the world. Aboard are Dr. Doug Standish (Lloyd Bridges), Dr. Orin Hillyard (Marshall Thompson), Dr. Craig Mosby (Brian Kelley), Phil Volker (David McCallum) Hank Stahl (Keenan Wynn) and, the only female aboard the testosterone powered sub, Dr. Maggie Hanford (Shirley Eaton). They are aboard a combination nuclear powered “state of the art” submarine and science lab called “The Hydronaught”.
The mission is dangerous and requires a sub capable of operating at great depths. It is also fraught with sexual tension. One woman and 5 guys, in close quarters, cut off from the rest of the word for months. What could go wrong?
“Around the World Under the Sea” Was released in 1966 and was directed by Andrew Martin and produced by Ivan Tors. The movie is not a futuristic science fiction story, nor is it like “Around the World in 80 days” as some were expecting. It is your basic action adventure story. It’s sort of like “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”, but without Frankie Avalon singing and Barbara Eden dancing. It does boast stars from the day that were well known on TV. Some for actual underwater type shows like “Sea Hunt” and “Flipper”.
There are a variety of character types. Lots of egos and lots of personality quirks and conflicts. Everything from greedy to crotchety and short tempered to no nonsense. Then there is the beautiful woman who pretends that her being a female has nothing to do with all the men doing stupid stuff.
It’s not a nail biter by any means. There are periods where there is a lot of nothing, but then there are suspenseful situations as well. Earthquakes, giant eels, stuff like that. All dangers in the realm of possibility. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the science and technical aspects are precise, just that there are no glow-in-the-dark three eyed nuclear waste monsters or anything like that. (Sigh.)
There is lots of underwater photography done by some of the best underwater filmmakers of the time. Some of the underwater sequences benefited from the expertise of Jordan Klein, Rico Browning, Lamar Boren and with Ben Chapman as associate producer resulted in some underwater filming that was… actually really good. Shooting took place in the Bahamas, Florida and the Great Barrier Reef.
And don’t forget all those cool underwater toys, bells and whistles.
I wasn’t thrilled with the whole movie but I will say that the ending is quite suspenseful and tense. For some it may be worth the wait. If you like a family style not too adventurous adventure story this will fill the bill.