Updated: December 20, 2021|
City Beneath the Sea (1971)
Directed by Irwin Allen
Featuring Stuart Whitman, Robert Wagner, Rosemary Forsyth
A former builder of an undersea city takes over administration of the area to face an impending crisis.
This is the first time I've touched on Irwin Allen since covering the very atypical The Animal World;
this TV-movie pilot for an unsold series is much more along the lines of what I'd expect. Many people
who saw it when they were children loved it, and actually I can see why; the movie is chock-full of
science fiction eye-candy and always has something happening; if you popped into it in the middle of
the movie, you'd probably see something interesting going on. Unfortunately, it has problems. The
movie relies on the recognition factor of seeing celebrities in cameo roles rather than fleshing out
its important characters; all the ones who would have been regulars on the series are about as
one-dimensional as possible. The character conflicts are hackneyed, cliched and uninspired, and are
resolved in the most obvious ways possible.
The movie has some of the most badly-written exposition I've ever heard. And finally, the whole movie
feels silly, contrived and scientifically suspect. Of course, none of this would matter to a youngster
dazzled by the eye candy and thrilled by the action; nor would it matter to an adult with fond memories
of the movie. Nonetheless, without any real interesting characters, it's easy to see why this pilot
was never sold.