Beneath the 12-Mile Reef
|Beneath the 12-Mile Reef|
Publicity shot of Robert Wagner for film
|Directed by||Robert D. Webb|
|Produced by||Robert Bassler|
|Written by||A. I. Bezzerides|
|Music by||Bernard Herrmann|
|Edited by||William Reynolds|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||December 2, 1953|
|Running time||102 minutes|
|Box office||$3.6 million (US rentals)|
Beneath the 12-Mile Reef is a 1953 American adventure film directed by Robert D. Webb. The screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides was inspired by Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The film was the third motion picture made in CinemaScope, coming after The Robe and How to Marry a Millionaire.
Mike and Tony Petrakis are Greek American father and son sponge diving entrepreneurs who find themselves in competition with the Rhys family, WASP fishermen who are prepared to resort to violence and even murder to maintain their established fishing grounds off the Gulf Coast of Florida. Run-ins between the two clans lead to an exchange of threats and all-out brawls. Further complications ensue when Tony Petrakis meets Gwyneth Rhys, and the two fall in love.
- Robert Wagner as Tony Petrakis
- Terry Moore as Gwyneth Rhys
- Gilbert Roland as Mike Petrakis
- J. Carrol Naish as Socrates Houlis
- Richard Boone as Thomas Rhys
- Angela Clarke as Mama Petrakis
- Peter Graves as Arnold Dix
- Jay Novello as Sinan
- Jacques Aubuchon as Demetrios Sofotes
- Gloria Gordon as Penny Petrakis
- Harry Carey, Jr. as Griff Rhys
- Rev. Theophilus Karaphillis as Greek Priest at Epiphany
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times observed, "Another and further extension of the range of CinemaScope ... is handsomely manifested in Beneath the 12-Mile Reef ... But that, when you come right down to it, is just about the only novelty provided by this third employment of the anamorphic lens. For the scenes shot above the surface, while large and imposing, are routine, and the drama developed in the screen play is hackneyed and banal. And, unfortunately, most of the picture takes place above, not below, the reef ... There is nothing at all fascinating or edifying here."
Variety said, "[T]he squeeze-lensing gives punch in the display of underwater wonders, the seascapes and the brilliant, beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the Florida Gulf coast. In handling the young cast, Robert D. Webb's direction is less effective, particularly in the case of Robert Wagner and Terry Moore. Both are likable, so the shallowness of their performances is no serious handicap to the entertainment." 
Awards and nominations
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p248
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p225
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954', Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955
- Crowther, Bosley (December 17, 1953). "Beneath the 12 Mile Reef". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- Variety review
- "Festival de Cannes: Beneath the 12-Mile Reef". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef at the Internet Movie Database
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef at AllMovie
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef at the TCM Movie Database
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (widescreen) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (fullscreen) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]