City Under the Sea
|City Under the Sea|
|Directed by||Jacques Tourneur|
|Produced by||Daniel Haller
|Written by||Charles Bennett
Louis M. Heyward
John Le Mesurier
|Music by||Stanley Black|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures (US)
|Running time||85 min.|
City Under the Sea (released as War-Gods of the Deep in USA) is a 1965 science fiction film. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur (his final film) and starred Vincent Price, Tab Hunter and David Tomlinson.
The plot concerns the discovery of a lost city beneath the sea off the coast of Cornwall. Price is the captain overseeing a group of sailors who have lived there for more than a century where the peculiar mix of gases has allowed them to extend their lifespan.
The film was made in the tradition of the period fantasies started with Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). The film attempted to capitalize on the series of Edgar Allan Poe films that had been made by Roger Corman, starring Price. To this extent the film took the title of a Poe poem, "The City in the Sea", and attempted to exploit the Poe films trend, even though the film is only loosely based on the poem with a recitation of the poem at the end of the film.
- Vincent Price as Sir Hugh, The Captain
- David Tomlinson as Harold Tufnell-Jones
- Tab Hunter as Ben Harris
- Susan Hart as Jill Tregillis
- John Le Mesurier as Rev. Jonathan Ives
- Henry Oscar as Mumford
- Derek Newark as Dan
- Roy Patrick as Simon
Shooting took place in England. Charles Bennett says he wrote a good script and AIP wanted him to come to England to work on the script but would not pay his way. The script was rewritten in England by Louis M Heyward. Bennett hated the changes and called the resulting film "the worst thing I was ever involved in."
According to Susan Hart, Charles Bennett's original script was good but was heavily rewritten. She also says there was tension between the producers, Dan Haller and his English counterpart George Willoughby.
Louis M. Heyward confirms this tension and admits to rewriting the script to add humour; in particular, he says he added the comic chicken and introduced the character played by David Tomlinson. Heyward says that Willoughby quit after these changes.
- Jonathan Malcolm Lampley (3 Sep 2010). Women in the Horror Films of Vincent Price. McFarland. p. 121. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "The City Under the Sea (1965) – IMDb". IMDb.com. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Tom Weaver Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews McFarland, 2003 p 23 accessed 18 April 2014
- Tom Weaver, "Susan Hart", Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews, p 137
- Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas, John Brunas, "Louis M. Heyward", Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes: Interviews with Actors, Directors, Producers and Writers of the 1940s through 1960s, McFarland 1991 p 160