Full Fathom Five (film)

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Full Fathom Five
Directed byCarl Franklin
Produced byRodman Flender
Written byBart Davis
StarringMichael Moriarty
Maria Rangel
Diego Bertie
Distributed byConcorde Pictures
Release date
  • September 7, 1990 (1990-09-07) (U.S.)
Running time
82 min
United States

Full Fathom Five is a 1990 action film, written by Bart Davis and directed by Carl Franklin, starring Michael Moriarty, Maria Rangel, and Diego Bertie. It was shot in Peru.[1]


Full Fathom Five, based on the novel by Bart Davis, is set in the days preceding the United States invasion of Panama in 1989. USS Aspen, a fictional Los Angeles-class submarine, rescues agents from Panama, and Peter MacKenzie (Michael Moriarty), the submarine's commanding officer, promptly falls in love with the beautiful Justine (Maria Rangel). Meanwhile, Panamanian rebels seize a Soviet submarine (the "Victor Three class submarine CCCP Kirov") and threaten America with a nuclear attack on Houston, Texas. Only MacKenzie and his crew can stop the villains.


Full Fathom Five has obvious flaws, but Carl Franklin earned praise for his ability to work on a low budget. However, technical accuracy was not a priority; the submarine warfare tactics used are absurd and the military structure, uniforms, insignia, and jargon—including those purporting to be the United States Navy—are entirely imaginary. Two blatant examples are the insignia worn where the rank designations should be on the American's khaki uniforms (the Production Team used US Navy Academy Midshipmans rank), and the name of the Soviet boat "Alpha Victor Three class submarine CCCP Kirov." There is an Alfa class of submarines, there is a Victor III class of submarines, "CCCP" is faux Cyrillic for Союз Советских Социалистических Республик (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), and the lead ship of a class of battlecruisers was named Kirov, but the combination is doubtful. Luckily, this is a fictional movie, so being accurate to reality is not even remotely important.


  1. ^ Chris Nashawaty, Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen and Candy Stripe Nurses - Roger Corman: King of the B Movie, Abrams, 2013 p 206

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