The Neptune Factor

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The Neptune Factor
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Daniel Petrie
Produced by Sandy Howard (as Sanford Howard)
Written by Jack DeWitt
Starring Ben Gazzara
Yvette Mimieux
Walter Pidgeon
Ernest Borgnine
Music by Harry McCauley
Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Harry Makin
Edited by Stan Cole
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • August 3, 1973 (1973-08-03)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.5 million[1]
Box office $2,750,000 (US/ Canada)[2]

The Neptune Factor, also known as The Neptune Disaster,[3] is a 1973 science fiction film directed by Daniel Petrie, featuring underwater cinematography by Paul Herbermann. The film's special effects utilized underwater photography of miniatures with actual marine life.


Marine scientists prepare to leave their underwater Oceanlab after an extended stay performing oceanographic research. An underwater earthquake interrupts their plans. Dr. Andrews (Walter Pidgeon) enlists experimental sub captain Adrien Blake (Ben Gazzara) to survey the damage and rescue the oceanauts. He brings along Chief Diver "Mack" MacKay (Ernest Borgnine) and Dr. Leah Jansen (Yvette Mimieux), fiancée of one of the scientists. Blake finds the lab has been ripped from its moorings and has tumbled down an unexplored, deep ocean trench, presumably intact. With the lab's reserve air supply dwindling, the team descends into the unexplored trench and finds an incredible ecosystem populated with monstrously oversized fish. After surviving encounters with unfriendly denizens, they find the lab partially intact, the surviving scientists breathing from scuba tanks, and fending off giant, hungry eels. All but one of the scientists are rescued, and the submarine returns to the surface.


Production notes[edit]

The nature of the Oceanlab underwater facility bears a resemblance to real-world projects of the 1960s such as the ConShelf Two project of Jacques Cousteau, NASA's NEEMO, and the US Navy SEALAB.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p257
  2. ^ Solomon p 232. See also "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 19. Please note figure is rentals not total gross.
  3. ^ [ Alternate Titles for THE NEPTUNE FACTOR at IMDb ]

External links[edit]