Down to the Sea


1h 2m 1936

Film Details

Also Known As
Beneath the Seas, Down Under the Seas, Twenty Fathoms Below
Release Date
Aug 25, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Silver Springs, Florida, United States; Tarpon Springs, Florida, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Film Length
6,163ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Trouble is brewing between rival factions of Tarpon Springs, Florida, a Greek community of sponge gatherers, when Johnny Kamines returns from college to visit his childhood friends, Steve Londos and Helen Pappas. Steve is the chief diver on a boat owned by Helen's gruff father, Captain Gregory Pappas, and captained by Alex Grenarias. Alex and Steve occasionally dive illegally in the shallow waters reserved for "hookers," the sponge gatherers who use long hooks. Although their actions anger the hookers, Pappas' power and prestige prevent them from redressing the situation. Steve and Helen are engaged, despite Helen and Johnny's strong feelings for each other. Johnny therefore strives to protect Helen's feelings the day after he arrives, when he finds Steve drunk at Alex's house, where he was to turn in money he raised in an annual drive to help crippled divers. The girls entertaining Steve and Alex steal the collection money, and after Johnny uses his tuition money to replace it, he must begin working on the Pappas boat. One day, Johnny tries to stop Alex and Steve from poaching sponges but to no avail. While Steve is diving, he grabs the hook of a one sponger and almost drowns him. Johnny saves the man, Luis, who works with his father Demitrius, and then joins the battle on the side of the hookers. The next afternoon, Johnny brings the sheriff to the auction where the sponges from Alex's boat are being sold. After verifying that the catch was poached, the sheriff arrests Alex and his crew. Once they are released on bail, Alex and Steve look for Johnny, but when they do not find him at Luis' boat, the spiteful Alex hits Demitrius, who falls into the water and drowns. Steve then finds Helen and Johnny together and returns Johnny's tuition money to him. Helen prevents the men from fighting and, after Johnny leaves, breaks her engagement to Steve. Pappas enters the argument, telling Steve that he must leave that night on the boat to avoid prosecution, and ordering Helen to marry Steve when he returns in three months. After Pappas collapses, Steve and Helen agree to carry out his wishes. Meanwhile, Luis finds Steve's medallion on the dock by his boat and assumes that he is responsible for Demitrius' disappearance. The hookers chase Pappas' boat, and when Alex sees them coming, he brings Steve up too quickly from his dive in hopes of killing him before he tells the hookers the truth about the murder. Steve gets a severe case of the bends, and when Johnny deduces the reason behind Alex's actions, Alex knocks him out and puts him into Steve's diving suit. When the hookers storm the boat, they mistake Johnny for Steve and try to cut his airline. While everyone is fighting, however, Steve crawls on deck and attempts to raise Johnny himself. In the end, Alex is thrown to the sharks, Johnny is rescued and prevents anyone from being arrested, and the three childhood friends are reconciled before Steve dies.

Film Details

Also Known As
Beneath the Seas, Down Under the Seas, Twenty Fathoms Below
Release Date
Aug 25, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Silver Springs, Florida, United States; Tarpon Springs, Florida, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Film Length
6,163ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Beneath the Seas, and Twenty Fathoms Below. It was reviewed by the New York Times as Down Under the Seas, and called Beneath the Seas by Motion Picture Herald's "In the Cutting Room." The onscreen credits note that the picture's underwater scenes were filmed at Silver Springs, FL, and dedicate the film to the Greek community of Tarpon Springs, FL, who cooperated in the production. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Dorothy Ates in the cast; her participation in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. Although Irving Pichel's character is listed as Alex Fotakis in contemporary reviews, he is called Alex Grenaris in the film.