Published on June 14th, 2011 | by Chris0
Gray Lady Down (1978)
The phrase “Gray Lady Down”, at least according to the movie of the same name, refers to the situation where a nuclear submarine has sank. (sunk? sunken? sinked? ah, heck.)
Here, the Neptune, helmed by Captain Blanchard (Charlton Heston) collides with another ship in an unfortunate accident, and finds herself at the bottom of the ocean, where they await rescue. I don’t know what class of submarine they’re supposed to be in, either, but you could almost play tennis in that thing…. (nitpick, I know.)
And that’s pretty much the long and short of the movie. Actually, it reminded me a lot of stock 1970′s disaster movies, with a healthy dose of 70′s TV-ish moments, and some downright awful straight-from-TV soundtrack sequences (but others that were actually quite good! go figure.) I’m not even sure you could technically classify it as a “war movie,” other than that A) it involves the military and B) it’s a movie. Take that for what you will.
The predictable plot unfolds, rescue team comes, problems and conflicts arise both on the surface and below, eventually most everyone is rescued and they all live happily ever after. Predictable being the key word here. Just about every move you could see the end result a mile away. From the untimely and heroic demise of Capt. Gates (David Carradine) to the sacrifice of Cmdr. Samuelson (Ronny Cox)….
Not to say at all that this is a bad movie. Actually it isn’t that bad at all, its just not quite what I was expecting.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a veritable whos-who of 1970′s and 1980′s film and television, including a young Christopher Reeves, and a young Stacey Keach (younger than I remember him in anything anyway!)
All in all I’m throwing this a 6/10. Just because even though its not all *that* bad, its pretty formulaic, and not really a war movie at all. Just saying.
Gray Lady Down
Charlton Heston, David Carradine. The tense story of a nuclear submarine that is rammed by a Norwegian freighter and plummets 1,400 feet before coming to rest on a crumbling sea shelf. 1977/color/111 min/PG/widescreen.
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA)
Manufacturer: Universal Studios
Original Release Date:
- Charlton Heston
- David Carradine
- Stacy Keach
- Ned Beatty
- Christopher Reeve