1970s Gray Lady Down (1978)

Published on June 14th, 2011 | by Chris

0

Gray Lady Down (1978)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On June 14, 2011
Last modified:October 3, 2012

Summary:

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.

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.

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Description

Charlton Heston stars in this riveting drama involving a nuclear submarine and her crew trapped 1,450 feet underwater. When the nuclear sub U.S.S. Neptune collides with a Norwegian freighter, it sinks helplessly onto an unstable ledge above a deep ocean canyon...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA)
Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Charlton Heston
  • David Carradine
  • Stacy Keach
  • Ned Beatty
  • Christopher Reeve

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well-Acted And Directed Nautical Nightmare, May 10, 2014
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This review is from: Gray Lady Down (DVD)
"Gray Lady Down" is a 1978 submarine saga from director David Greene. Greene got superb performances out of his all-star cast, fronted by Charlton Heston as Captain Paul Blanchard, skipper of the USS Neptune. While fictional, the tale is riveting and suspenseful, and brings to mind the tragic sinking of the Russian Navy's Kursk in 2000. The narrative gets underway after a collision with a Norwegian freighter (with an inoperative radar) in fog. Neptune sinks onto a seismically active ledge and Captain Bennett (an excellent Stacy Keach) is put in charge of the rescue. Blanchard and Bennett are obviously old friends and Bennett is resolved to use all tools at his disposal to rescue the crew. Help arrives in the form of the Snark, a small two man submarine designed and piloted by Captain Gates (a better than usual David Carradine) with help from Ned Beatty, his assistant.

The sole reason I didn't give the film five stars is there is a bit of an overdramatic flair from... Read more
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finally seen in its entirety!!, July 3, 2016
By 
J. C. Bednar (Junction City, KS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Gray Lady Down (Amazon Video)
I remember when this movie came out in the 1970s. I pestered my mother to go see this at the local drive-in theatre. Well, that night it stormed so hard that the drive-in theatre was flooded out; the movie was canceled; and we had to call a tow truck to rescue us for the flood water reached above the wheels, thus flooding the engine.

She felt bad about that, so she took me to a regular movie theatre an hours drive from home. Well, in those days the theatres required a certain amount of people in order to show a movie. Not enough people and movie canceled.

Hmm...watch on HBO right??? Nope. Seemed like ever time that it came on HBO back in those days, there would be a power outage. Well, throughout the years, when able to catch on TV, would always catch it in the middle or near end. Going through the Amazon movie listing in these modern times, saw this movie and just had to watch it. guess I was never meant to see this movie.

Yep - what with my past... Read more
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Undersea Adventure, January 7, 2008
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This review is from: Gray Lady Down (DVD)
Charlton Heston stars in this exciting film about an American nuclear submarine which is disabled in a collision with another ship.

Heston stars as Capt. Paul Blanchard, commander of the submarine USS Neptune. Blanchard is retiring and has just turned command of the boat over to Commander Dave Samuelson (Ronny Cox). The ship is making its way back to port in very foggy conditions when suddenly, a Norwegian freighter slams into the sub. The freighter had lost its radar and could not see the sub. Immediately, the sub begins to sink, finally coming to rest 1,450 feet below the surface of the sea and perched precariously on an underwater ledge.

The Norwegians managed to notify the Navy about the accident and soon, Captain Al Bennett (Stacy Keach), along with the Navy's DSRV recovery sub is racing to the scene of the collision. Also included in the rescue effort is Captain Gates (David Carradine), the pilot of an experimental submersible called the Snark; a tiny... Read more
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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



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