|Beneath the 12-Mile Reef|
Publicity shot of Robert Wagner for film
|Directed by||Robert D. Webb|
|Produced by||Robert Bassler|
|Written by||A. I. Bezzerides|
|Music by||Bernard Herrmann|
|Edited by||William Reynolds|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|December 2, 1953|
|Box office||$3.6 million (US rentals); $3.5 million (foreign rentals) |
Beneath the 12-Mile Reef is a 1953 American Technicolor adventure film directed by Robert D. Webb. The screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides was inspired by Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The film was the third motion picture made in CinemaScope, coming after The Robe and How to Marry a Millionaire.
Mike (Gilbert Roland) and Tony Petrakis (Robert Wagner) are Greek American father and son sponge diving entrepreneurs who find themselves in competition with the Rhys family, Conch fishermen who are prepared to resort to violence and even murder to maintain their established fishing grounds off the Gulf Coast of Florida. Run-ins between the two clans lead to an exchange of threats and all-out brawls. Further complications ensue when Tony Petrakis meets Gwyneth Rhys (Terry Moore), and the two fall in love.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times observed, "Another and further extension of the range of CinemaScope ... is handsomely manifested in Beneath the 12-Mile Reef ... But that, when you come right down to it, is just about the only novelty provided by this third employment of the anamorphic lens. For the scenes shot above the surface, while large and imposing, are routine, and the drama developed in the screen play is hackneyed and banal. And, unfortunately, most of the picture takes place above, not below, the reef ... There is nothing at all fascinating or edifying here."
Variety said, "[T]he squeeze-lensing gives punch in the display of underwater wonders, the seascapes and the brilliant, beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the Florida Gulf coast. In handling the young cast, Robert D. Webb's direction is less effective, particularly in the case of Robert Wagner and Terry Moore. Both are likable, so the shallowness of their performances is no serious handicap to the entertainment."