The Abyss

Special 35mm Presentation!

Director: 
James Cameron
Year: 
1989
Rating: 
PG-13
Run Time: 
145 mins
Cast: 
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn

James Cameron followed two acclaimed hits, The Terminator and Aliens, with THE ABYSS. Set in an underwater research facility afflicted by uncanny events, the film was a chimera that fused elements from the submarine thriller, the survival picture, the visionary science fiction epic, and a Cassavetes-style domestic psychodrama about a marriage of true minds (Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) pushed to the breaking point during a crisis.

One of Cameron’s most technically innovative and personally controversial projects, The Abyss was was a critical and financial disappointment, despite an affecting love story, state-of-the-art miniatures, full-scale underwater action scenes, and pioneering computer-generated imagery. The spiraling budget and reports of miserable working conditions (Harris later claimed he almost died filming an underwater scene, and Cameron and his then-wife and coproducer Gale Anne Hurd split up at the end of production) made industry observers wonder if the director’s career could recover. Cameron’s next feature was Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and its stunning application of knowledge acquired in the briny deep made it one of the most popular films of all time.