Reviewed bymatchettjaVote: 7/10/10
There are some films that can't be labeled as classics, but they have agood story and are generally entertaining. I would say this one fallsinto that category. Don't look for great acting. If you can imagineRobert Wagner as an ebullient young Greek, then you'll know what Imean. The story centers on some fishing families in coastal Florida andcompetition to get a good harvest of sponges. Most areas have beenover-harvested and to get a good haul, father and son Mike and TonyPetrakis (Roland and Wagner) are forced to go to the 12-mile reef, adangerous place where divers might slip off the reef and get the bendswhen they come back up. In the meantime, Tony falls for the non-Greekdaughter (Moore) of a rival fishing family who stole their sponges fromthem. The cinematography, in Cinemascope, is attractive as is the musicscore, a treat for both eyes and ears. When the divers are in thewater, composer Bernard Herrmann really whips it up, with harps andeverything. While no masterpiece, "Reef" is, for me, satisfying.
Reviewed bybkoganbingVote: 6/10/10
Although I would not want to minimize the dangers of deep sea divingwhich were even more before the invention of scuba gear, the idea thatsponge diving is the most dangerous profession in the world as RockHudson's narration tells us is a bit much. Yet it's the underwaterscenes in Beneath The 12 Mile Reef that hold the audiences attention.On the surface it's your average soap opera about two young people whoget together despite the objections of the father of one of them.
Robert Wagner is the boy and Terry Moore the girl. Wagner is the son ofGilbert Roland and Angela Clarke and Wagner and Roland are spongedivers, a trade brought over from the old country. They've settled inFlorida and continue to work, but when they try to dive in another areaWagner and Roland find that it's been staked out by Richard Boone andhis family who is protective of their turf in general and don't likethe Greeks that have settled there. Moore's got a nasty boyfriend inPeter Graves, but she sure likes what she sees in Wagner who isn'tnamed Adonis Petrakis for nothing. He certainly was a lovely sight forthe teenage girls back in 1953.
Beneath The 12 Mile Reef got an Oscar nomination for best colorcinematography in 1953 but lost to Shane at the ceremony. It's becauseof those underwater sequences which still hold up well today.
This film also gives you one of the very few opportunities to see HarryCarey, Jr. in a non-western film, playing one of Terry Moore'sbrothers. Peter Graves just does not cut it as a villain, except inStalag 17 where his all American personality is what makes him thesurprise informant. And J. Carrol Naish, Hollywood's all purpose ethnicplays a sidekick role to Wagner and Roland. I'm sorry Roland was not inthe film all the way, he's a favorite player of mine, but his deathscene is a frightening one and the best in the film out of the sea.
Beneath The 12 Mile Reef is an average romantic soap opera with somereally good color cinematography in the ocean depths. Would the playershad a better story to go with the scenery.
Reviewed bysteven karakos (email@example.com)Vote: 6/10/10
it was nice to find out the stunt man in the water was my father nickkarakos of tarpin springs Florida. it was nice to notice some of thebuildings in the movie was at tarpin springs when i was 17 years old. idid notice that in the movie the word tarpin was mention 2x and everytime the diver would go into the water a notation of word (Greek) wasstated. when i visit my father back when i was 17 years old they wouldcall him Greek. it was a nice movie to watch and i had a understandingof the plot. you can tell they showed some of the Greek life that wasmade living down in Florida. i don,t know if they still have the spongediver boat they would give people tours and show how they would pull upspouges. overall i would give this movie a 6.
Mike and Tony Petrakis are a Greek father and son team who dive for sponges off the coast of Florida. After they are robbed by crooks, Arnold and the Rhys brothers, Mike decides to take his men to the dangerous 12-mile reef to dive for more sponges. Mike suffers a fatal accident when he falls from the reef leaving Tony to carry on the business. But now he has a companion, Gwyneth Rhys.