The Abyss

1989, 20th Century Fox

James Cameron never does anything in a small way. For Abyss, he dragged his entire cast and crew into an enormous tank of water (at an abandoned nuclear generating station) for over six months, where they endured grueling conditions, significant health risks, massive technical issues, and numerous conflicts. Some actors suffered nervous breakdowns, and the two leads refused to help promote the film, vowing never to speak of it again. Despite its myriad problems, the film was a success. Indeed, it's well worth the time to see: the story is gripping, there are some genuine thrills, and the visuals are simply gorgeous. But after seeing the making-of documentary, I have the deepest sympathy for the cast and crew, who gave it the nickname The Abuse.

       

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