Classic Romantic Drama (DVD): Beneath the 12-Mile Reef

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This movie’s biggest draw in the time it was made was the fact that it was set largely underwater and was shot in the panoramic Cinemascope. One of the taglines even brags that it can be watched without the aid of special glasses. The plot is the story of a Greek father and son diving team who fish for sea sponges off the Florida coast. They are in direct competition with another family, the Rhys,’ who are hook boat fishermen. This competition for turf leads to many violent fights, and during one of these, Tony, the son of the Greek diver, meets Gwyneth Rhys, daughter of the Rhys patriarch. They fall in love, despite the enmity between their families. When Tony’s father tragically dies in a diving accident on the 12-mile reef, the Rhys’ take the opportunity to loot his boat and burn it down. Tony and Gwyneth try to run away together on her boat, only to be run down by her father and one of his ruthless henchmen. In the end, all is resolved, but only after a fight with a huge octopus.