City Under The Sea (1965 with Vincent Price and Tab Hunter)

USA – UK / 1965

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Writers: Charles Bennett, Louis M Heyward

Cast: Vincent Price, David Tomlinson, Susan Hart, Tab Hunter, Henry Oscar, John Le Mesurier

AKA: War Gods of the Deep

Tab Hunter plays Ben Harris, an American in Cornwall in 1903, who stumbles upon a colony of never-ageing Victorian smugglers and their gill-man slaves, led by The Captain (Vincent Price), who have survived a century in a subterranean city called Lyonesse.

Also known as War Gods of the Deep, this was the last film by Jacques Tourneur, director of such stylish chillers of the 1940s as Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man as well as the vintage thrillers Berlin Express and (his greatest) Out of the Past. It was also the swansong of writer Charles Bennett, best known for his screenplays for Alfred Hitchcock in the 1930s (especially The Man Who Knew Too Much and The Thirty-Nine Steps).

Appropriately for a Vincent Price project, the inspiration is taken from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe and the novels of Jules Verne. And the notion of a man cut off from the world and pining for his dead wife would certainly have held no novelty for Price.

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