City Under The Sea (UIP 1965 with Vincent Price, David Tomlinson and John Le Mesurier)

UK / AIP – Bruton / 84 minutes / 1965

Writers: Charles Bennett, Louis M Heyward / Cinematography: Stephen Dade / Music: Stanley Black / Producer: Daniel Haller / Director: Jacques Tourneur

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

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, who have survived a century in a subterranean city called Lyonesse, led by The Captain (Vincent Price).

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.