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ROBERT RYAN IN 'CITY BENEATH THE SEA' WITH ANTHONY QUINN

Year: 1953 Rating: **

A letdown for those who love movies about treasure hunters. Unfortunately, the main character, played by a stiff Robert Ryan, is so uptight, not only does he NOT go along with more energetic and assertive partner Anthony Quinn, to find gold on a sunken ship in a literal CITY BENEATH THE SEA from a volcano explosion hundreds of years ago...

Suzan Ball

But he moves in to snake the booty first, just to teach his partner a lesson: A lesson is also taught to the audience, who must weather this bland fine-feathered friend who's also an extremely weak central hero, keeping this movie from being edgy, or entertaining... 

And the two lovely ingenues are both gorgeous, and initially tough, independent and assertive, making their characters mean more than just looks and providing a built-in feeling of suspense within the anticipated romance...

One is the captain of a small boat (Mala Powers) and the other a calypso singer (Suzan Ball, Lucy O'Ball's cousin, who would of cancer die soon after)...

But without Ryan or Quinn having to do much at all, both ladies melt to their touch in such a pathetic way, without earning it beyond their looks. At one point, singer actually asks Quinn, "What are you thinking?" after they'd known each other ten minutes. Meanwhile, as a b-movie, the low budget is deliberate, and mostly works... including scenes of the boys trudging in heavy "Diver Dan" style underwater gear with matte painted backgrounds. The technicolor is great looking, and otherwise these are capable actors and actresses. But this oceanic thriller is devoid of thrills, and pretty much... sinks upon impact. 

Anthony Quinn and Robert Ryan in CITY BENEATH THE SEA
Lucy's cousin Suzan Ball in CITY BENEATH THE SEA
Anthony Quinn in CITY BENEATH THE SEA
Mala Powers in CITY BENEATH THE SEA
Robert Ryan in CITY BENEATH THE SEA
 Budd Boetticher's CITY BENEATH THE SEA
 Budd Boetticher's CITY BENEATH THE SEA

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