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Rain Man
06-26-2006, 07:21 PM
When I was a little kid, I was quite enamored with this movie. I wonder what I would think if I saw it today?

http://www.popmatters.com/film/reviews/h/hello-down-there.shtml

HELLO DOWN THERE
Director: Jack Arnold
Cast: Tony Randall, Janet Leigh, Jim Backus, Roddy McDowall, Richard Dreyfuss
(Paramount, 1969) Rated: G
DVD release date: 22 February 2005
by Erich Kuersten

http://www.popmatters.com/film/reviews/h/images/hello-down-there.jpg

Out of Sight

Hello Down There hit theaters in the pivotal year of 1969, when Hollywood was scrambling to co-opt the counterculture and keep studio product "hip" while not alienating older viewers. The result was Bob Hope hanging out with hippies in How to Commit Marriage and other traumatic moments that today are considered high camp. All Hope had to do was wear a fringe jacket or a Beatle's wig, and anyone who took peace or folk music seriously was suddenly, and officially, ridiculous.

In Hello Down There, Tony Randall plays Fred Miller, an inventor for a firm run by loudmouthed T.R. Hollister (Jim Backus). Fred's latest big project is a prototype underwater home, round and circled with windows through which to marvel at rear-projected fish. To prove that undersea tract homes are the wave of the future (and to avoid getting fired), Fred makes a bet with Hollister that his own family can live in this new pad for 30 days. There are complications of course, the first being that his writer wife Vivian (Janet Leigh) is terrified of water. The second is that his two kids are in a pop rock band that's about to make it really big under the guidance of record mogul Nate Ashberry (Roddy McDowell, all silken self-confidence) and his sexy computer-wiz assistant, Dr. Welles (Lee Meredith).

Depending on one's inner cringe gauge, the teens' music is anywhere from horrifically wholesome to tolerably groovy, but it would take a real sourpuss not to dig a 22-year-old Richard Dreyfuss as the band's lead singer/bassist. Burning with inner method-actorly fire, he shows why he will go on to become an Oscar-winning star. He fakes playing his instrument beautifully, and conveys tangible depths unasked for in the script.

Dreyfuss' character and his little brother get permission from their parents to come along and once down in the deeps, they start banging out songs inspired by their oceanic living, "Hey Little Goldfish" is the first, and when they play it via short wave radio to Dr. Welles' computer, it predicts a big, big hit (this despite the fact that they plainly lip-sync and, except for Dreyfuss, they do it badly). The only problem is, Nate signs them up to launch it on the Merv Griffin Show, and if they sneak to the surface before the 30 days are up, the underwater pad gets torn down.

That would be a shame, because it's pretty nifty. It's got great ocean views on all sides, and a pool in the middle, which is where you park your mini-sub. This pool also allows for sharks to jump right up in the middle of the living room, which eliminates the need for a TV. At night, a crazy seal sneaks up through the pool to take a shower, adding to the hilarity.

Ah, but what does one do with one's days while deprived of TV and radio? The band practices and composes, which gives us numerous chances to hear "Hey Little Goldfish" and their other new offering, "Glub Glub." While they practice, Vivian does the dishes, snapping her fingers and smiling as she views the sea life drifting past. During one scene, a shark creeps up right behind her as she does the dishes. The image of this shark menacing Janet Leigh both looks forward to the biggest cinema scare of the 1970s, Jaws (1974) and back to Psycho (1960). Each film frightened viewers into avoiding water (showers or the ocean), effects that follow from Vivian's very own phobia. In pop culture, ladies and gentlemen, there are no coincidences.

Fred, meanwhile, must combat repeated disasters, including sabotage, sharks, hurricanes, and disabled mini-subs full of wailing teenagers. (In these scenes, a stunt double is used, and the audience, if it cares to, can marvel at the hairy, muscular legs of supposed mild-mannered Fred.) Directed by Ricou Browning (who also helped director Jack Arnold on the underwater scenes in The Creature from the Black Lagoon [1954]), these images provide the film with a semi-educational nature channel vibe. You might say that Hello Down There mixes Jacques Cousteau's tv documentaries (family favorites in the late '60s and early '70s) with the AIP beach films and Tony Randall-Rock Hudson sex comedies, to appeal across generations: fish for the kids, rock and swim suits for the teens, and Randall's madcap antics and Leigh's smoldering for the parents.

Harvey Lembeck (the annoying Eric Von Zipper in the Beach Blanket films) plays a sonar specialist on a Navy destroyer, who picks up the band's rehearsals and deems them a new Soviet menace. By the time Merv Griffin arrives at the sea pad to hail the youngsters as "hits-ters" in the making, all the disparate branches of U.S. pop culture seem to collide. Hollister jumps up and down, hoping to get the undersea homes plugged on tv (he mistakes Griffin for Johnny Carson), while Nate dubs the house and the band "the next big thing." Griffin, for his part, describes the band as "'out of sight,' and not only that, but I hear they're pretty good," thus indicating his befuddlement at the lexicon of these trailblazing troubadours.

Having failed to hold onto small-town American values during the late '60s mod explosion (if there were any values to begin with), the nuclear family man here flees to the bottom of the sea. But even under glass, he's unable to make his unit cohere. On the plus side, this is the only film where you'll see a teenager attacked by a shark in his own living room, then bash it on the snout with his guitar. If that's not worth having on DVD, I don't know what is.

JBucc
06-26-2006, 07:22 PM
nopr

TinyEvel
06-26-2006, 07:25 PM
No, but I saw the porn version with the same title.

Adept Havelock
06-26-2006, 08:19 PM
Can't say I've seen it, but "childhood" favorites seldom age well.

listopencil
06-26-2006, 09:26 PM
If you had added the option "I have never seen this movie but I hate it' then I would have voted for that.

greg63
06-26-2006, 09:30 PM
Never saw it.

Rain Man
06-26-2006, 09:32 PM
This movie appears to have received little exposure.

listopencil
06-26-2006, 09:38 PM
I bet this movie was a lot better and was seeen by more people:

http://www.clown-ministry.com/images/incredible-mr-limpet.jpg


The Incredible Mr. Limpet, starring Don KnottsBuy from amazon.com

Warner Brothers family entertainment - The Incredible Mr. Limpet - DVD - Don KnottsA very funny, entertaining film, starring Don Knotts as the mild-mannered Henry Limpet. Set during World War II, the patriotic Mr. Limpet, an avid fan of fish, tries to enlist in the Navy, only to be rejected due to his poor eyesight. A wish magically comes true, and Henry Limpet is turned into a fish, who becomes the Navy's secret weapon during World War II, single-handedly (or in his case, single-fin-edly) protecting America's shores from German U-boat submarine attacks, as well as helping the Navy with the invasion of Normandy, courtesy of an undersea "roar" that can stop a torpedo. Among other recognitions after the war (in a dream sequence) is Limpet's face added to Mount Rushmore! It's a wonderful blend of part live-action (the human actors on land) and part animated (the underwater scenes with the "fishy" Limpet and his new friends, Ladyfish and Krusty the Crab). It's wonderfully fun, funny and family friendly, and highly recommended. One caveat: Don Knotts, throughout most of his career, played a nervous, hyperactive character. In this movie, Henry Limpet may be mild-mannered and even henpecked, he is not playing that character. Don Knotts is wonderfully funny, but he's not playing a variation on Barney Fife here.

Also, a few notes on the special features on the DVD: one of the best, in my opinion, is a monologue by Don Knotts, presumably done a year or two before his death, where he informally talks to the audience, talking about the filming of the movie and what came after - a very pleasant addition, with some surprising tidbits -- for example, I never knew previously that "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" initially did very poorly at the box office, only to later on become a success in the theaters. There are also some theatrical trailers, a video that probably played in the theaters about the underwater premiere of the movie, and some simple DVD games. Also, the DVD features some special games that can be played on your PC (or even on a Macintosh, although the installation software is MicrosoftWindows-only; simply navigate through the folders and open the web page, and voila!)

Editorial Review of Don Knotts' "The Incredible Mr. Limpet", courtesy of Amazon.com:
Ever wonder what would happen if the imaginary worlds of Bedknobs and Broomsticks and SpongeBob SquarePants were to collide? If so, chances are good you've yet to discover The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Starring the irrepressible Don Knotts, this 1964 family feature combines live (land) action and animated (undersea) sequences with delightful results. During World War II, Knotts is mild-mannered, spectacle-sporting bookkeeper Henry Limpet. More than anything--he's a fish fan and a patriot. When the navy rejects him due to poor eyesight, he falls into a funk from which not even his beloved aquarium or loving--if bossy--wife can rescue him. So he makes a wish... to become a fish. Next thing he knows--he is! With a little help from a hermit crab named Crusty and the lovely Ladyfish, it's as a talking, bespectacled fish that Limpet proves himself the war hero he always knew he was meant to be. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Product Description of Don Knotts' "The Incredible Mr. Limpet":

Hailed as one of the greatest films of all time, The Incredible Mr. Limpet is a story about the wonders of imagination and the triumph of the spirit. Live-action and 2-D animation combine to tell the story of a man who longs to be a fish after he is classified by the Navy as an F4 - "too small and too weak to be a soldier." When his dream of being a fish becomes a reality, Henry uses his underwater prowess to become the Navy's strongest secret weapon.

I rate it 4 clowns "Clown Clown Clown Clown" on a 5-clown scale.
Funny movie quotes from Don Knotts' "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," courtesy of Amazon.com:

* Henry Limpet (Don Knotts): What if I told you I used to be a human being?
Ladyfish (Elizabeth MacRae): I don't care how terrible your past was, Limpet.

* Bessie Limpet (Carole Cook): Henry, am I the widow of a man or the wife of a fish?
Henry Limpet (Don Knotts): Well, let's be logical, Bessie. You can't very well keep me in the bathtub, can you?

* Henry Limpet (Don Knotts): I wish, I wish I was a fish.

Trivia from Don Knotts' "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" courtesy of Amazon.com:

* The Premier was shown in a huge under water theater at Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida. This was, reportedly, the first (and probably still the only) under water premier.

Rain Man
06-26-2006, 10:00 PM
Limpet is undoubtedly more famous, but I can't believe that no one else remembers this movie.

They had this cool underwater home that was quite groovy, with lots of great big windows where you could see fish going by. When I was a kid, I really wanted to live there.

Phobia
06-26-2006, 10:02 PM
Tell them that releasing it in DVD form is a bad business decision, rain man.

Count Alex's Losses
06-26-2006, 10:04 PM
Movies did not exist before 1977.

listopencil
06-26-2006, 10:10 PM
Limpet is undoubtedly more famous, but I can't believe that no one else remembers this movie.

They had this cool underwater home that was quite groovy, with lots of great big windows where you could see fish going by. When I was a kid, I really wanted to live there.


Limpet is one of the best American movies ever made.

Sully
06-26-2006, 10:10 PM
All I can remember is this one...

http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/270104.1020.A.jpg

Phobia
06-26-2006, 10:17 PM
This may be the largest blowout poll since the decision to ban Tomcash.

SLAG
06-26-2006, 10:42 PM
Movies did not exist before 1977.


WOW

You must have like NO appreciation for film or film Making...

your a shallow pig

Count Alex's Losses
06-26-2006, 10:44 PM
WOW

You must have like NO appreciation for film or film Making...

your a shallow pig

At least I can spell, jackass.

SLAG
06-26-2006, 11:01 PM
At least I can spell, jackass.


Yeah How's that going for you

Halfcan
06-26-2006, 11:23 PM
All I can remember is this one...

http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/270104.1020.A.jpg


This has remake written all over it.

greg63
06-26-2006, 11:24 PM
ROFL ROFL ROFL That whole exchange is hilarious.

listopencil
06-26-2006, 11:42 PM
This has remake written all over it.


RAD II, Electric Boog-a-loo.

listopencil
06-26-2006, 11:42 PM
...or maybe RAD II: EXTREME!

Sully
06-27-2006, 07:11 AM
You can't remake prom on bikes, kids.
That's once in a lifetime.

chagrin
06-27-2006, 07:22 AM
When Rain Man was a "little kid" Jim backus was a young man, that's pretty funny

StcChief
06-27-2006, 07:25 AM
No, but I saw the porn version with the same title.
ROFL