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City Beneath The Sea


City Beneath The Sea

Television Movie

Year: 1971

Director: Irwin Allen

US Premiere: 25 January 1971

A Production of Kent Productions, Inc. in association with Motion Pictures International, Inc.
Copyright 1971 Kent Productions, Inc. and Motion Pictures International, Inc.

Plot Summary

Pacifica, the underwater city in City Beneath the Sea

June 12, 2053 in the Atlantic Ocean, a sea installation is mysteriously destroyed. Admiral Michael Matthews receives a call from the President asking him to take his old job back. Commander Woodie Patterson is sent by the President to escort Matthews back to Pacifica. The nation's gold is being secured at Pacifica.

An Aquafoil from City Beneath the SeaThe death of Bill Holmes means that Matthews doesn't get the warmest of welcomes as he arrives back at Pacifica. He finds a friend with Dr. Raymond Aguila, an aquanoid, a man who has been physically altered so that he is able to breathe under water.

As Matthews takes a tour of Pacifica with Barton, there is an accident at dock 2 of the Pacifica Cargo area causing water to flood in. This is soon followed by another incident where an aquadozer falls on Patterson's aquafoil, trapping the Commander as water rushes in. Patterson is rescued and outside his hospital room, Matthews has to face Lia Holmes who blames him for the death of her husband Bill in similar circumstances.

The President sends Matthews a top secret tape about dangerous earthquakes in the Fort Knox area and their concern for the nation's fissionable H-128 supply, as well as the gold which is being stockpiled in Pacifica. It is Matthews experience with radioactive materials that requires him back in Pacifica to oversee the receipt of the H-128. Matthews urges his brother Brett to speed up preparation of the Pacifica vaults to 24 hours in readiness for the H-128. Someone has other ideas for the very valuable H-128 and a plot to break into the impenetrable vault is hatched.

Dr. Aguila, the aquanoidDr. Aguila is concerned that the storage of explosive H-128 will turn Pacifica into a military armory. The gold at Fort Knox prevented the H-128 from becoming critical there, so Matthews reassures his team that the same will apply in Pacifica.

Matthews is called to Washington where he learns that the area around Pacifica is threatened by an incoming planetoid which will destroy the underwater city. Matthews has a race against time to get the precious H-128 and gold packed away in the secure vaults and evacuate the city. On his return he learns that the Bill Holmes and Patterson aquafoil incidents were sabotage and realises that they have a double threat to contend with. Matthews devises a plan to use nuclear warheads to try and deflect the planetoid in the hope of saving Pacifica. Will he succeed?


The Cast of City Beneath the Sea 1971

The Cast of City Beneath the Sea

Stuart Whitman - Vice Admiral Michael Matthews
Rosemary Forsyth - Lia Holmes
Robert Colbert - Commander Woodie Patterson
Burr De Benning - Dr. Raymond Aguila
Susana Miranda - Elena Kent
Paul Stewart - Barton, the Civil Administrator
Whit Bissell - Professor Albert Holmes
Richard Basehart - President
Joseph Cotten - Dr. Ziegler
James Darren - Dr. Talty
Sugar Ray Robinson - Captain Hunter
Larry Pennell - Bill Holmes
Bill Bryant - Captain Lunderson
Robert Dowdell - Washington Officer
Edward G. Robinson Jr. - Dr. Burkson
Sheila Mathews - Blonde Woman
Miriam Schiller - Woman with 3D Video Player
Tom Drake - General Putman
Charles Dierkop - John Quinn
Johnny Lee - Tony Holmes
Glenna Sergent - Sally Holmes
Ray Didsbury - Security Guard
Ray Didsbury - Hospital Assistant
Ray Didsbury - Triton Technician
Ray Didsbury - Triton Worker
Erik Nelson - Triton Controller
Erik Nelson - Evacuation Guard
Robert Wagner - Brett Matthews
Robert Buckingham - City Official
Brent Dunsford - Triton Technician
George Holmes - Scientist
Paul Bradley - Scientist
Victor Toyota - Scientist
Richard Lee-Sung - Matthews' Assistant

Production Crew

Irwin Allen behind the scenes on the set of City Beneath the Sea 1971

Screenplay - John Meredyth Lucas
Story - Irwin Allen
Producer - Irwin Allen
Director - Irwin Allen
Associate Producer - Sidney Marshall
Production Supervisor - Hal Herman
Unit Production Manager - Norman Cook
Associate Producer in Charge of Post Production - George E. Swink
Story Editor - Al Gail
Music Composed and Conducted by - Richard LaSalle
Costume Design - Paul Zastupnevich
Director of Photography - Kenneth Peach, A.S.C.
Special Photographic Effects - L.B. Abbott, A.S.C., John C. Caldwell
Art Directors - Rodger E. Maus, Stan Jolley
Set Decoration - James Cane
Production Assistant - Art Volpert
Film Editor - James Baiotto, A.C.E.
Assistant Film Editor - Rick Roth
Script Supervisor - Cleo Anton
Assistant Director - Les Warner
Data processing equipment - Xerox Data Systems
Special Lighting Fixtures - Raak Architectural Lighting


City Beneath the Sea 1971

  • Irwin Allen also prepared a City Beneath the Sea presentation reel for this concept, with Glenn Corbett and Francine York in 1969.
  • This television movie version was produced in 1970 and first aired in the US on 25th January 1971 on the NBC network.
  • It was released in U.K. as ONE HOUR TO DOOMSDAY.
  • Note that the story starts on June 12, 2053, where June 12th was of course Irwin Allen's birthday.
  • The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Flying Sub flies again in City Beneath the Sea as Commander Patterson takes Admiral Matthews to the underwater city, Pacifica, in an "aquafoil".
  • Some footage of the aquafoil dive sequence comes from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
  • The dome on the tower as the aquafoil approaches Pacifica looks remarkably like the Lost in Space Jupiter 2.
  • Commander Patterson's radio code is Red-2-7 when he calls Triton Control.
  • Pacifica has a Vulcan Missile Defence System.
  • Guards can be seen wearing the red "Steve Burton" costume from Land of the Giants.
  • Captain Hunter (played by Sugar Ray Robinson) wears the light grey "Dan Erickson" costume from Land of the Giants.
  • Pacifica workers wear red and gold versions of the Seaview crew's jump suits from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
  • The underwater shots of Aguila were filmed in the Green Tank at the Twentieth Century Fox Studios. The same green tank as was used for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea underwater filming.
  • Look closely during the tram scene and you will see a slightly modified version of the Seaview in the background.
  • The Spindrift passenger cabin chairs are used for the seats in the underwater tram.
  • Sugar Ray Robinson (Captain Hunter) appeared in the Land of the Giants episode Giants and all that Jazz.
  • Ray Didsbury (a regular member of the Seaview crew) gets to wear the "Steve Burton" uniform when he plays a guard. He also plays a hospital assistant in City Beneath the Sea and a Triton worker helping with the evacuation.
  • Captain Lunderson's surname was spelt "Lundstrom" in the actual script.
  • Keep an eye open for Erik Nelson playing multiple roles including the Triton Controller and a guard dealing with evacuees (also wearing the "Steve Burton" costume).
  • Miriam Schiller (guest star in Land of the Giants episode The Night of Thrombeldinbar) appears as a woman trying to take a 3D video player with her when she is evacuated.
  • Several Time Tunnel computer panels and consoles are used as set pieces around Pacifica.
  • They have the same Failsafe wall panel that was used in Doomsday and other episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
  • The vent that Matthews uses to get the vault was also used in the Land of the Giants episode Graveyard of Fools.
  • The laser cutting device used by Quinn is very similar to the one that appeared in the second season of Land of the Giants, but in silver rather than black.

Alternative Titles

Argentina: La Ciudad Bajo el Mar
Brazil: Cidade Sob o Mar
France: La Citadelle Sous la Mer
Germany: Um 9 Uhr geht die Erde unter
Italy: La Città Degli Acquanauti
Japan: 海底都市
Portugal: A Cidade Submersa
Portugal: Cidade Debaixo do Mar
Portugal: Cidade no Fundo do Mar
Spain: La Ciudad Bajo el Agua


City Beneath the Sea in the Irwin Allen Gallery

City Beneath the Sea Gallery

City Beneath the Sea in the Irwin Allen Gallery

Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions are a top auction house for original Irwin Allen props, costumes, artwork and collectibles and have an amazing collection of Irwin Allen items coming up for auction in the Hollywood/Entertainment Signature® Auction #7351 - The Irwin Allen Collection on 29 July 2023. Lots include original City Beneath the Sea storyboards in both colour and black and white.

City Beneath the Sea Original Storyboard

Also on 29th July 2023 is an Azarian Collection auction including the original prop Laser Pistol from City Beneath the Sea.

City Beneath the Sea Original Prop Laser Pistol

Heritage Auctions had two City Beneath the Sea up for sale in its Hollywood & Entertainment Signature® Auction #7269 on 22-23 July 2022 including City Beneath the Sea missiles and a beautiful illuminated painting from City Beneath the Sea (see pictures below courtesy of HA.com).

City Beneath the Sea Original Painting
City Beneath the Sea original prop missiles
City Beneath the Sea original prop missiles
City Beneath the Sea original prop missiles



City Beneath the Sea DVD Release

The Warner Brothers shop has released City Beneath the Sea on DVD.  Here is a preview:


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