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16 Fathoms Deep (1948)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 25 July 1948 (USA)
In post-WW2 Florida, a former Navy diver is hired by Greek-American sponge divers who are at the mercy of a crooked sponge-exchange owner.


Irving Allen


Max Trell (screenplay), Forrest Judd (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Mr. Demitri (as Lon Chaney)
Arthur Lake ... Pete
Lloyd Bridges ... Ray Douglas
Eric Feldary ... Alex
Tanis Chandler ... Simi
John Qualen ... Capt. Athos
Ian MacDonald ... Nick
Dickie Moore ... George
Harry Cheshire ... Uncle Mike
John Bleifer John Bleifer ... Capt. Briakos


Examines the dangerous business of snaring sponges on the ocean's floor that are sold via an auction exchange. Dimitri, the crooked-head of a Florida sponge-exchange, tries to prevent a boatload of valuable sponges from reaching port in time for the cargo to be sold at auction. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Adventure | Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 July 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

16 Stânjeni adâncime See more »

Filming Locations:

Rainbow Springs, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lon Chaney Jr, Lloyd Bridges and Ian McDonald all appeared together in High Noon (1952) four years later See more »

Alternate Versions

Television prints of this film are in black and white. See more »


Version of Sixteen Fathoms Deep (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Remake of 1933 original
18 August 2012 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1948's "16 Fathoms Deep" is a remake of a 1933 title of the same name, from the same poverty row Monogram studios, but using the number 16 instead of the original spelling. Plotwise it's virtually identical, with the youthful hero (Eric Feldary) buying his first vessel on loan from the local villain (Lon Chaney), racing against time to make the annual auction to pay off the debt, unaware of the presence of a saboteur (Ian MacDonald) aboard. Among the differences are two additional characters, navy man Lloyd Bridges and comic relief cook Arthur Lake (channeling Jerry Lewis), who dives for a single sponge. The 1933 original was an exciting, fast paced 57 minutes with no unnecessary footage, while this version features 20 additional minutes of drawn out padding and little drama. The location footage of Tarpon Springs Florida is the most noteworthy aspect of this production, produced, oddly enough, by actor Arthur Lake himself (prominently advertised as being in Ansco Color, but today available only in black and white). Lon Chaney has the distinction of playing the villain here, in a much smaller role than his top billing would suggest, after playing the second billed hero in the original. Narrating from beginning to end is Lloyd Bridges, reunited with Chaney after 1945's "Strange Confession," in what appears to be a dry run for his upcoming 1950s TV series SEA HUNT. Ian MacDonald went on to play Frank Miller in Chaney's 1952 "High Noon," before appearing in Lon's final Universal feature, 1958's "Money, Women and Guns."

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