Hello Down There (1969)

Hello Down There poster landscape

Hello Down There (25 June 1969)
Ivan Tors / Paramount
Re-released 1974 on ABC TV as “Sub-A-Dub-Dub”)

Producer: Ivan Tors (1918-83) Thunderball, Flipper
Director: Jack Arnold (1916-92) Creature From The Black Lagoon
Director underwater sequences: Ricou Browning (b1930) Flipper
Story: Art Arthur (1911-85) Flipper; Ivan Tors
Writers: John McGreevey (1922-2010) Gidget TV, Frank Telford (1915-87)

Girls: Kay Cole, Lee Meredith

Boys: Richard Dreyfuss, Gary Tigerman, Lou Wagner

Olds: Tony Randall, Janet Leigh, Jim Backus, Ken Berry, Roddy McDowell, Charlotte Rae, Harvey Lembeck

Music: Jeff Barry

NY Times Movie Review
Hello Down There (1969)
Undersea Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Published: June 26, 1969

A WATERLOGGED crew headed by Ivan Tors, the movie and TV producer who has more of a grip on the underseas market than Neptune, surfaced yesterday at local houses in an amiable mishmash called “Hello Down There.” It really doesn’t deserve an answering hail but, since it did arrive complete with Tony Randall, Janet Leigh, a rock ‘n’ roll combo, a pair of dolphins and a seal among the cast, all awash in color in an undersea house of the future, it rates at least an explanation.

Mr. Randall, a technician terrified of imminent overpopulation, has devised a circular abode, modern enough to be the envy of the Beverly Hills crowd, and anchored it 90 feet beneath the Atlantic. He is ready, you see, to prove its feasibility to his boss, Jim Backus, by living in it for a month with his family (Miss Leigh and their rock ‘n’ roll son and daughter) for the glory of Mr. Backus’s Underseas Development, Inc.

There are unnatural complications. A rival, Ken Berry, inventor of an underwater dredge, is in competition for the boss’s favor. The kids, clanging away at a hit tune that is destined for recording by the mad mod platter tycoon, Roddy McDowall, make the subsurface living loud, if not believable. Miss Leigh, an aquaphobe, is understandably jittery throughout the weird, wet proceedings.

Papa Randall, with the aid of the dolphins, rescues the youngsters when they wreck the family submarine. The kids finally get Mery Griffin, McDowall et al to televise their show from their subsea house (called “The Green Onion”) and Mr. Randall emerges, as they say at Madison Square Garden, victorious.

Mr. Randall, looking authentically woebegone and harried, berates his nervous spouse; “You can’t ignore 71 per cent of the earth’s surface simply because it’s under water.” In the case of “Hello Down There,” it should definitely be ignored.

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