Orson The Deep1

A still from the film.

The Deep (aka Dead Reckoning) was an unfinished, unreleased film written and directed by Orson Welles shot between 1966 and 1969, and based on the novel Dead Calm by Charles Williams. It starred Welles along with Lawrence Harvey, Jeanne Moreau, Oja Kodar and Micheal Bryant. The film was a thriller which took place at sea, has a newlywed couple on their yacht, encountering a boat stranded in the middle of the ocean, they find a man aboard, claiming to be the only survivor of some tragedy. However, upon inspecting the ship, the husband discovers a man very much alive below deck. He then sees that the previous man from the boat is absconding with his wife and yacht.

Shooting for the film which was filmed off the coast of Yugoslavia doubling for the Pacific, was beset by many problems, including the weather and one of the actors having to leave due to a theatrical engagement. Also, as with most of his personal projects, Welles repeatedly ran out of money and could only continue shooting as more finances came in. However, as Welles struggled to finish the movie with several large scenes remaining to be shot, lead actor Lawrence Harvey died in 1973, effectively ending any chances of the film being finished.

The original negative has been lost, and the only thing that exists of the film are two workprints, although these have not been seen by the public. Although there are plans to finish the film with intertitles filling in the missing scenes, the only footage that has surfaced so far is a trailer shown in a documentary about Welles' unfinished works.

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