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When I was a kid I watched a movie on television (not sure if it was on cable or broadcast TV) about this group of people who were stranded at the bottom of the ocean in a sunken vessel for many years. So long in fact that they created a community there.

While down there for all those many years the people developed a way to survive and even prosper.

I'm not sure of the specifics but someone comes into the closed community, I believe a man or a group of men. The people are offered the option of rescue but they don't want to go because they are happy to have a connection with nature but a girl fell for an outsider and wanted to leave with him (I think... it could have been the girl was part of the expedition and was looking for her dad's ship, I'm a little foggy on that.)

The girl's father was a leader in the underwater community and tries to stop her from leaving. Really that's the most memorable point I recall... that and perhaps an underwater garden of some sort on the ship.

It's all the typical tropes but for some reason this story stuck with me and I'd be interested in seeing it again so if anyone can direct me to this it would be great. I don't think it was from one of those "pseudo Sci-Fi shows" like Sea Hunt, but I could be wrong so if you recall something like that don't count it out. I am sure it was in color though.

All I can say aside from the above is that it must have been made between the early 70's and late 80's... I watched a lot of TV as a kid so it could have been on almost any station from HBO to those local stations that are now part of the CW and Fox networks who would do Sunday Afternoon Sci-Fi/Monster Matinees.

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    That doesn't seem especially sci-fi or fantasy? Furthermore, Wikipedia only lists it as action/adventure – Jenayah Jul 8 at 18:43
  • I have a dim memory of having seen this when first broadcast, and there was considerable hand-waving about the technologies pressed into service to keep the atmosphere on the ship breathable for the decades involved. – tbrookside Jul 8 at 19:27
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    @Jen this is totally on-topic. 300 people can’t live for years in a ship underwater — they’d definitely run out of air. – Stormblessed Jul 8 at 19:38
  • Definitely sci-fi: “The residents of Goliath, who have invented some technologies to help them survive, some not even known to the outside modern world...” Wikipedia. – Stormblessed Jul 8 at 19:52
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Is it Goliath Awaits?

It's a 1981 two-part TV movie (and later a ten-part miniseries) "about a luxury passenger ship sunk by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat in 1939 that is discovered in 1981 with over 300 survivors and their descendants living in an air bubble in the wreck."

The plot synopsis follows all your main points: a group of scientists discover a superficial utopia in a sunken vessel. The leader of the people is Christopher Lee (which would go a long way to explaining why it was compelling to you), who does not want his people to return to the surface--and becomes violent about it. And yes, there's "a beautiful young woman" among the utopians.

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    WOW, THIS IS IT... Thank you BESW! And OMG it's also got Frank Gorshin, Robert Forster, Eddie Albert, John Carradine as well as baby Mark Harmon & Kirk Cameron not to mention my favorite Zoro, Duncan Regehr. – 22nd Century Fza Dec 10 '13 at 6:45
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    @22ndCenturyFza My pleasure! You gave an excellent set of criteria to search and confirm. For future reference re:Google-fu, my successful search was: movie underwater in sunken ship – BESW Dec 10 '13 at 6:49

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