Of the Deep: Films by the Department of Tropical Research

Of the Deep: Films by the Department of Tropical Research

Release Date



  • Floyd Crosby
  • Ruth Rose
  • Ernest Schoedsack

A deep dive into the 1927 to 1934 films of the Department of Tropical Research, famous for record-breaking submersible dives of discovery thousands of feet under the sea.

William Beebe in the 1930s, in his steel-walled sphere—the Bathysphere—made record-setting dives fathoms below the ocean surface to discover marine organisms living in darkness. A famed ecologist, ornithologist, and ichthyologist from New York, Beebeā€™s research crew was named the Department of Tropical Research (DTR). Women and men, scientists and artists, belonged to the DTR (part of the New York Zoological Society, now known as the Wildlife Conservation Society), and some went on to Hollywood fame. Members Ruth Rose and Ernest Schoedsack made King Kong, and Floyd Crosby (Tabu, High Noon) got his first professional experience behind a movie camera on a 1927 expedition to Haiti. Crosby and other DTR members shot the films in this collection, some of which have not been screened since the Department of Tropical Research toured with them in the 1930s.

Past Programs


Films from the Bathysphere

Museum of the Moving Image, New York, NY