Deep Rock
Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets (Large Format)
Review Review by Ross Anthony

Over twenty years after its release I screened this large format classic at Universal Studios. What a delight. Chockfull of classic Imax moments: aerial shots from a craft zipping above the river surface, nestled in the canyon itself, hammock-rocking back and forth. Beautiful and breathtaking in motion. These soaring scenes are placed well among the static shots.

And instead of simple slow pans of magnificent canyon walls (which I expected), the film follows its human subjects as they interact with the environment. First the Anasazi Indians circa 650 AD (for those conservatives among you, these Indians aren't wearing much clothing). Then a recreation of the 1450 Coronado Expedition led by Conquistador DeCardena and lastly Powell's 1869 explorations.

In the past, I've seen LF films fail at integrating human subjects -- they just look so staged. But "Grand Canyon" does a fine job of making their actors real. They come alive in the Canyon, and help bring the Canyon alive at the same time. The Indians run barefoot along dangerous cliff rocks and the explorers navigate thrilling white water rapids. Actors or not, the people you see on screen are riding those rapids. It's quite fun.

Newer films enjoy a slightly higher quality to film color and grain, but this picture still has a great deal to offer. The weakest link is the sleepy narration. It's easy to simply not listen to it as the visuals are so, well, grand.

I used to live in Arizona and I have twice paid the canyon a visit. Most people who make the trek to the rim, don't usually venture down into the Canyon itself. I didn't. We used to joke that seeing the canyon for the first time will blow you out of the water with awe -- for all of five minutes, then you're done. (Unless you have the time, inclination, resources and health to descend into it.) For those who have never gone deeper than the rim, this film is an excellent complement.

(Btw, this release enjoyed some upgrades from the original including a digitally remastered soundtrack and the insertion of a short playful cougar-hunting scene.)


  • Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets (Large Format). Copyright © 1984.
  • Created by Keith Merillnti.
  • Director of Photography, Reed Smoot.
  • Produced Produced by Keith Merill and O. Douglas Memmott at World Cinemax/Destination.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:10:12 PDT