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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Playing tag with the sharks

4/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
6 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nice on scene location cinematography in Batista's Cuba is the main asset of The Sharkfighters about a wartime naval experiment trying to find a proper shark repellent for sailors in the water after a battle where their ship came out on the losing end. Whether we win or the Japanese win, sunken ships mean only one thing for the sharks, one hardy feast.

Victor Mature who lost several people to sharks in the water after his ship was sunk is assigned to this project. Other on it are the man in charge Philip Coolidge who is an ichthyologist and ensign James Olson and CPO Claude Akins. They're stationed on a small island off Cuba where young Rafael Campos hangs around and makes himself useful to the navy people.

The storyline conflict between Mature and Coolidge is very forced. The writers were trying to create something that should not exist. Mature is a career navy guy and Coolidge a scientist, they both had their own turf and shouldn't have been at loggerheads. After all no one here as a rooting interest for the sharks.

Some tension toward the end as Mature makes the test himself of the repellent as a human subject, but we kind of know it's going to work out.

Nice for the water and the scenes of Havana before Castro, but a slightly below average B film is how I would rate it.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Score!

8/10
Author: billsanantonio from Germany
31 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is really pushed by the phenomenal score, conceived by Jerome Moross. Victor Mature gives a solid, quite cool performance as the stereotype hero. The story is a bit thin, the finish could have been better and the supporting cast has not much space, but nevertheless it's enough to be good entertainment. Directing is handsome and the locations are pretty, the style looks sometimes a bit like documentary and that's indeed quite interesting. The scene, when the shark gets one of Matures companions is quite convincing and anyway there have been a lot of movies, where the effects around blood-thirsty animals have been much worse. As a not fully developed precursor of Spielbergs 'Jaws' this movie is definitely a recommendation.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good underrated action picture

8/10
Author: liscarkat-2 from United States
18 September 2013

Victor Mature was self-deprecating about his acting ability, which has led to the myth that he wasn't very good. However, he's terrific in this interesting, entertaining movie about a World War II U.S. Navy commander who loses some of his crew to a shark attack and is then assigned to a research team in the Caribbean to develop an effective shark repellent. The whole cast, especially Karen Steele as Mature's wife, is excellent, and the location photography, which includes pre-Castro Havana, is beautiful. The action scenes with sharks are exciting and the outcome, given the fate of several of Mature's characters in other movies, is not certain. To top it off, Jerome Moross, perhaps the greatest of all film composers, wrote the music score. "The Sharkfighters" is well worth seeing.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Story Fails to Deliver Much Bite(1956)

1/10
Author: cshep from Laguna Woods, CA.
6 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Big Victor(Victor Mature) in a film about the evolution of shark repellent 1950's style, before "Jaws". Shot with one camera adds o the one-dimensional aspect. Philip Coolidge is the "Icthyologist" being aided and is always interesting to watch. Film score does help but not enough to make people care . Most interesting is Cuba before Castro aspect. Mostly for the curious. 1 star out of 10, hard to argue for more... Check other reviews for more details. Look for Claude Akins and introducing James Olson. I think film is more propaganda than entertainment.

Color print I saw was poor, and camera out of focus.

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9 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Victor Mature spends more time drinking beer than fighting sharks.

1/10
Author: anonymous from Atlanta, GA
13 November 1998

Victor Mature spends more time drinking beer than fighting sharks in this shamefully bad film about a U.S. military shark-fighting operation in Cuba. It looks like it was shot with only camera (which has a hard time staying in focus). The film was probably just an excuse to take a vacation in Cuba.

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