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Shark (1969)

Shark! (original title)
A gunrunner loses his cargo near a small coastal Sudanese town so he's stuck there. When a woman hires him to raid a sunken ship in the shark-infested waters, he sees a chance to compensate for his losses. He's not the only one.

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(novel), (screenplay) (as John Kingsbridge) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Doc
...
Prof. Dan Mallare
...
Anna
Francisco Reiguera ...
Yusef (as Francisco Reyguera)
Enrique Lucero ...
Inspector Barok
Manuel Alvarado ...
Latalla
Carlos Barry ...
Runt
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Storyline

A gunrunner loses his cargo near a small coastal Sudanese town so he's stuck there. When a woman hires him to raid a sunken ship in the shark-infested waters, he sees a chance to compensate for his losses. He's not the only one.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

More 'Bite' Than "JAWS"! See more »


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caine  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the plot is set in Sudan (North Africa), the movie was actually filmed in Mexico. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eisai to tairi mou: Episode #1.2 (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
definitely not one of Sam Fuller or Burt Reynolds' better days
24 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It being said that Shark is far from being what co-writer/director Samuel Fuller envisioned is right on the money. Or rather, lacking money, because this film seems to have been made with change that fell from the pockets of the producers. It's another film that looks and feels like it was made with the grit and gusto of a man with a need to tell a story, but unfortunately it's quite compromised. On the DVD- not too unfitting released by Troma- the special features go to lengths to explain what became of the film once it was completed, and taken out of Fuller's hands to even include (at the START of the film) a real lethal shark attack. That the film, ironically, is not the total disaster that Fuller thought it was once he saw what the producers did, is a credit to him and first-time movie star Burt Reynolds.

Now, as long as you're not a stickler for little things like, say, continuity (check out that beard, or how it withers scene to scene, for example), the film isn't a total waste. For one thing it still carries the memorably tough wit of some of Fuller's noir films of the 50s, and he still makes his mark on the film in spurts, as one can tell through its fractured, ultra low-budget qualities (i.e. made in Mexico with a shamble for Sudanese sets, if that's what they are). He also gets a little cool gusto out of Reynolds, who would later bloom, so to speak, as a major star in his own right. Here, however, he's still finding his feet some of the time, so it goes without saying that it's more machismo and presence than real 'acting' up on screen. He plays Caine, a mercenary gun seller with a predilection for wacky danger (i.e. tossing dynamite out of his car to thwart those on his tail at the start). He gets recruited by a tempting female who offers him a chance to dig up gold in a sunken ship...all in shark infested waters! When these scenes do finally come up after a lot of plot line subterfuge, it's hit or miss.

Then again, this is long before Jaws, so if the temptation to hear a really rousing score over the underwater scenes does strike you, it speaks to not just that film's strengths but how Shark! doesn't quite realize all of its potential. It wouldn't be 100% fair to blame just the producers for the bits of fiasco, because even through what is quite good that Fuller pulls off on screen (I liked the small chase in the village with the boy and the watch, and a few of the more blatantly exciting moments with Reynolds in his underwater garb), he doesn't have that much of a really terrific story to work with to start with. Maybe it's a combination of factors, but that it's Sam Fuller's weakest movie I've seen of his films is both a credit to what he could do with what could possibly have been a real Z-grade stinker and a tome to what he couldn't do with un-supportive, conniving producers. Probably worth a good, dumb time for drinking buddies, however.


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