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Shark (1969)
"Shark!" (original title)

M  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  8 October 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.4/10 from 578 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 18 critic

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.



(novel), (screenplay) (as John Kingsbridge) , 2 more credits »
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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


Burt Reynolds is the bait...and a killer shark is stalking the water! See more »


M | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

8 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caine  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Samuel Fuller didn't recognize this picture because it was re-edited by the producer. Fuller never wanted to talk about it. See more »


Featured in Terror Firmer (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Badly promoted … that's all.
14 July 2009 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Samuel Fuller was an acclaimed and highly respected director, so obviously when he himself thought one of his movies was pure rubbish; the public opinion got heavily influenced by that. Fuller completely disowned "Shark!", allegedly because the producers edited the finished product too heavily and used a tragic accident on the set as sensational promotion material, and hence it's widely regarded as a cinematic failure. Maybe if Fuller had stated that this was the personal favorite of his own repertoire, "Shark!" could have been a classic? In spite of its many, many shortcomings, this still remains an interesting film in my humble opinion. Fuller was right about one thing, though … "Shark!" is really badly promoted. The film falsely raises the impression this is an adventurous underwater thriller with non-stop man vs. shark battles and treasure hunting, but it really isn't. This is merely a story about typical human greed, double-crossing and swindling, imaginatively set in the noticeably hot and dusty North-Eastern hell of Sudan. Burt Reynolds, cool as always even though not performing at his best, plays a cynical gun smuggler gone astray after he lost a shipment of merchandise in a truck crash. He becomes involved with an acclaimed doctor and his blond muse in a little seaside town. The doc supposedly researches a groundbreaking medical breakthrough and dives for specific substance. In reality, however, they're diving for sunken treasures and literally everybody in the little town attempts to bamboozle each other. The titular shark – with exclamation mark – attacks exactly two times; in the very beginning, even long before the opening credits, and once more near the climax. It's a ridiculously small animal (the monster from Spielberg's "Jaws" would devour it in one single bite) and the shark footage is completely irrelevant to the plot, in fact. There's a nearly unforgivably large amount of boring sequences to struggle through and many of the sub plots are thoroughly uninteresting; like Reynolds' character Caine developing a supposedly touching friendship with a local Sudan street kid who smoke cigarillos like a pro. The photography and editing are effectively raunchy and the script contains some unexpectedly hilarious one-liners, for example "We'll be like one happy family… Happy sugar daddy, happy daughter and happy son-of-a-bitch!". The film is worth seeing for the downbeat character drawings and particularly to see how Fuller – undeniably a gifted director – conveys a very plausible atmosphere of greed, unbearable heat, selfishness and forlornness.

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