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Shark!
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Reviews & Ratings for
Shark More at IMDbPro »Shark! (original title)

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Bad Film, but not Fuller's fault

3/10
Author: merkaba_326 from United States
2 July 2005

Contrary to the previous critic's statements, the end result of this film is not a reflection on Burt, the crew or the late great Samuel Fuller. This was a doomed project from the beginning. Fuller, recently returning from France, was all but blacklisted by American producers. His two previous films: Shock Corridor and Naked Kiss were too hard hitting and edgy for Hollywood producers. Almost completely broke, Fuller accepted an offer from two Mexican producers to adapt Victor Canning's 'Twist of the Knife'. Thus began "Caine", AKA "Maneater" AKA "Shark!", etc al. At the time, Burt Reynolds was only a television actor, with few if any real film credits. Silvia Pinal, who was great in Luis Bunuel's masterful, 'Viridiana' was terrific in Shark, as was Barry Sullivan as Mallare(who was also great in Fuller's, 'Forty Guns'). Ultimately, the Mexican producers/studio heads completely recut this film behind Fuller's back. Fuller denounced it, and with good reason. This film is bad, make no mistake. However, it was not Sam Fuller's fault, or Burt's, or Pinal, or Raul Martinez Solares, who provided the gritty, spooky cinematography for Shark. Shark is still enjoyable enough though. I would recommend Vodka or some aged Kentucky Bourbon as an accompaniment. Maybe some Bulleit on ice. Water-logged? I think not. This lil' stinker just requires a bit of booze and some willing cohorts.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

definitely not one of Sam Fuller or Burt Reynolds' better days

5/10
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
24 August 2006

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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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Mildly enjoying shark/adventure film

7/10
Author: Lars Jacobsson (front_by_front@hotmail.com) from Stockholm, Sweden
5 September 2002

Burt Reynolds (who never looked more homoerotic macho) plays an American criminal/gundealer in the middle east. After losing all his guns and money in a bust, he starts helping a beautiful blonde and her elderly sugardaddy dive for gold in the shark-filled waters of Sudan. What saves this pretty routine story is the "Fuller edge" put on the charcters: once again he is dealing with cynical, greedy anti-heroes, actually more complex than the lightweight story requires. Imagine a b-movie version of (the overrated) John Huston movie "Treasure of Sierra Madre" set in Sudan and with a bunch of hungry sharks thrown in for good measure, and you got a pretty good idea of what to expect. Also, it's interesting to see a pre-Jaws (pre-Jaws clone, pre-lousy italian Jaws clone, pre-computer animated Jaws clone...) shark-movie. It makes you realise just how groundbreaking Spielberg's movie actually was.

Conclusion: Director Samuel Fuller has made both worse and far better movies than this. If you're a fan of his, or simply want a REAL film in these days of plastic moviemaking, by all means check this out. You probably won't end up loving it, but you'll probably agree it's a perfectly acceptable way to spend 90 minutes of your life. Give it a try.

6.5/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Just getting up in the morning is a risk."

5/10
Author: Raegan Butcher from Rain City, Pacific Northwest
27 March 2010

Based on a novel (which I've read) by Victor Canning. Mexico stands in for a squalid town in the Sudan where a group of seedy characters are stranded. Barry Sullivan is the grumpy honcho with the shady moves. A fortune in submerged gold in a shipwreck in shark-infested waters is the prize. Burt Reynolds, channeling the Wages of Fear, has reason to sweat: he has to carry a long and boring sub-plot concerning his "relationship" with a scroungy little street kid until the main plot kicks in. Arthur Kennedy(I think he was supposed to be an Arab. He's wearing a fez, anyway) shamelessly hams it up as the town drunk.Sure, Burt Reynolds is trapped in the dead-end of the Sudan, yet shirtless in some tight white pants he comes across as cocky as his chest is hairy.

Sam Fuller's hard-boiled sensibilities surface in the existential dialog: "Just getting up in the morning is a risk." The main trouble with the film, aside from the horrendous post-production hack-job performed upon it by the clueless producers, is the dull and draggy pace. With a few judicious trims and without the wholesale chop chop this could be a much better film. Also the old source print is so dark at times it is impossible to tell what is happening. As it stands it is a curiosity, worth watching at least once, but nothing more.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Burt Reynolds goes to war (or something)

10/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
19 February 2007

I've read some about Sam Fuller, and I derive that he is best known for directing movies about WWII. However, "Shark!" is the first of his movies that I've seen. Contrary to what the title may imply, it is not really about people battling an elongate elasmobranch - although there are some such scenes in the movie - but rather an incomprehensible story of smuggling in a small Sudanese town with lost treasure off the coast. Burt Reynolds plays his usual macho role as the man caught in the middle of the imbroglio.

Does the movie make any sense? No, not really. It seems like the sort of movie where they had several different people writing the script, and none of them knew what the others were writing. It may be a pretty stupid movie, but believe me it's cool! Not only because of Reynolds's modus operandi, but because Silvia Pinal is REALLY hot! In fact, there's a "From Here to Eternity" moment (at least that's what I would call it). Why didn't they show her wearing less?! Anyway, it's basically a terrible movie, but pretty neat. Worth seeing as a historical reference

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very average Samuel Fuller adventure/thriller movie filled with underwater scenes , fights and violence

4/10
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
5 September 2016

This is a violent adventure movie that earned notoriety because of on location tragedy , as a stunt diver was really killed by a shark . It is a typical Reynoldsian action-infested dumbness with plenty of thrills , brawls and violent confrontations . It deals with an American gun smuggler (Burt Reynolds) stranded in a tiny port and near a small coastal Sudanese town . He's stuck there when a woman (Silvia Pinal) hires him to a dangerous mission , as he sees a chance to compensate for his losses . He's not the only one and he soon uncovers the boat's owner (Barry Sullivan) and his colleague are attempting to retrieve gold bullion that lies deep in shark-infested waters .

In making this underwater adventure yarn a stuntman , an experimented diver , was killed by a shark . Freak weather conditions drove hundreds of huge fish down the California coast into the Mexican eaters where director and actors were shooting . Like ¨Twilight Zone : The movie¨ by John Landis , in which died Vic Morrow at a helicopter crash , here was dead a stuntman called José Marco . Notorious underwater explorer Jacques Costeau commented that despite its cruelty , he had never before known a white killer shark attack a man in so vicious a manner which was little consolation for the relatives of the stuntman . Two-fisted and tough acting by Burt Reynolds as a gunrunner loses his cargo and carries out a risked raid a sunken ship in the shark-infested waters . The film benefits itself from a nice support cast , such as Silvia Pinal , Barry Sullivan , the Mexican Enrique Lucero and Arthur Kennedy as a drunk doctor .

It contains an anti-climatic and inappropriate musical score . The movie displays a colorful cinematography by Raúl Martínez Solares considered to be one of the best Mexican cameramen , including titles as "The River and Death", "Illusion Travels by Streetcar¨ by Buñuel and "Santo vs. the Riders of Terror" , ¨Santo vs. Blue Moon¨ , ¨Santa Claus¨ and many others . The motion picture was badly made by Samuel Fuller and edited without his consent , who disowned it . Fuller being especially known as filmmaker of such exploitation films as ¨Shock corridor¨ and ¨The naked kiss¨ where he proved his talent of vision and intelligence . Fuller made various Westerns as ¨I shot Jesse James(49)¨, ¨The baron of Arizona (50)¨, ¨Run of the arrow¨ (56) , ¨Forty guns(58)¨, and ¨The meanest men in the West (76)¨ , but his most fluid and strongest work lies in his war films as ¨Steel helmet (51)¨ , ¨Fixed bayonets (52)¨, ¨Hell and high water (55)¨, ¨China gate (57)¨ , ¨Merrill's Marauders (62)¨ and ¨The Big Red One (80)¨. Being his best films : ¨Pick up on South Street¨(53) , ¨Underworld Usa¨(60) and ¨White Dog¨(82) . Rating Shark ¡: the film is itself below average .

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Badly promoted … that's all.

5/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
14 July 2009

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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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Dumb and Fun

6/10
Author: kinojunkie from United States
27 July 2005

The majority of this Fuller film takes place in a little Sudanese village where Burt Reynolds can't seem to leave because of a little arms smuggling incident. He plays his usual tough guy role which is amplified ten times because this IS a Sam Fuller film. It all concerns a rather ridiculous plot involving sunken treasure in shark infested waters. What actually hat makes up 90% of this film is just a lot of macho, stupid and funny moments revolving around theft, fighting, drinking and romancing in a foreign land. Man Eater a.k.a. Shark! is an entertainingly mindless piece of celluloid that will probably go down better with a few drinks and some friends who can appreciate the trashier things in life.

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Not A Good Movie, But Not The Fault Of Burt Or Fuller

6/10
Author: slightlymad22 from United Kingdom
7 January 2015

First off this movie is not really about sharks. The only thing accurate about my DVD is that it features Burt Reynolds in a lead role.

Plot In A Paragraph: Burt Reynolds plays Caine, a gunrunner who becomes stranded in a small port in the Red Sea. He meets a woman who propositions him to dive into shark- infested waters off the coast for scientific research. However, Caine realises the woman and her partner are actually treasure hunters, and at not to be trusted.

During production in Mexico in 1967, one of the film's stuntmen was attacked and killed on camera by a shark that was supposed to have been sedated. When the production company used the death to promote the film, (even retitling the film from "Caine" after Reynolds character to "Shark!") Fuller, who had been arguing with the producers on several major issues relating to the film, quit the production.

When Samuel Fuller finally saw the version that was released to theaters, he said it was so badly butchered he demanded the producers take his name off it. The producers refused.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Is it over yet?!

3/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
14 February 2012

Considering this film's pedigree, it wasn't surprising that it wasn't very good. Despite having the very famous and economical Sam Fuller directing the film, he and the producers had a falling out and they finished and edited it without him. Naturally, Fuller was irritated with having his name on the film--and it's clearly not among his best work. But, what from this movie IS his and what isn't? The film is about a rich jerk (Barry Sullivan) who wants to excavate a treasure using scuba equipment. The problem is, that it's in a shark-infested area and it's VERY risky. So, he gets the assistance of the very macho gun-runner (Burt Reynolds) by not telling him the full extent of the danger. Despite being an undersea film, the scuba shots really aren't very good and the film is muddy and cheap looking. While the three male leads (Burt Reyholds, Sullivan and Arthur Kenedy) are decent, none of the three have much personality--at least not enough to make the plot more interesting. All in all, a rather listless film that had me wondering repeatedly 'is it over yet?!'. Not worth your time unless you are a Sam Fuller completist--even then, you may want to skip this one.

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