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Back in the 70'Schick-Sunn Classic Films was based out of Salt Lake City, Utah where they did many documentaries and a TV series (Grizzly Adams) I had the opportunity to work on many of their films. Sometimes as an animal trainer/actor/stuntman and other crew member. We had a lot of fun in the making of "Noah's Ark" where I played one of Noah's sons as will as handling some of the bigger animals (Lions/Bears etc.)I always liked this film as it was done with a lot of research and people who went to Mount Arat to find the Ark.All the actors we're local actors from SLC Utah. The film did not get much exposure and I have not seen it since it was released in the 70's.
I have this on tape and I'm not sure why. I enjoy watching it but I don't believe it. I do find it amusing how several other reviews refer to it as "Christian" when the story of Noah predates Christianity by 2 thousand years or more and is included in the Jewish and Muslim teachings as well - shows what they know (or do not know)about the bible and theology. In any case, whether or not you are a believer, this movie is totally unconvincing. I do not understand how so many people could have climbed the mountain with the sole purpose of finding the ark, and yet not one photograph or piece of video of the ark, exists after all of these endeavors. Oh the movie claims a guy found it and drew maps but he died, a guy photographed it from a helicopter but he was murdered etc. but the most amusing story is that of two atheists that were led up by a Christian and saw it. They became so outraged they wanted to destroy it and kill the Christian! But... one asked the other "If we kill him how will we find our way back...?" so they spare this hapless person's life in exchange for his guidance and silence! Yea right! "How will we get back?" - let's see, you're up on a mountain... seems to me you head in a downward direction and you'll be "back" when you get to the bottom! The man finally breaks his silence on his deathbed. Right! I think Bill Cosby's story of Noah is more credible than this one. This movie could not convince even the most gullible viewer but for some reason I find it entertaining. Perhaps the absurdity of it amuses me, I don't know, it might be convincing if we were still living in 1976 when it was made but not today.
This movie was a lot like the earlier von Däniken books and movies like
"Chariots of the Gods". But instead of attributing the mysteries of the
world to space aliens, this movie started with existing Bible stories about
the Great Flood. So instead of promoting space alien sensationalism, this
movie exploits literal Bible belief.
As a child watching the movie, the documentary tone was interesting, but even then its "science" seemed backed up by people seeking to match a story to anything they could discover, rather than explain evidence they could find. If the movie was unconvincing to even me as a child, it didn't do its job as a documentary. The movie has nothing to prove -- a Bible literalist would believe the movie's claims before seeing it, and no one else would find the movie credible. It lacks even camp entertainment value.
Re 'The individual who brought down pieces of the alleged Ark actually
cooked them in his oven at home to "age" them'.
You're thinking of George Jammal, who appeared in CBS's 'The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark' in 1993 - and, yes, ultimately proved to be a hoaxer.
Jammal wasn't in the 1976 film.
The 1976 film is still certainly worth a watch today...in fact, I wouldn't mind seeing a remake of it, re-examining the accounts of eyewitnesses sources from 1976 and investigating claims of sighting which have taken place over the past 25 years.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"In Search of Noah's Ark" was the first Sunn "Classics" film about the
quasi-paranormal aspects of Christianity, though it should have been the
last. Narrated by the Great Bearded One, Brad Crandall, "In Search of
Ark" is a collection of cheaply-filmed re-enactments surrounded by shots
Crandall talking to various pastors, "scientists", and eyewitnesses of
eyewitnesses in various locales ranging from America to Turkey. The film
begins by recounting the story of Noah, a Jewish man living in what is now
Iraq, and how he was told by God to build an ark and populate it with all
the world's animals and Noah's immediate family, "because of the world's
wickedness." Somehow he is able to build a craft the size of six football
fields (according to Crandall) with only his three sons as the workforce,
then the animals CAME to Noah "because God had told them that Noah was
friend." All the while Noah's decidedly non-Semitic looking neighbors
and laughed, especially when the Santa-like Noah locked himself and his
family inside the Ark. After a week the rains began, and we are treated
fake-looking waves smashing trees and buckets of water being thrown at the
villagers from off camera. After some shots of a model ark in a swimming
pool and the wives feeding the animals (who are mainly goats, chimpanzees,
and a parrot!) the storm ends, and the ark lands on Mt. Ararat. After Noah
exits stage right, the movie switches from being a Sunday school video and
lurches into "In Search of..." territory. According to Crandall and the
slew of "experts", there is proof of a world-wide flood in the fossil and
archeological records. Unfortunately that "proof" was later debunked. (See
the online "Skeptic's Dictionary" for more info.) After
the "proof" is introduced, then come story after story of post-Biblical
witnesses of Noah's Ark. From stories of early pilgrims who climbed Mt.
Ararat in order to take bits of the pitch-soaked wood for relics (we see
of the caveman-looking dudes fall to his death,) to 19th century German
doctors who saw the site and a nearby monastery filled with Ark artifacts
(since destroyed by an earthquake), even an Armenian shepherd who climbed
top of the ark as a boy in the early 1900s! After 1900, the claims get
wilder and wilder; in the middle of losing WWI, the Czar sent Russian
to the Ark after Russian recon planes spotted it on the Russo-Ottoman
but the records were lost after the 1917 revolution; that the Soviet Union
did recon flights over Mt. Ararat from 1937 to 1947; that the "Stars &
Stripes" Army newspaper printed photos of the Ark taken by US Army Air
pilots supplying the USSR from Turkey duing WWII; and that a Frenchman
brought bits of the Ark back in 1968. None of these claims has stood the
test of time, especially the alleged "Stars & Stripes" photos. In fact,
Search of Noah's Ark" has no eyewitness testimony, just people who claimed
that they had spoken to eyewitnesses such as an illustrator who drew
sketches of what the Armenian shepherd had seen, or a man who claimed to
have met a Soviet Air Force pilot who said that his country had made
over Ararat. What is weird about "In Search of Noah's Ark" is that it
these claims, then points out how inhospitable the mountain is by telling
the viewer that the mountain is rocky, avalanche-prone, and that the peak
(where the Ark supposedly resides) is covered in a glacier which thaws and
re-freezes every day, thus creating a dense fog. The only proof given that
Mt. Ararat IS the "Ararat" of the Bible is that the Kurdish peasants in
area have a tradition that the Ark is somewhere on the mountain and have
given every village in the area an Ark-themed name.
So what was the point of all of this? I mean, if you are a "Bible-believing" Christian, why do you need proof of Noah's existance? We have to remember when this film was made; the mid-1970s saw a revival of Fundamentalist Christianity and TV shows about the paranormal were beginning to be shown. (In fact, the Leonard Nimoy hosted "In Search of.." first aired in 1976; I'm guessing Sunn ripped-off the title.) So Sunn both gets the Fundy family dollar AND wanna-be Forteans cash! This "film" deservedly has been out of print on VHS for some time; I was only able to rent through the best video store in San Diego. Avoid unless you want to giggle a lot.
Seriously, this is one of the first movies I have a conscious
recollection of seeing, 1976 sounds about right (I would have been
nine). Mom probably saw the G rating and decided this would be a
diverting way to keep us out of her face for a couple hours one
I have no memory of the film's story (though presented as a documentary the bulk of it is about as factually based as your standard Godzilla movie) though certain visual images like the pathetic Ark model used bobbing around in a tank look familiar. No, the moment etched into my brain like battery acid was when some idiot playing an ancient explorer climbing Mount Ararat in search of the Ark takes a dive off a cliff.
The event both horrified me as a budding young outdoorsman, but was so patently obviously FAKE that my two brothers and I couldn't shut up talking about it and laughing about how stupid yet cool it was at the same time for the rest of the weekend -- A glorious bit of cognitive dissonance for a 9 year old mind to entertain. Then again Star Trek, the Six Million Dollar Man, cartoons, everything that was cool sort of had a dumb, fake side to it. The moment stuck with me for 34 years so it must have been impressive at 1:85:1 in a theater.
I never encountered the movie again until a buddy with a shared taste for the bizarre loaned me his long out of print tape. The movie itself is competently made but has all the overkill of a propaganda film, which is an apt way to describe the content. The film doesn't posit the theory that the Ark might be on Mount Ararat, the film regards it as a foregone conclusion with the actual location of the remains of the Ark simply being a formality yet to be dealt with. Eventually somebody will find it, you see, and then everyone will know. Uh huh.
There's also some shameless Bible-thumping going on, with what we would now regard as religious overtones to nearly every aspect of how this unlikely story is told, all of it narrated with grave authority by Brad Crandall, the voice of a number of these low budget pseudo-documentaries. As far as science or a study of history it's pretty absurd, but in terms of tapping in to a basic need within humans to be entertained by ridiculous garbage this movie has some legs. Put it on a double bill with CHARIOTS OF THE GODS in a little art house venue next to the medical marijuana store and it would sell out every night, likely to the same crowd every night. Pot heads eat this stuff up like Doritos.
It's all so sincere, so cloyingly convinced, so eager for its viewers to be swept up in rapt awe at what is essentially a hoax (another reader here comments on that aspect). But it's still entertaining with a sort of bizarre poker faced hamminess about it that only somebody really challenged by the mysteries of life would be tempted to take any of it seriously. Even as nine year olds, me and my brothers knew this was just too fake. Nice to find out we were right on the money.
My aunt (who is a "Jesus freak")took me to see this movie at the
theater back in the 70's and even at a young age (6 or 7) I was in awe.
Sure some of the science in the video may be biased, but it was the
thrill of the "what if's" that made this move great. The whole world
tells the story of a flood, and regardless of whether it was a
localized flood, or a universal one, the mere thought of the Ark of
Noah still being in existence was thrilling.
Much of what was talked about in this movie is in fact "fact". Much of it of course is speculation, but as with science fiction, what was science fiction in the past is now fact. Archeology is the same way. Problem is, to may modern scientists choose to ignore the obvious, or choose to withhold from public view, anything that refutes their beliefs. Who knows what ancient mysteries the earth still holds!
My dad took me to see this film in 1976. I was 5, and bored to tears.
You know a movie is bad when at 5 one can differentiate a toy boat in a
disturbed bathtub from an ark on an angry ocean.
My dad was responsible for a lot of awful movies as a young child. It is amazing I grew up to love films after some of the things he dragged me to. Runners up include Pete's Dragon, and Popeye.
Curiously, I have kept an eye out for In Search of Noah's Ark, hoping to catch it out of the blue on television over the years. But, alas, no luck. I'm surprised there are so many people who remember this movie. Wow. Now I don't feel so alone.
Brad Crandall hosts this film, which presents speculation on how Noah's
ark may be found on Mount Ararat in Turkey, and how various expeditions
are trying to prove this as fact, going so far as claiming that some
wood pieces are from the ark itself, but only carbon dating can prove
such a thing.
Brad Crandall's distinctive voice(very deep and matter-of-fact) suits this film well, and it did hold my interest for the most part, though some re-enactments of Noah's escape from the flood may be viewed as hokey, I enjoyed the approach for the nostalgic value it provides.
Not yet on DVD, let's hope this can one day see release, perhaps paired with other such Schick Sunn Classic films.
This movie is really dated but it is incredible evidence.
A must see movie
. There's so many different accounts in this movie.
You've just got to watch it.
I promise you'll never be the same.
But watch with an open mind.
Don't make a decision as to how real it is beforehand.
These people just wanted to see if there really is/was an ark and there IS. They even do this experiment trying to disprove that the ark would float but it shows it floated fine. I recommend it. Highly.
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